Religious intolerance and the suggestion that Pakistan's blasphemy laws are being misused to persecute minority faiths make this a difficult context in which to work as a radio producer.  

In 2014 a move to medium-wave broadcasting from shortwave gave a keener local focus to the station, and resulted in a dramatic increase in callers to the station’s follow-up number. In this region, one of the most dangerous in the world for media personnel, people who engage with potentially controversial media may also be putting themselves at risk. It is understandable that radio listeners who call in are cautious about the person on the other end of the phone.

Nearly 80 per cent of people from all walks of life in Pakistan are interested in media that covers religious issues

Religious media interest

BBG Media report nearly 80 per cent of people from all walks of life in Pakistan are interested in media that covers religious issues. Around 65 per cent are interested in media covering daily living issues, such as healthcare and education. This reality is reflected in our partner’s content. For two-thirds of the weekly broadcasting time, our partners explore spiritual things. The remaining third is used for dramas and other content about daily life in the listeners’ context. There is a lot for listeners to talk about when they call the station number.

Building relationships

But when a new caller makes contact, they don’t discuss any of these topics. First, they want to know if they can trust the follow-up worker, asking questions such as “Where do you come from?”, “Why are you broadcasting this material?” This takes time, and often several phone calls, before the listener feels secure enough to talk about things they heard on the radio.

As the number of deep relationships is growing, our partner needs more people to help at their end of the phone. They really need female workers so they can be culturally appropriate for female listeners. 

More prayer, please pray for us. We want to know peace

Our partners are praying for follow-up workers from within the people group. Neither our partners, nor the listeners, are interested in a Western import!  When asked what content the listeners appreciate, the response is “More prayer, please pray for us. We want to know peace”.

We pray that through the radio programmes, and through genuine relationships founded on trust, these listeners will know real and lasting peace for themselves and for the people group.

Read more about our focus area: Persecuted Church