April 24, 2007
Man Who Played Jesus Christ in TURK-7Easter Broadcast Martyred
Necati Aydin, husband and father of two young children, was one of three men brutally murdered on April 18th in far eastern Turkey.
The three were workers at a Christian publishing house in the city of Malatya. Mr. Aydin was also an amateur actor who played the role of Jesus Christ in a stage play made by TURK-7 and broadcast on the new SAT-7 Pars channel during the Easter season, only a week before the tragedy.
“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,” says David Middleton, TURK-7 Executive Director.
Christians make up less than one percent of the population of Turkey and church members as far away as Istanbul knew the three victims. Many Turkish believers fear that the killings could represent an escalating trend of attacks on Christians.
Christian programme producers like TURK-7, an indigenous Turkish television ministry which broadcasts four hours a day on SAT-7’s Farsi and Turkish channel, SAT-7 Pars, have an important role to play in encouraging those who are fearful and in building bridges of peace in the region. “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,” says 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 believed in parts of the Middle East. SAT‑7’s Arabic channel has broadcast several programmes which encourage dialogue, understanding, and peaceful co-existence between the major faiths of the region and SAT-7 Pars will carry similar programmes in the future.