Believers celebrate a new Christian radio station in Madagascar.

By December 3, 2003

Madagascar (MNN)–Madagascar’s tradition is steeped in witchcraft and ritual ancestor worship.

HCJB World Radio handed an evangelistic tool to the local churches in late October, birthing new outreach possibilities.

Ihosy’s first Christian radio station is now on the air and broadcasting to nearly half a million people. Most of the programming is in the Bara dialect, spoken by the region’s main tribe.

The Bara tribe, living in the country’s remote south-central plains, comprises 1 million semi-nomadic cattle herders who are known for their dancing and woodcarvings.

HCJB mission teams report that the people are in bondage to demonic powers. They fear their ancestors who they believe have great power to curse. The Bara people are animists who have had little contact with the Gospel.

In 2001, there were only five known believers in this tribe. Now, through the programming, the churches can now use the radio station to reach these people with the Gospel.

In addition to Bara, programs go out in Malagasy, the country’s official language, with some music in French and English. The station also airs informative programs covering community healthcare (produced by a local doctor), agriculture and environmental issues.

The 250-watt FM station, broadcasting at 104 MHz, is on the air two hours a day, but this will increase to 24 hours daily as soon as licensing fees are paid.

The team is considering raising another station in Mahajanga, the capital of Madagascar’s Sakalava province. This is area where few people have heard the Gospel.

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