-I am calling from the city that is burning every day, says Taleen from Aleppo in Syria. She is one of thousands of Arab women seeking refuge in the promises of the gospel. Despite dire circumstances they cling to the eternal promises of redemption and hope.
In September Miracle Channel launched a new television program made by and for women in North Africa. The CEO of Miracle Channel explains that it is rare to see North African women given the opportunity on air to address their own cultural, religious and political challenges.
-These are women of faith who know the issues that women in North Africa deal with on a daily basis. We are greatly impressed by the courage of local North African women who share their testimonies of faith in Jesus and how it influences their lives.
The Arab Human Development Report published by a group of Arab researchers from the UN Development Program states that out of the seven regions of the world, Arab countries had the lowest freedom score. They also had the lowest ranking for “voice and accountability,” a measure of various aspects of the political process, civil liberties, political rights and independence of the media.
In most Arab countries, the Shari’a, or Islamic law, defines the rules of traditional social behavior. Under the law, women are inferior to that of men, and are therefore discriminated against with regard to personal rights and freedoms.
Furthermore, laws that restrict women’s rights remain in force in almost all Arab countries. In several Arab countries, married women must have their husbands’ written permission to travel abroad, and they may be prevented from doing so for any reason.
According to the UN, “utilization of Arab women’s capabilities through political and economic participation remains the lowest in the world. In some countries with elected national assemblies, women are still denied the right to vote or hold office. And one in every two Arab women can neither read nor write.”
For most Arab women, illiterate or not, television is the number one source of information. Through a variety of television programs on issues such as child rearing, nutrition, relationships and female health, Miracle Channel is filling a great need to educate Arab women on basic issues that will greatly improve their quality of life. By addressing these issues from a biblical view, Miracle Channel’s vision is to give Arab women an understanding of their true value and to encourage them to use their gifts and talents. Even if their circumstances do not change, several of our female viewers have said that simply knowing that God loves them gives them hope and courage to face each new day.
Nadja from Libya is one of women who draw courage from our television programs. She had an encounter with God about two years ago, and now she follows our programs on Miracle Channel on a daily basis. She confides that she is scared and watches our channel in secrecy. She doesn’t know any other believers and has never had an opportunity to talk about her new faith with anyone else.
– I feel lonely and vulnerable, but your programs keep me encouraged and motivated. It was a great comfort and relief to contact you in person on Skype, Nadja told us on the phone.
Another friend of Miracle Channel who recently called us is Taleen from Syria. Not only is her life in great danger as her city is attacked, she belongs to the Christian minority who suffered persecution long before the uprising against Assad’s regime started.
-Thank you Miracle Channel for your encouraging programs, especially for me in Syria in this difficult time, Taleen tells us. – I am from Aleppo –the city that is burning every day. I’m a Christian, but we are living under very hard circumstances. Please pray for us, she pleads fervently.
Tens of thousands of Christians have fled Syria during the last months after threats from rebel groups and insurgents making the Christians a target for violence and attacks.
“Last summer Salafists came to Qusayr, foreigners. They stirred the local rebels against us,” one young Christian woman told a journalist for Spiegel in July. Soon, a campaign against the Christians in Qusayr took shape. “They sermonized on Fridays in the mosques that it was a sacred duty to drive us away,” she says. “We were constantly accused of working for the regime. And Christians had to pay bribes to the jihadists repeatedly in order to avoid getting killed.”
Her grandmother Leila made the sign of the cross. “Anyone who believes in this cross suffers,” she told Speigel.
Fatma in Morocco faces different challenges. As a new believer in Christ who was raised as a Muslim, she now fears for her life. The gospel that is the cause of her persecution is also what gives her courage to face possible death.
-Eight months ago I started watching your channel, but I didn’t like it. Yet a voice in my heart said that I needed to continue watching because big things were going to change in my life. I learned to love Jesus and I believe He is the truth and that all those who believe in him will have eternal life. I follow you online and on Skype and I started reading the bible until I was discovered by my brother. I got a serious warning that I would die if he caught me reading the bible again, and the warning would not be repeated. I am very scared, please pray for me, asks Fatma.
*all names are changed
Miracle Channel is in need of more funds for programming for women. By helping Miracle Channel with a financial gift, you are helping us reach women like Taleen, Nadja and Fatma with the gospel of Jesus Christ. To give a donation, please click here.