Middle East Concern and the Christians broadcaster, SAT-7, have requested prayer, after legal proceedings were initiated by the Egyptian government targeting SAT-7 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, where they presented a search warrant and proceeded to confiscate cameras and other equipment.
The officers also 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 the next day.
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. They also were able to show that the Censorship Department’s report contained factual errors and presented evidence 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 until a final decision is made, which is likely to cause significant disruption to SAT-7’s activities in Egypt.
SAT-7 continues to emphasise 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.
- Pray for Mr Samir and his family, that they will know the protection of the Father and the presence and peace of Jesus around them at this time.
- Pray for wisdom for Mr Samir, the SAT-7 leaders and legal representatives, and that their interactions with authorities will be guided by the Holy Spirit.
- Pray for the prosecutor, that he will drop this case, and that there would be no further harassment of SAT-7 or other Christian broadcasters in Egypt.
- Pray that any 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.
Ephesians 6 vs 18: “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”