Paul Calvert spoke with Nizar Shaheen, Founder and President of Light For All Nations, about the impact of their work and why the medium of TV is important in Arab nations.

Paul Calvert and Nizar Shaheen
Paul Calvert and Nizar Shaheen

Paul: What is Light For All Nations?

Nizar: Light For All Nations is a media ministry. It also has many different ministries; we are in evangelism, follow up, discipleship training and also in church planting.

Paul: When were you started and why were you started?

Nizar: I started officially in 1984. It was a new concept, because media did not exist in those days; I am talking about television in the Arabic language. The Lord put this programme on my heart, 'Light For All Nations'. I never realised that this programme would grow so fast and to be seen literally all over the world.

Paul: So you have seen the vision grow stronger?

Nizar: Yes the vision has grown and today we are covering many satellite stations from Australia to South America, but our focus is on the Middle East and North Africa.

Paul: How many people do you reach with the programme?

Nizar: Our programme is in the Arabic language, but we also produce in English and we translate some of our productions into the Urdu language, which is spoken in Pakistan and in part of India, and also in Turkish and Farsi, so we are covering a potential audience of hundreds of millions of people.

Paul: Is the medium of TV very important?

Nizar: It is extremely important. As you travel in the Middle East you notice something very clear, you see a satellite dish on every rooftop. In fact when you travel from Jerusalem to Jericho you pass through a desert, and you see Bedouin tents and when you look at night you see a TV screen, or you see a satellite dish during the day, so it is extremely important because it is the main source of entertainment in the Arab world.

Paul: Have you always been interested in television?

Nizar: I visited Canada in 1983 and for the first time in my life I saw Christian television. I looked at it with awe. I didn't know something like this existed.

In those days we only had one channel in the Holy Land and it is a Government channel, but the Lord put that vision on my heart. I believed I possessed that vision and the Lord opened the door and we began to produce, and low and behold today we are reaching many people.

Paul: I imagine it costs a lot of money to do these programmes. Have you seen God provide?