SAT-7 Officials Respond to Egyptian President's Ouster


Date:  2013-07-06

By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service

EASTON, MARYLAND (ANS) -- Following the ouster of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, the country continues to witness violent protests.

According to a news release from SAT-7 (providers of Christian satellite TV for the Middle East), the Muslim Brotherhood dubbed Friday the "Friday of Rejection" and called for protests.

Over the past week, millions of opposition supporters and loyalists have taken to the streets in protest. Members of the opposition said that Morsi violated campaign promises and abandoned the values of the revolution, demanding that he step down. Loyalists insisted that Morsi was democratically elected and demanded that he finish his four year term in office.

SAT-7 said the Egyptian army issued an ultimatum, giving Morsi two days to reconcile differences with the opposition. Morsi rejected this ultimatum. The army has put him under house arrest and installed Adly Mansour, head of the Supreme Constitutional Court, as interim president.

According to SAT-7, the Coptic Pope, the Sheikh of Al-Azhar, and liberal opposition leader Mohamed el-Baradei all stand by the army and plan to participate in creating a new constitution and holding new elections. Once again, Egyptian Christians await news that will impact the future of the Church in Egypt.

Millions celebrated in the streets when they heard news of the president's ouster. However, Farid Garas, executive director of SAT-7 Egypt, reported that violent clashes have erupted across the country.

Significant numbers of Morsi's loyalists are angry and refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of the new government. They continue to protest in the streets and demand the reinstatement of Morsi as president. The army has opened fire on loyalists demonstrating, and three protesters have died.

SAT-7 offices were closed for two days during initial protests for security reasons, but have since reopened.

Speaking in the news release Garas said, "Christians, along with other Egyptians, were happy to see representatives from Alazhar University (a renowned institute for Islamic learning) and the Coptic Pope at the Army's announcement. It is time for reconciliation and rebuilding the nation."

Throughout the volatile changes in Egypt over the past few years, SAT-7 said the organization "has provided a steady stream of broadcasts offering Egyptians guidance, comfort, and a platform to express their views and concerns."

A guest on the program Bridges discusses national unity and religious diversity in the changing country just a day after the overthrow of former President Morsi.

Dr. Rex Rogers, President at SAT-7 USA, is optimistic about SAT-7's current role. He said in the news release, "SAT-7 gives people a 'venue,' if you will, to hear different kinds of thought interacting with each other in ways that, many times, are not available to them on other channels."

SAT-7 asked for prayer that "God's spirit of discernment and peace would reign in Egypt during this time of rapid change."

SAT-7 broadcasts Christian television programming into millions of homes throughout the Middle East and North Africa. SAT-7 airs five channels in Arabic, Farsi, and Turkish languages to a known audience of over 15 million viewers.

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