By Stan Friedman
JAMESTOWN, NY (March 4, 2014) — New Life Radio (NLR) which transmits religious programming in Russia and surrounding countries has been encouraging Christians on both sides of the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia to pursue peace, says Dan Johnson, president of Christian Radio for Russia.
“NLR has been working to remind Christians in each nation of their obligations as agents of peace, reconciliation, and love within these lands that historically have had animosities due to their political relations,” Johnson says. “The Lord heals broken relations.”
The radio station has sought to model its message by providing reports from various Christian entities, including Russian Orthodox and Ukrainian Orthodox news services that are “urging people to show the love of God and be agents of peace during the crisis.”
Johnson said that the station is “charged with being neutral without inflaming passions of our listeners in each country.”
He adds, however, that disseminating that message has become more difficult after the Russian government forced NLR to close its remaining FM station due to licensing issues related to its use of a satellite operated from Russia. The government has steadily forced non-Orthodox ministries to close or curtail their operations in recent years.
“This is the first time in our history that we have no FM radio broadcasting NLR programing,” Johnson said. The station started its FM broadcasts in 1996.
The station now transmits its program direct to satellite radio using a satellite operated from Israel as well as Internet radio.
New Life Radio currently is seeking funds to purchase space on another satellite outside of Russia that would enable it to transmit to FM stations operated by Russian groups and enable direct-to-home transmissions over a much broader section of Russia. To donate, click here.
Covenant Radio for Russia operates NLR and was founded by the Evangelical Covenant Church in the 1990s. Although it is no longer a ministry of the denomination, individual Covenant churches provide 90 percent of its support.