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Man Who Played Jesus Christ in TURK-7 Easter Broadcast Martyred

By Dan Wooding

4/20/07 Turkey (ANS) – The man who brought Jesus to life in a recent Easter stage play televised on TURK-7 was the victim of a brutal and fatal attack.

According to a spokesperson for SAT-7, “Necati Aydin, husband and father of two young children, was one of three men brutally murdered on April 18 in far eastern Turkey in what many believe is a crime motivated by religious hatred. The three were workers at a Christian publishing house in the city of Malatya . Aydin was also an amateur actor and was featured in TURK-7’s Easter-season programming just a week before the tragedy.”

Said Terence Ascott, the SAT-7 CEO said, “This is truly a sad week for Christians.”

TURK-7 broadcasts on SAT-7 PARS, which is part of the Christian satellite network created by and for the people of the Middle East and North Africa . “We are praying for the families, for the Church, and for the nation of Turkey that God will bring some good out of this terrible tragedy. Aydin, a man who portrayed Jesus on one of our broadcasts, was himself the target of religious hatred simply because he worked so that others would have a chance to understand the story of Christ in Turkish.”

TURK-7 is an indigenous Turkish television ministry that broadcasts four hours a day on SAT-7’s Farsi and Turkish channel. Christians make up less than one percent of the population of Turkey .

“The whole Christian community here in Turkey is shocked by the horrific way these men were murdered. Our team is also truly saddened and upset,” said David Middleton, TURK-7 executive director.

According to Middleton, many Turkish believers fear that the killings could represent an escalating trend of attacks on Christians.

“We hope that our broadcasts will help calm people’s fears. Television is a way to give support to those Christians who are isolated, to give a sense of community so believers can be encouraged in the Lord no matter where they are and what crises they may face,” said Mr. Middleton.

SAT-7 seeks to encourage and support the local Christian community and also to help all viewers come to a better understanding of Christianity, thereby dispelling many false stereotypes about the faith commonly held in parts of the Middle East . SAT 7’s Arabic channel has broadcasted several programs that encourage dialogue, understanding, and peaceful co-existence between the major faiths of the region and the broadcaster hopes TURK-7 will carry similar programs in the future.

ABOUT SAT-7

SAT-7 is a Christian satellite network created by and for the people of the Middle East and North Africa . Christians make up approximately four percent of the Middle East , down from about 20 percent in the year 1900. SAT-7’s programs help equip the churches of this minority Christian community and provide the wider non-Christian audience a better understanding of the beliefs and teachings of Christ. Each week between nine and ten million people watch the channels in Arabic, Farsi, and Turkish (Intermedia research, 2004-2005), and those numbers are growing in many countries. In 2005, nearly 40,000 people responded to SAT-7 broadcasts by contacting counseling centers located across the Middle East and Europe . SAT-7 can be viewed via satellite in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and much of Central Asia . Programming can also be watched worldwide at www.SAT7.org. Through locally produced Arabic and Farsi children’s programming, talk shows, teaching programs, music, serial dramas, and documentaries, SAT-7 provides large audiences with a unique opportunity to hear an accurate presentation of Christian truths in their own language through programming created by their own people.