Despite violence, Christian radio is expanding in Thailand

By April 14, 2010

Thailand (MNN) — Thailand's anti-government Red Shirt protesters vowed to launch another massive street protest today aimed at toppling beleaguered Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva. Protesters want to reset the Thai democracy with new elections. While the protests have been well organized, it's not stopping the work of HCJB Global-supported work in the country.

President of HCJB Global Wayne Pederson recently returned from the country. He says there's an open door for Christian radio. "A little over a year ago, I was sitting in my office and I got a call from a couple of gentlemen who said we have an opportunity to plant 100 community FM radio stations in Thailand."

Pederson says those involved say they have the money and permissions; they just needed somebody to come in and help. "HCJB goes in and plants FM radio stations and trains indigenous people to run them. We've already moved some of our people into Thailand, and they're beginning to plant some of these FM stations."

According to Pederson, these are called "Community FMs" for one reason. "If we called them 'Christian stations,' they probably wouldn't gain the right to exist. So this is an opportunity to evangelize Thai people, especially along the borders of Laos and Cambodia."

A group of Thai Christian businessmen will finance the project. That group and the local association of churches have a desire to plant thousands of churches alongside these radio stations by the year 2020. So far, only four of five stations have been planted.

Thailand is known for its human trafficking and sex trade. Forces of evil and false religions also plague the region. Pederson says, "We're just praying that those 100 radio stations that are being planted all across Thailand would have the power not only to change individual lives but also to change the culture and empower the church."

Pray that these stations would be quickly established. Pederson says doing that is important. "In Thailand, you go on the air, then you prove that you're a credible and legitimate broadcasting entity, then you get your license"

Programming covers topics such as culture, health, nutrition, finance, news, music, call-in programs focusing on social issues, and Bible teaching.

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