SAT-7 is 'lifeline of hope' for women, girls facing rape, trafficking, forced marriage to Taliban fighters
EASTON, Md. -- Young Christian women and girls in Afghanistan are living in terror of being abducted as child brides for Taliban fighters -- and they're turning to a unique ministry for help.
"(We) are terrified," 16-year-old Nisha told satellite and online Christian broadcaster SAT-7 (www.sat7usa.org). "Everyone is afraid and scared of the Taliban. I cannot take what is happening around me. I'm crying out to God right now -- someone please help us. My family's situation is very bad."
Nisha is one of many desperate people in Afghanistan using phone apps like WhatsApp and Telegram to call or message the Middle East-based broadcast ministry, begging for prayer and help.
"For Christians like Nisha living in isolation and in total fear of the Taliban, being able to talk directly in real-time with Christian counselors who speak their language via their phone apps and texting is their lifeline of hope," said Rex Rogers, president of SAT-7 USA.
Urgency 'On Steroids'
"The urgency to bring hope and pray with them is intense right now as we hear reports of the Taliban taking young Christian women and girls as child brides," Rogers said.
One viewer sent a blunt message: "Our hope is cut off." Another wrote: "In (the capital) Kabul, complete fear reigns."
Some who've come to faith in Christ through the ministry's satellite and online broadcasts in local languages -- which are virtually un-censorable and unstoppable -- have never even met another Christian in person.
Children watching live shows asked the presenters: "Is Jesus there in the studio with you? Can we meet him?"
The Phone: A Dangerous Lifeline
"It's dangerous for believers to carry phones because the Taliban check phones and other devices for any evidence of Christianity, such as Bible apps or telltale messages," Rogers said.
But, still, viewers are reaching out to the ministry's Middle East hub.
A frightened father sent this message: "I came to Christ a year ago. The Kabul situation is dreadful. My (8-year-old) daughter's life and my life are both in danger. She has no one else except me."
A widowed Christian mother with two children -- including a vulnerable 15-year-old daughter -- pleaded: "I don't know what to do. Please help me and speak to me."
Many Afghans have let SAT-7 know of the hope they've received through the free-to-watch Christian programs they stream on their phones and view on their televisions -- even in remote mountain areas.
A viewer named Sargez said: "I've become captivated by the kindness and love in Christianity. A weight has been lifted from me."
Launched in 1996, SAT-7 (www.sat7usa.org) -- with its international headquarters in Cyprus -- broadcasts Christian and educational satellite television and online programs to an estimated 25 million people in the Middle East and North Africa. 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 24/7 in Arabic, Farsi (Persian), Dari, and Turkish, using multiple satellite channels and online services.