Christian radio in the Solomon Islands

( [email protected] ) Apr 20, 2004 01:18 PM EDT

HONIARA, SOLOMON ISLANDS: The newest Christian radio in the South Pacific Islands began broadcasting in the Solomon Islands at Easter. "Gud Nius Redio"(Pidgin for Good New Radio) is broadcasting on 89.4FM in the main town, Honiara. It's the first Christian station in the nation and has been established by UCB Pacific Partners with equipment and technical help from HCJB World Radio.

The Solomon Islands is a diverse nation of 400,000 people, speaking 67 distinct languages and living mostly in rural villages scattered across 900 islands and atolls, to the east of Papua New Guinea. It is particularly well known for the fierce fighting on Guadalcanal during World War 2. The country is emerging from five years of ethnic tension and violence that has seem much of the infrastructure destroyed and country brought to financial collapse. While law and order is being restored with the intervention of a foreign police and military force, recovery is slow and the people continue to suffer.

"We have started the station with Christian music and we're keen to develop local ministry programs in Pidgin as soon as possible,"said Graham Carter, Chief Executive of UCB Pacific Partners. This has particular urgency as the people struggle to overcome past hurts and injustices, and rebuild their country. We have an important opportunity to present the love and peace of God to this troubled nation."

According to Graham Carter, "Gud Nius Redio"has local people with the skills needed to make effective ministry programs, but daily power black-outs pose a problem. "Different parts of town go without power for 2 to 5 hours at different times each day, even the hospital is affected! We need to raise the funds for a generator so we can be sure our local programs are going to air when they are supposed to."

UCB Pacific Partners has a nationwide radio license and is planning to establish a local shortwave service to bring Christian programming to the rural people in the remote and primitive villages.

UCB Pacific Partners was previously known as Pacific Partners in some countries and as UCB Pacific in others. It is part of the UCB International family of Christian broadcasters and has radio stations in the Kingdom of Tonga and Vanuatu (New Hebrides) as well as in the Solomon Islands.