Christian media leaders in India met last month to set into motion the formation of an association of Christian broadcasters in the second-most populous country in the world.
Ashvin Dhyriam, the Managing Director of Good News Television of India, has been credited for spearheading the historic initiative with support from a number of NRB leaders and members.
“God has been stirring my heart for many years to do something tangible for Christian broadcasters and communicators in India,” reported Dhyriam. “[In] the next ten years, we will see drastic changes in media trends and patterns, and we as effective communicators, having the responsibility of sharing the Great Commission, have to be ready to face the changing trends ahead.”
According to Dhyriam, the May 20 gathering was well attended by eminent journalists and Christian communicators. Parliament Member Oscar Fernandez, who is General Secretary of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) and political advisor to India Prime Minister Sonja Gandhi, was also present and reportedly assured his support for the Indian Christian association that they are envisioning.
Attending from NRB were Dr. Hannu Haukka of Great Commission Media Ministries, who is Chairman of the International Committee of NRB; Dr. Ron Harris of MEDIAlliance International; and Priti Choudhry of CBN India, the recipient of the NRB 2013 International Television Ministry Award.
"India is a land of 1.25 billion people, and 90% of them are not Christians. It is a field white unto harvest,” remarked Dr. Harris. “Media is the tool that can take the hope of Jesus to the hearts of the lost in India. It is exciting to see Christian broadcasters, journalists, and media professionals come together at this significant time.”
Last fall, Dhyriam helped organize a three-day media training event with support from NRB and its members. The September 19-22 gathering, which was funded in part by the donations made during the 2012 NRB Convention worship service, drew more than 100 delegates from all over the country and included attendees from Nepal. NRB member organizations CBN, In Touch, and HCJB Global provided instructors for some of the workshops in radio, TV, and management. While Christian radio is not well developed in India due to some government constraints, conference workshops taught the value of community radio stations – a strategy that can open the door for more Christian programming in radio.
Dr. Frank Wright, NRB’s President & CEO, was also present and taught several management courses.
“One of NRB’s core values is preserving and expanding access to electronic media,” said Dr. Wright. “The recent developments in India have enormous potential for extending the reach of the Gospel in ways only previously imagined.”
According to Dhyriam, plans are already underway for the third National Christian Media Conference in New Delhi this September 25-27.
He urged supporters to pray “for the Holy Spirit to move mightily as people across the nation will be coming together to share, learn, pray, and be equipped as we move forward.”
“A unified voice for Christians in media will strengthen the opportunity for the Gospel in this land,” he added. “Prayer is needed for these dedicated leaders as they work to form an association of those in Christian media … for the Gospel … for the salvation of souls for Christ."
Aside from being the second-most populous country in the world, India has the largest number of unreached groups for any one country.
PHOTOS ABOVE: (1) Christian media leaders attend the Strategic Media Meeting for Christian Broadcasters and Communicators in India. (2) Dr. Hannu Haukka of Great Commission Media Ministries, who is Chairman of the International Committee of NRB, speaks during the Strategic Media Meeting in New Delhi on May 20. Photographs courtesy of Great Commission Media Ministries and MEDIAlliance International, respectively.
Published: June 6, 2013