Issued by the Catholic Center for Studies and Media - Jordan. Editor-in-chief Fr. Rif'at Bader - موقع أبونا abouna.org
Broadcast from a tiny studio in Qaraqosh, Iraq, listeners of every kind—Muslims, Christians and those of no faith at all—tune into a radio station vastly different from what you normally hear on Middle Eastern airwaves. “Saut al Salam” or “Voice of Peace” reaches up to 150,000 listeners, and it lives up to its name.
The concept of the programs is simple: no politics, no conflicts. The broadcasters tell stories about the church, Christianity and Christian life, dispelling many of the misconceptions circulated about believers in the Muslim world.
Saeb, the station director says, “Misconceptions that have been passed on from generation to generation. For instance, they think Christians just like to party and drink alcohol—something they despise.” Saeb is committed to changing this perspective.
He does this by offering a program on raising children, providing listeners with Christian music, and reporting about cultural events in the church. There are 10 people on staff who dedicate their days to reaching listeners as far as the signal (and now a YouTube channel) will stretch. Their highest hope is that listeners will hear a message of peace, consideration and love.
And Voice of Peace is not just for Christians. “In fact, the large majority of our listeners are non-Christians,” Saeb says. “Our frequency reaches Erbil and Mosul but, through the internet, we also reach a big audience in the south of the country and even in countries like Saudi Arabia.
“I believe we create love and peace between people. Through our programs, we show our neighbors a true image of who we are. Many Muslims and other non-Christians have misconceptions about Christians that have been passed on from generation to generation … We get a lot of calls from listeners, many saying their views on Christians have changed.”
Open Doors is helping Voice of Peace keep Saeb’s vision going. When ISIS attacks destroyed the station in 2014, an Open Doors partner stepped in to provide the staff with furniture and equipment. We equip believers in media training, teaching skills that will continue to establish the station as a powerful voice in the region.
Dear Jesus, expand the reach of this powerful voice in the Middle East. We ask that those listening would be touched by what they hear and change their perspective on the church in Iraq. We ask for protection over Saeb and other radio workers and that You would provide for every need of the station.