Christian Middle East Radio Making Waves

Thursday, February 1st, 2018

“(Israel) was willing to help us help Christians.”

“Imagine hearing for the first time about love and forgiveness and hope and eternal life, and contrast that with blood revenge and hatred and superstitions and all of that.” Reverend John D Tayloe.

‘The Voice of Hope based in Israel is one of the loudest radio signals on the dial and its reach into surrounding Middle East countries is unprecedented in a region where religious freedoms and individual rights are challenged every day.’

The Israeli government has granted its first Christian radio licence to Strategic Communications Group led by its president, John Tayloe.

‘Radio crosses borders’

But Voice of Hope – 1287 AM is not your average sized metro regional radio transmitter.

1287 AM is driven by a powerful 50 thousand-watts. The booming signal enables the evangelical station to reach five countries surrounding Israel including Israel.

“It was built with international purpose so we’re reaching five nations, going deep into Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Cyprus and Israel with the Gospel of Jesus.”

“Radio crosses borders,” said John. “It jumps over mountains and it reaches the masses. It reaches people one on one, it’s very intimate.”

And as far as Voice of Hope’s content is concerned, one topic is a definite NO NO.

“We don’t do any politics on this radio station,” John stressed. “We lift up and talk about Jesus.”

The good news of salvation

“Our number one objective; to be a support to the Christians of the region. Can you imagine being a Christian in a region and never before hearing radio broadcasting the Gospel of Jesus?”

There were reports that many non-Christian people heard the Christmas music played on the station during the festive season. This, John said, helped fulfil the radio’s second objective.

“That’s to reach out to those who don’t know Jesus and share the good news of salvation with them.”

“The only answer is Jesus and of course we’re broadcasting to a sea of Muslims.”

Again this is a very good reason for keeping political issues off the air.

He noted how these people don’t know the Lord and now they’re hearing the Gospel for the very first time.

“Imagine hearing for the first time about love and forgiveness and hope and eternal life, and contrast that with blood revenge and hatred and superstitions and all of that,” was John’s analysis.

The horror of the civil war in Syria

“It brings them new life.” But what’s significant and of great concern is the Christian persecution in the region. John said it broke their hearts to hear what was happening to Christians in Syria.

Syrian refugees

“Christians and even moderate Muslims were running for their lives to Jordan and into Lebanon and to Europe because they had to leave their homes.”

“They had to leave their businesses and their lives behind to save their lives!”

John was describing the horror of the civil war in Syria saying tens of thousands were murdered because of their faith.

“They were also asked to convert at gunpoint and we’ve not faced this here in our countries. But they surely faced it in their countries, so our hearts were breaking.”

It was these tragic circumstances that led to the radio’s emergence.

“We wanted a voice that could encourage those who have lost everything, to give Christians a voice in the region and God provided this marvelous radio station.”

‘Christians the best friends Israel’s ever had’

“This was through the Israeli government who also understood what was going on and who understood what it meant to be persecuted for their faith,” informed John, saying the Israelis upheld Christian values and the freedom of religion.

“They were willing to help us help Christians,” John stated, adding that Israel’s response was to further involve the church as friends of Israel.

“They’re finding that Christians across the world are the best friends Israel’s ever had.”

“We go to Israel, we tour it, but we stand with them too because we believe they’re God’s people. But they do appreciate this friendship and I’ve seen this over and over again.”

John repeated how Israel appreciates what Christians are doing and saying and standing with Israel.

So, what impact has the radio had? Shock! That was their listeners first response according to John.

Christian music all in Arabic

“What is this new radio station? What is this music? We’ve never heard Christian music before?”

It should be mentioned this is not your staple diet of Western Christian music.

“We have beautiful Christian music and it’s all in Arabic.” Half of this music is written by Christians and the other half by Muslims who have come to faith in Christ.

“They’re writing about their plight, their struggle, their change of heart and their desire now to follow Jesus.”

“We have some marvellous music we’re sharing with people for the very first time.”

John described the programming as being very unique.

The secret believers

“We have programs for teens, a program that reaches directly to refugees, and a morning program we keep a little more light as we try to encourage them and draw a much larger audience into our radio.”

Voice of Hope also provides a lifeline to the many ‘secret believers’ who for obvious reasons can’t declare their faith. John said you don’t need to travel far to find those who need to conceal their belief.

“Even 25 miles from where our radio station broadcasts from. It’s a very different world in Damascus where a lot of the churches were destroyed.”

“People wouldn’t want to be seen going to church in Syria at the moment.”

But they can turn on the radio that’s with them twenty-four-seven.

“It’s there in the night season when fear comes in, or you can’t sleep or you’re ill and someone’s there on the radio and they’re praying for the sick.”

“They’re encouraging people to take hope and reading the Word of God that brings a lot of peace and hope to people’s lives,” John shared, confirming their listeners who are practicing their Christian faith in secret.

‘It is the Voice of Hope’

But the Voice of hope is not a secret by any means.

“It’s broadcasts very boldly and reaches so many people on the AM dial.”

That ‘so many’ may seem few when you consider the forty million people who inhabit the Christian station’s reach – a statistic not lost on John Tayloe.

The high-powered AM radio broadcast is one of the strongest radio signals in the entire Middle East.

“It is the Voice of Hope. It was engineered very carefully and paid for by Christians in America and Canada because we believed we had to do something to lift up Christians in the Middle East and to share the Good News with as many people who could hear it.”

“The Voice of Hope is a strategic end time tool to encourage and bring people to Christ.”

 

Footnote:

John and Heather Tayloe

Strategic Communications Group’s purpose is to “reach the world, with God’s Word, through radio.” John and Heather Tayloe established Strategic Communications Group in 1998 to further their lifelong work in international gospel radio broadcasting. Today, Strategic Communication Group’s Voice of Hope’s radio stations are spreading the gospel message throughout the world. John and Heather Tayloe established Strategic Communications Group in 1998 to further their lifelong work in international gospel radio broadcasting. Heather’s father, George Otis, Sr., established VOICE OF HOPE – 945 AM radio station in South Lebanon in 1979 and broadcast until it went off the air in 2000. Seventeen years later, the Lord moved John and Heather to reestablish the VOICE OF HOPE… this time in Israel. On March 28, 2017, the VOICE OF HOPE returned to the airwaves on 1287 AM reaching Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Cyprus and Israel from our studios on the Sea of Galilee Israel.

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