A Christian convert in the Soviet Union found it difficult to keep the good news of the gospel to herself—despite the threat of persecution. After becoming a believer through religious radio programming, she began to make and distribute recordings of the broadcasts. “I gave recordings of several programs to unbelieving friends and relatives,” she wrote in a letter to the Slavic Gospel Association. “Now, praise God, they too have come to the Lord and are serving him.”

In countries where traditional missionary work is banned and religious activity is severely restricted, radio provides a major vehicle for proclaiming the gospel. Unlike flesh-and-blood missionaries, radio needs no visa to enter a country. It is a secret medium. “A Muslim can sit in the privacy of his own home—even use earphones if he wishes—and listen to the gospel without fear for his life,” says Paul Freed, founder and president of Trans World Radio (TWR).

In 1980, half the world’s population lived in countries where religious practice was restricted, according to World Christian Encyclopedia (Oxford, 1982). Today, FEBC Radio International (Far East Broadcasting Company) estimates that two-thirds of the world’s population lives in nations where traditional missionary activity is prohibited.

Countries that restrict Christian activity include those with Communist, Marxist, Muslim, or dictatorial governments. Even some democratic countries—including India, Israel, and Greece—restrict missionary activities. Others, such as Mexico, are closed to religious broadcasting from within the country.

Broadcasters say the mail they receive from listeners in closed societies attests to the effectiveness ...

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