It was a pleasant surprise for evangelists Festo Kivengere and Michael Cassidy when they learned that their “Mission ’78” meetings in Panama (see February 24 issue, page 43) would be broadcast on the radio. Why? Both of them come from countries (Uganda and South Africa) where the government controls all broadcasting, and where evangelicals have limited opportunity to get any time on the radio, much less operate radio stations. Not only did the station provide time on the air for the evangelistic services, but it also furnished staff members to assist with physical arrangements for the meetings. The privately-operated Christian station was an important part of the team that brought the Gospel to thousands in Panama who might not have otherwise heard these African evangelists.
In many areas of the world (and especially on the continent from which Kivengere and Cassidy come) the state is silencing more and more Christian broadcasts. The past twelve months saw severe blows to Christian radio in Africa. First, the new Ethiopian government took over the powerful Radio Voice of the Gospel transmitters. FEBA in the Seychelles (off east Africa) was put off the air for several weeks and then allowed to return, but only with greatly reduced power. CORDAC was silenced in Burundi. Early this year Angola took over Radio Ecclesin, a Catholic station. In contrast, there are still such countries as Liberia and Swaziland that allow private religious stations to exist. Some African government broadcasting facilities air programs produced by Christian groups.
Another bright spot on the global radio dial is the Broadcasting Corporation of China, the government radio agency of Taiwan. Nearly sixty hours every week Christian programs are broadcast ...1
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