ASIA/BANGLADESH - Radio Veritas Asia: 95% of listeners are non-Christians

Wednesday, 11 January 2023 human rights   human dignity   catholic radios   evangelization  

Dhaka (Agenzia Fides) - Radio is a valuable tool for proclaiming the Gospel in Bangladesh. This was confirmed by the Bengali service of "Radio Veritas Asia" (RVA) which recently held a meeting with its listeners in the capital, Dhaka. The meeting and surveys conducted over the past few months revealed that 95 percent of RVA listeners are not Christian. Participants at the event in Dhaka, representing different faiths and ethnicities, emphasized that they enjoy listening to Catholic radio, expressing appreciation and that it has a positive impact on their lives.
"I've been listening to Radio Veritas Asia's Bengali service since I was a child. I particularly like a program called "Chatona", which means awareness. The voice of Radio Veritas Asia enlightened me and my family", said Didarul Iqbal, a Muslim listener from the city of Chattogram. The Catholic station's "Chatona" format explores prejudice and social discrimination. "The radio has helped me in my personal and professional development", he says.
Asif Iqbal, another regular listener from Rajshahi, reported that he has been listening to Radio Veritas since 2001. "RVA has given me content through various programs that I have always appreciated. I can say that RVA is the artisan of my life. I feel like I am a full member of the RVA family".
Another listener, Firoja Akter, also told Fides that she had received valuable life advice from the Catholic radio station: "I once listened to a program on women's development and self-determination. This program inspired me and so I founded a small business that enables me to make a living today".
The coordinator of Radio Veritas Asia in Bangladesh, Father Augustine Bulbul Rebeiro, confirmed that "RVA is committed to expressing the truth, charity, mercy and human dignity, and therefore the Gospel of Jesus". And he said that this will continue to be the case in the future: "We remember with gratitude all those who have helped to establish and carry on the mission of the RVA in Bengali. And we will continue to declare the truth in the future".
Cardinal Patrick D'Rozario CSC, who attended the meeting, stressed that "RVA is the voice of Asian Christianity" and recalled that on December 1, 1980, the station began broadcasting programs in Bengali. "In Bangladesh", said the Cardinal, "the majority of RVA listeners profess Islam. Our radio helps create awareness, mentality and culture in our country. It is working as a voice of the voiceless".
After broadcasting on shortwave until 2018, RVA switched to digital multimedia platforms. Today, the Catholic broadcaster is the voice of the Church in Asia and promotes dialogue on questions of religion, culture, spirituality and current affairs. Radio Veritas Asia, headquartered in Manila, was established in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local languages. Today it proclaims the Good News through websites, podcasts and social media platforms in English and 22 Asian languages. In 1974, the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC) took full responsibility for the radio station and made it a joint project of the Church in Asia under the auspices of the FABC's Office of Social Communications. (PA/FC) (Agenzia Fides, 11/1/2023)