|Our sister station (name and location withheld) encourages more than 800,000 people.
A large majority listen to this station in secret out of fear of losing their lives.
Significant increase in listenership, especially among those who tune in to the North Africa Satellite Service. Satellite listeners are typically busy members of households who like the music and the short segments. In Morocco alone there are six times as many listeners on satellite in 2007 as there were in 2004.
Shortwave programs only air 45 minutes a day, and those who listen often do it in a secret place. They are really searching for answers and make it a point to hear the programs.
Shortwave can reach the most remote areas.
Young people (age 16-25) prefer to listen online. They are asking the hard questions: Why am I here? What is the purpose of my life? Listeners, especially those in universities and schools, are taught to ask questions.
The Berbers, the majority who can’t read or write and hardly speak any Arabic, are one of the groups most open to the Gospel and are excited when they can hear programs in their language that address their unique needs. The gospel has spread slowly, but significantly, among this group in the last couple of years. Our signal is the only one that reaches this people group with Christian programming. One of our emphases is really on women. When you make programs for women, the men will listen as well. 43% of people listening to the internet stream are coming from the United States.
Households Listening Weekly to North Africa Satellite Broadcasts
Saudi Arabia 72,047
Households Listening Weekly to North Africa Shortwave Broadcasts
Saudi Arabia 48,031
Other countries 23,268
(Kuwait, Jordan, U.A.E., Syria, Tunisia, Lebanon)
* Numbers are based on independent research and subject to margin of error.
We started producing completely different programs in 2004, and these changes have affected our listenership. we share the gospel in 30-second to five-minute spots. This has been very successful and this proves that we’re on the right track.
We have a coffee shop program with a popular drama format where the owner/waiter is a Christian and having a conversation with a guest.
A program called “Happy Marriage” is crucial in this part of the world. In partnership with another organization, we offer online counseling with listeners.
Another program that uses dramatizations is “Church in My Home” which explains how to start a home Bible study group or house church. Listeners love the live programs with our Arabic producers, discussing different issues. We announce a telephone number and people respond via mobile phone to better protect their identity.
Some are produced by our own staff members, and the most significant programs are produced by people living within North Africa. They know their audience very well, and they know how to address issues and evangelize in the best way.
The programs mainly go out in the Arabic, Berber, Pulaar, & Hassaniya languages and various dialects. Portable studios are placed strategically throughout North Africa to allow local programs to be recorded.
A number of countries don’t recognize Jesus as the King of kings and the only source of truth, so programmers and listeners who accept Christ can face significant persecution.
We are also seeing more materialism, especially as tourism boosts income as rich people visit the region. As a result, people don’t think much about the important questions in their life.
Because the satellite receiver is normally located in the living room, the station staff are always challenged not to offend the Arabic people. At the same time we desire to tell them the gospel in a way they understand and to which they can react.
We also learned that in some countries, especially where police control the Internet cafés, we only have a couple thousands people listening per year. Security is an issue.
We are working with a partner in a chatroom ministry. People not only submit written comments, but they can pick up a microphone and share, ask questions and get answers. We want to do podcasting, are also looking carefully at digital shortwave, and desire to be ready when the technology is available. More similar mass media projects are under construction in other parts of this region of the world.
Our philosophy of ministry continues to be the effective training of local believers. It is our greatest satisfaction seeing God raise up gifted and committed believers, knowing that one day it will be necessary for them to assume more and more responsibility. We are continually amazed to see how God is raising up many gifted local Christians across the region. Our process involves three training courses followed by more in-depth production training.
Training is vital in the region. Since local Christians are the best people to produce programs, it’s important to help them. For example, teaching them to avoid preaching in religious lingo. They need to remember how they were reached with the gospel and use language that relates to listeners.