Russia (MNN) — May 1, 2008 will
mark the first Christian broadcast into the Buryat Republic of Russia. It's an area just north of Mongolia, occupied
by a people who practice a combination of Buddhist and shamanist faiths and
Far East Broadcasting Company's
Victor Akhterov says, "The young people are trying to be irreligious. Yet,
somehow this strange mix of two religions and atheism is where people
are. So people are hopeless, and people
do not have the light of the Gospel."
Close to one million people live in
this mountainous region of Russia, but less than 1% are evangelical Christians. One young woman named Irina watched
the dramatic change in her parents' lives after they became believers, before
becoming one herself.
Shortly after she became a
met an American Christian serving in Buryatia. The two women
began prayerfully looking for a way to reach the Buryatians for Jesus, and
radio seemed like the perfect medium.
Now, she's a radio missionary to
her own people. Irina began working with FEBC-Russia nine months ago, recording
broadcasts that will air in the capital of Buryat, Ulan-Ude.
"I understand Buryat teens," she
explained, "and I know their future can only be hopeful if they place their
faith in Christ. If I connect with them
through radio, I'll be able to touch them with the love of Jesus where it
hurts. It is so tormenting to be young and
have no hope or purpose. I want to show them the freedom they can have in
Akhterov explains that while things
are moving forward at an encouraging pace, "It is a huge challenge for us
to make sure that the Buryat programs reflect not only the culture of Buryatia,
but also the vibrancy of Christian life. This is where challenge number one is.
Of course, we do not have any big sponsors who are helping us with the
broadcast of those programs."
FEBC is producing programs that
will influence an entire generation of Buryats. The programs will be
disseminated through the radio, the Internet, and on CD.