Thursday, December 1, 2011

Egypt: Christians Vote and Hope for a Democratic Future

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

CAIRO, EGYPT (ANS) -- The high turnout of Egyptians voting on their parliamentary future has prompted SAT-7 to continue with its unique current affairs series, Salt & Light*, until the Eastern Christmas, January 7, 2012.
Ballot boxes being collected from a polling station near Tahrir Square in Cairo on Tuesday after a second day of voting in Egypt’s parliamentary elections (Photo: Andersen/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images)

Broadcast live on Wednesday evenings, each episode helps raise awareness about issues that will impact the country’s Christian community and other minorities, and their potential future status– encouraging everyone to participate in the political process rather than passively awaiting an outcome determined by others.

The show invites both Muslim and Christian politicians to answer tough questions and provides a platform for Christian leaders to bring a biblical perspective on key issues.

SAT-7’s Egypt Bureau Director, Farid Samir, explained, “It’s a new initiative to have Muslim guests on such programs. We started inviting them last month because SAT-7 wants to bring all voices to this public debate while at the same time avoiding any political position. In fact, this definitely is not a political program, but one intended to help raise awareness about important issues, encourage appropriate participation and, above all, bring people hope.”

“The slogan for Salt & Light is ‘changing the news to Good News,’” Samir added.

According to a SAT-7 news release, this week’s edition will provide analysis of this first round of elections–including a look at any violations by some of the parties and individuals–and encourage all Egyptians, especially Christians, to continue their involvement in the coming weeks of voting.

“Islamists will only have a majority in the new parliament if moderate Muslims and Christians do not go out and vote for candidates that they think are best for the country--no matter what their background,” added SAT-7 CEO, Terry Ascott.

Samir says that another reason to continue the program is that it provides a valuable and uniquely Christian perspective for those in other countries who will also be facing critical elections in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings.

After casting his vote on Monday, Samir, said, “I feel so encouraged by the good atmosphere on the street and at the polling stations–especially after the violence of the past week which left 40 demonstrators dead and more than 2,000 wounded. Overall, the elections have been peaceful and people have organized themselves well with the cooperation of the army.”

Many Christians feel the Church needs to be the “salt of the earth” and play a practical role in the community–not just praying in church. This has been exemplified by the use of Kasr El Doubara Evangelical church as the main field hospital for anyone needing treatment in Tahrir Square.

With a Muslim Brotherhood doctor overseeing all the medicines and supplies, and working alongside Christians, there were a lot of raised eyebrows. This resulted in secular TV channels visiting and interviewing Christian and Muslim volunteers, which in turn attracted a number of political figures and other journalists, wanting to see for themselves how the two communities could work side-by-side.

Speaking on Salt & Light, the head of Egypt’s Coptic Evangelical Church (and The Vice Chair of SAT-7’s International Council), Rev. Dr. Safwat El Baiady said, “This is true worship! I cannot be praying while my brothers are injured and in need of help...before I go to pray, I must help those in need and stand with those who fight injustice.”

*Transmission: Wednesdays 8pm Cairo, 9pm Cyprus & Beirut

Note: Launched in 1996, with US headquarters in Easton, MD, USA, SAT-7 provides a spiritual solution and hope to the region using Christian programming created by and for the people of the Middle East and North Africa. SAT-7’s five channels include: SAT-7 ARABIC, SAT-7 PARS (Farsi), SAT-7 TÜRK (Turkish), SAT-7 KIDS (Arabic) and SAT-7 PLUS (Arabic). SAT-7 has an estimated 15-17 million viewers (Intermedia research, 2009) and broadcasts in three languages: Arabic, Farsi and Turkish. SAT-7 can be viewed via satellite in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, much of Central Asia and worldwide at For more information about SAT-7 go to:

For interviews with SAT-7 USA president Rex Rogers regarding this press release, perspectives on current Middle East developments, or SAT-7’s distinctive work, contact the SAT-7 USA office, 410-770-9804.

Dan Wooding, 70, is an award winning British journalist now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for 48 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. He is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS) and was, for ten years, a commentator, on the UPI Radio Network in Washington, DC. He now hosts the weekly “Front Page Radio” show on KWVE in Southern California which is also carried throughout the United States. The program is also aired in Great Britain on Calvary Chapel Radio UK and also in Belize and South Africa. Besides this, Wooding is a host for His Channel Live, which is carried via the Internet to some 200 countries and also provides a regular commentary for Worship Life Radio on KWVE. You can follow Dan Wooding on Facebook under his name there or at ASSIST News Service. He is the author of some 44 books. Two of the latest include his autobiography, “From Tabloid to Truth”, which is published by Theatron Books. To order a copy, press this link. Wooding, who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, has also recently released his first novel “Red Dagger” which is available this link.

** You may republish this story with proper attribution.

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