Editor's note: Sat-7 partnered with VOM in the translation and/or broadcasting of JESUS: He Lived Among Us in Arabic, Farsi and Turkish. We received the following report and prayer request this week from our friends at Middle East Concern. Please pray for the staff and leadership of Sat-7 as they face this pressure.
Our prayers have been requested for a leading Christian broadcaster in the Middle East after legal proceedings were initiated by the Egyptian government targeting their operations in Egypt.
On 10th October officers from the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology's Censorship Department came to the Egypt studios of Christian satellite TV broadcaster SAT-7. The officers presented a search warrant and proceeded to confiscate cameras and other equipment. They took the Office Director Mr Farid Samir to the local police station. The police agreed to release Mr Samir following the intervention of Egyptian church leaders, but he was ordered to attend the Prosecutor's Office on 11th October.
During a two-hour hearing on 11th October charges were brought against Mr Samir relating to incorrect registration of a TV channel, failure to hold licences for certain editing activities and failure to comply with regulations concerning live streaming of broadcasts on the internet. Mr Samir and the lawyers acting on SAT-7's behalf refuted these charges. It was demonstrated that the Censorship Department's report contained factual errors and evidence was presented to confirm that SAT-7's registration and licences are in good order.
Mr Samir has been released pending further discussions between the Prosecutor and the Censorship Department. The Prosecutor will then determine whether the case should proceed to court, or whether it should be dismissed. This is expected to take up to two weeks.
The police will continue to hold the confiscated equipment pending a final decision. This will cause significant disruption to SAT-7's activities in Egypt. SAT-7 emphasises that one of its key aims is to promote peaceful co-existence in the Middle East through fostering bridges of understanding between different faith communities.
Those close to SAT-7 ask us to pray that:
a. Mr Samir and his family will know the protection of the Father and the presence and peace of Jesus b. Mr Samir, together with other SAT-7 leaders and legal representatives, will know the Spirit's wisdom in all their interactions with the authorities c. the prosecutor will drop this case, and that there would be no further harassment of SAT-7 or other Christian broadcasters in Egypt d. disruption to SAT-7's broadcasting operations will be minimal, and that SAT-7 and other Christian broadcasters will have boldness and wisdom as they proclaim the Christian message and promote peaceful co-existence in the Middle East