Ireland (MNN) — Irish are looking for answers to a growing problem in their country–a problem that is taking the lives of Ireland's young people.
According to reports, Ireland has the fastest-growing rate of youth suicide in the world. Almost one in four suicides occur among young people between 15 and 24 years of age. That's the word from the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin in a statement at a recent conference on the subject. A government task force reported earlier this year that the suicide rate of males between the ages of 15 and 24 was higher than that in most European countries (about 19 per 100,000 people), and it is growing.
HCJB Global Voice is hoping to provide answers through Christian radio. They're partnering with Irish believers to broadcast the Gospel in the city of Cork. HCJB's Roger Basick says, "This is the very first radio station in Ireland. And it just went on the air this year in March 2008."
Basick is an HCJB Global missionary appointee to the region. He says while the Christian "religion" is common in Ireland, "There is a real spiritual darkness there that's present. Cork has the highest suicide rate in all of Ireland, right in our listening audience. So it's not a coincidence that the station is there."
It's somewhat surprising that Life FM is the first Christian radio station in Ireland. Basick says, "For 20 years there was a group of individuals trying to actively get Christian radio there, and they were denied over and over every year, until eventually the government relented and saw the need for it. They've granted the first Christian radio station in Cork of all places, the second-largest city."
Unfortunately, Basick says they're fighting against perception. "A lot of harm has been done in the name of Christ by religious people. That was the same as in Jesus' day. What we're trying to get people to do is look beyond religion and see Jesus and realize it's not about religion– it's about a relationship with Jesus Christ."
Every denomination is represented on Life FM's board of directors, so the station is unifying the body of Christ.
Pray that God will draw many listeners to the station and that many would begin to have a relationship with Him. Pray also that God would send more believers to help the ministry.