Studio’s Christian Broadcaster Damaged In Beirut Blast

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By Stefan J. Bos, Special Correspondent Worthy News

(Worthy News) – The only Arabic Christian broadcaster in Lebanon said Wednesday that it continued broadcasting despite suffering minor damages to its studios in Beirut, where a massive blast killed at least 135 people and injured 5,000 others.

SAT-7 said it aired the Arabic-language program ‘Lebanon: The Pain and Hope’ aimed at “reassuring shell-shocked viewers” in the capital.

Local Christian leaders Hikmat Kashouh and Nabil Costa “prayed live on air for the families of those killed in the explosion, for those who are missing, and for the injured,” the network explained in a statement. “Everyone is in shock and devastated by what has happened,” added Maroun Bou Rached, the network’s director in Lebanon.

The massive blast in Beirut’s port area — reportedly caused by 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse — shook the entire city “and was heard by SAT-7 headquarters staff on the island of Cyprus, more than 100 miles away,” the broadcaster says. 

The cause was still under investigation.”We didn’t know what was happening,” recalled Rita El-Mounayer, the network’s International CEO based in Cyprus, who apparently heard the explosion. “Our hearts go out to everyone in the country.”

SAT-7  live programs would continue “to provide a platform for grieving and traumatized viewers in Lebanon to find comfort and seek prayer in the aftermath of the disaster,” El-Mounayer explained. Since March, SAT-7 aired over 40 programs addressing COVID-19. The network said it wanted “ to minister to a country beset by economic collapse, hunger, and social unrest.“

As many across Lebanon — roughly the size of Connecticut — turn to television for news and updates, SAT-7’s interactive live broadcasts have “a unique role” as the disaster unfolds, claimed Rex Rogers, its SAT-7 USA president.

“People across Lebanon are looking to us in America and in the Middle East to stand with them in grief and prayer in the wake of this catastrophe,” Rogers said. “Many people, including Christians, are asking: ‘Where is God? Why is he allowing this? What is happening to my country?’

“People are saying: ‘Lebanon needs a miracle,'” stressed Rogers. “As Christians, we offer genuine hope.”

SAT-7 launched in 1996, with its international headquarters in Cyprus. It says it airs Christian and educational satellite television programs to more than 30 million people in the Middle East and North Africa. 

SAT-7 views it as its “mission is to make the Gospel available to everyone, and support the church in its life, work and witness for Jesus Christ.“ SAT-7 broadcasts day and night in Arabic, Farsi (Persian), and Turkish, using multiple satellite channels and online services.

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