Trinity Broadcasting Network, the world’s largest religious broadcaster, announced that it has installed nearly 100 Direct-to-Home (DTH) satellite dishes in scores of small villages in central Russia, resulting in the launch of at least 80 churches in the largely Muslim area.
While TBN Russia operates six major Christian networks that are available to viewers throughout the country via cable and satellite, many remote areas of Russia are without a Christian witness. As it has done in India, the Middle East, and elsewhere, TBN is investing generously to get DTH satellite systems installed throughout central Russia, enabling many remote villages to receive Christian programming for the first time.
“Our people in Russia travel to these small villages,” explained TBN founder and President Dr. Paul Crouch, “where they install the satellite dishes in community centers and other places where people in the area come together. It’s a major event in some of these communities, and the presence of Christian television is bringing hope to areas where severe oppression has ruled for decades.”
Igor Nikitin, head of TBN Russia, said that in some cases entire villages will come together at a local cultural center where a satellite has been installed to watch Praise the Lord, TBN’s signature music and talk program, or one of the many Christian ministries that provide Bible teaching and worship on the network. “TBN has become church to many of these villages where Islam is predominant,” he explained, “and one of the most effective voices presenting the message of Jesus Christ. ”
One woman in a small Russian village said it is difficult for her and her family to stop watching TBN because of the positive impact it has on them and the community. “It helps us study God’s Word on a deeper level,” she said. “The Word is healing us, and making us wiser and stronger.”
Nikitin recalled the story of one blind village woman who received her sight during a TBN broadcast with Benny Hinn. “TBN is bringing life to these villages,” he said. “Hope is evident where it never existed before.”
Dr. Crouch noted that beyond the villages of central Russia, TBN has begun to receive requests for its networks in prisons in Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, and Uzbekistan. “Prison officials in those countries have seen the difference Christian television makes in the lives of inmates,” he said. “We simply cannot turn down these requests for the only message that can set people free.”
He added that as TBN prepares to celebrate its 40th year as the leader in Christian broadcasting, new and exciting doors are opening to extend the network’s reach. “Opportunities we’ve prayed and toiled over for decades are becoming reality,” he said. “Countries, peoples, and institutions that have been antagonistic to the gospel are asking us to come. We’re thankful for these open doors, and we ask God to continue sending us partners who will help us in this monumental, end-time harvest.”