Turning the tide of darkness
Over the last two decades, satellite TV has become the only way for the vast majority of Iranians to receive reliable information amidst an avalanche of deception from government controlled channels. Historically, Islamic societies and cultures have not encouraged questioning; teaching is only to be accepted, not questioned. With the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, many had questions, but the clerics could not provide answers. People started to look elsewhere for answers. Over 35 years later they continue to ask – and many Iranians ask good questions about the Christian faith.
In the face of brutal persecution, 222 Sama TV’s vision is to encourage, edify and equip the scattered believers. We produce hundreds of programmes every year, bringing Biblical teaching, explaining the gospel, and answering questions from public callers as well as offering prayer.
We believe satellite television has the power to turn the tide of darkness into a ray of hope in Iran. Our prayer is to see the Iranian believers become passionate witnesses and reach out to their family and friends, and that hundreds of thousands would come to Christ through direct witness.
‘As far as I know, I am the only believer in my town, so I am totally isolated. These live programmes with brothers Lazarus and Sammy had a very strong impact in my life. I ask for more of these programmes, so that people like me, without a church to attend, can learn and grow in their faith.’ – Sama TV viewer, Iran
222 has been a pioneer in 24/7 Farsi satellite TV broadcasting since 2000, being a founder of Iranian Christian Broadcast (ICB – later renamed SAT-7 Pars), the Mohabat TV satellite channel and also of 222 Sama TV. In the past 15 years we have produced over 5,000 programmes in various genres. God has blessed 222’s churches with godly, gifted teachers and presenters, many of whom provide excellent content.
Several of these programmes have a long shelf life; highly sought after programmes which people want to view again and again, such as the bestselling ‘The Bible: The Verdict of History’, ‘Researching the Quran’, ‘Chonke’ (children’s programmes) and the series based on John Maxwell’s ‘Equip’ leadership training.
In addition to creating new and relevant material for a range of audiences, 222 Ministries is constantly developing new ways to share these programmes. Our recent developments include our Dastanema (Our Story) website and live broadcasts via social media. Our studio is also used for producing other discipleship material such as the highly aclaimed Freedom in Christ course, which we produced in Farsi in 2016 and is currently being introduced to Farsi-speaking churches around the world.
In 2016 222 Sama TV produced 350 programmes for satellite TV, and we aim to double this number in 2017.
Follow up team
Our follow up team is made up of a number of highly experienced pastoral staff and volunteers. With well over a decade of experience, they work day-to-day to develop relationships with contacts that will see them begin their journey of faith in Jesus Christ. 222 regards the follow up team as having a key role in our ministry, helping us to encourage and disciple believers, many of whom are isolated and don’t know any other believers. We aim to provide a response to a question received by email within 48 hours. Telephone calls are handled as they come in and are tracked through our database.
Our follow up facility is available approximately twelve hours a day, with our most active time on the phones being throughout the duration of each 30-minute programme, and for 30 minutes afterwards. If the caller is a new seeker, they are assigned to a counsellor who will build a relationship and provide support, encouragement, mentoring and teaching until such time that a physical meeting can take place.
In January 2017, our follow up team took 332 phone calls and received 1,377 emails from Sama TV viewers. In addition to this they were working with 453 individuals who had contacted us in previous months as well as an array of questions via social media.
‘Mary lives in Iran, but was introduced to us by a friend in Holland. She has cancer which has spread to many parts of her body; intestines, ovaries, womb and then a tumour formed in her upper leg. After sharing my own child’s miraculous healing, I prayed for her over the phone and asked her to watch the live Sama TV programme with brother Lazarus and Sammy Tippit. She asked for prayer via the live Facebook broadcast. Two days later, when she went for a scan, the doctors announced with amazement that there was no sign of any cancer in her body. Praise God for her complete and total healing!’ – Anna, Follow up team
Despite reaching thousands through this ministry, the need is still so great. Join us in reaching more people for Christ through television.