A series of radio programmes about the life of Jesus is giving hope to hundreds of Hindu children and orphans as well as victims of poverty and domestic violence.
stations have begun broadcasting Christian programmes in 2013, written by
Catholics and Protestants.
The best known
is Balbatika, children's programme
produced by Nepali Catholics.
In a few months,
the show reached considerable success and many listeners, especially children, wrote
to the radio with their stories about changes in their life thanks to the radio.
"I come from a
Hindu family," wrote Laxmi Gandharva, a 10-year-old girl from Rupandehi District
"I was two years
old when my father died. My mother is very religious and fasts twice a week. Despite
her prayers, our life has not changed. Stories about our family made me very
sad. I might be little but I do under understand how serious the situation is."
Laxmi met some
Catholic children, she said, and went to Mass, which she calls "Sunday
my mother punished me when she found out and forbade me from going to church," she
"One day, as
I tried to change channels on the radio, I turned the dial to Balbatika, a programme whose songs I recognised
because I had heard them during Mass. So, I decided to listen to the whole show,"
she said. "I learnt this way that Jesus loves children and I realised that I
want to love him and obey his teachings."
that for now I cannot go to church, but I decided that when I'm older I'll go,"
she noted. "I think that one day my mother will understand. I ask you to pray
has helped me know Jesus and pushed me to go regularly to Sunday school [i.e. Mass],"
wrote another listener, Bikas Pariyar, in an e-mail to the radio. "These
meetings taught me to be obedient towards my elders and love my enemies."
Carried by both state
owned Radio Nepal and private Kantipur Radio, Atmik Abhiyan is a programme aimed at adult listeners that includes
prayers and passages from the Gospels that provide spiritual support to the
Until a few
years ago, "despite the fall of the monarchy such a programme would have
been unthinkable," said Tara Singh Kathayat, director of the group that hosts
past, we tried several times to propose programmes," he explained, "but the
authorities turned down our requests because we are Christians."
establishment of a secular state and religious freedom in the country has given
Christians a chance to have their own radio shows.
efforts have paid off and now our programmes have become very popular
throughout the country with listeners of all ages," Singh said.
Because of the
success of the programmes on the life of Jesus, over the next few months the
Catholic Church plans to set up its own media centre, a radio station, and a
website. It will also publish a newsletter.