Jakarta (Fides Service) – Yogyakarta is the city with the most radio stations in the whole of Indonesia. Fifty two local radios have been opened since a new telecommunications law was passed in 2002 by the Indonesian government.
One of the most popular stations is a Catholic Radio Balai Budaya Minomartani run by the Jesuits of Puskat Audio-visual Studios in Yogyakarta. The radio broadcasts for six hours every day. Programmes are conducted by volunteers, many of them young people. Radio Balai Budaya Minomartani provides a wide variety of programmes, educational, spiritual, cultural, basic English as well as interactive debates on family related questions viewed from a Christian viewpoint. The Radio gives ample space to interreligious dialogue offering local Christians, Muslims and Buddhists a chance to come into contact, get to know more about each other, build friendships, discuss local problems in a spirit of openness and tolerance.
In January this year, the civil Provincial Governor made an official visit to Radio Balai Budaya Minomartani . The visit was broadcast live with interaction by representatives of different religions. The Governor said he was sure the radio will help promote freedom of expression, Indonesia’s cultural tradition and popular participation in society.
This is not the first radio opened Jesuits in Yogyakarta. They had one some years back but were forced to close it in 1998 because no official licence had been obtained. However the Religious were determined to get on the air again aware of the potential of radio for social and cultural progress, not to mention evangelisation. As soon as the new law was passed they opened Radio Balai Budaya Minomartani which is very useful for the local Church and effectively helps promote interreligious dialogue. PA (Fides Service 3/7/2003 EM lines 27 Words: 281)