It’s finally on the air!
It has taken more than a year of intense prayer, and a meeting between Joshua Fund President Joel C. Rosenberg and the Hon. Nechirvan Barzani, the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), requesting his personal assistance. But by God’s grace, and with the kind assistance of the Prime Minister’s office, the Kurdish government of Iraq in May gave permission for a Christian radio station that The Joshua Fund has helped finance to officially begin broadcast operations. The establishment of such a station owned and operated by Iraqi followers of Jesus Christ is really an historic development in the history of Christianity in the land once called Babylonia, and we are deeply grateful for your prayerful and financial support in making this happen. Thank you so much.
The station’s headquarters and main broadcasting facility is located in the northern Kurdish region of Iraq, in the capital of Erbil, a city of some one million people, not far from the border of Iran. The station is operating on 97.1 FM. That station — which can be heard throughout the Kurdish region and thus by more than two million people — is broadcasting Christian music, original and previously-produced educational programs, original and previously-produced cultural programs, Bible reading programs and radio dramas based on the Bible. All of this is in the Kurdish and Arabic languages.
“Growing up under the tyranny of Saddam Hussein, we never thought we would see the day when we who love Jesus could run a radio station in Iraq,” the station manager told a TJF staffer. “We are excited to see how the Lord will use us to bless the Iraqi people, and particularly the Kurdish people. Please be praying for us that the Lord’s favor would be with us and we would make a real impact in people’s lives here.”
According to the station manager, one of their writers is currently developing five radio series:
- A serialized radio drama of the Gospel According to Luke (100 programs x 15 minutes each)
- An educational program teaching people how to write short stories, with examples from the Bible (15 minutes each)
- A cultural program with dramatized short stories, expressing Christian values and principles (5 minutes each)
- A live cultural variety program (one hour) including interviews with interesting Iraqis, Iraqi songs, brain teasers (if you can solve them, you can call in and win a gift), and call-ins with Q&A
- An educational program with Christian counseling, focusing on marriage and family issues, raising children, raising teenagers, and helping women deal with various kinds of abuse (15 minutes, broadcast twice a week)
Another writer is working on:
- A radio drama version of the Jesus film in the Baghdadi dialect (20 programs x 20 minutes each)
- A radio drama in which characters from the first century argue about a certain topic, then go to ask Jesus how to solve their problem, and Jesus speaks to them directly from the gospels (20 minutes per program)
Please pray that the Lord would bless Prime Minister Barzani and the KRG government for blessing the Christians in northern Iraq in this way. Please pray that many Iraqis from various religious backgrounds are drawn by the Holy Spirit to the programming and find it educational and encouraging. Please also pray that the radio station staff will know how to create the most winsome format possible. Please pray that the station and staff are kept safe and protected from persecution or other kinds of harassment. Please pray that many are touched by the love of Jesus Christ through this station, and that The Joshua Fund can continue to help the station, do relief work in Iraq, and continue training and encouraging Iraqi pastors and ministry leaders as we’ve been doing by God’s grace over the past 18 months. Again, thank you so much for your prayer and financial support. We and our allies at the station could not be more appreciative.