Religious Broadcasting Making Waves ; with More Than a Dozen Popular Ministries, Colorado Springs Is the Capital of Christian Radio

Article excerpt

When people from Mexico City to Moscow tune in to Christian radio, chances are they are hearing the gospel according to Colorado Springs.

More than a dozen ministries based in Colorado Springs produce radio programs aired around the world, making this an international center of the expanding Christian broadcasting industry.

The area's most prolific ministry is Focus on the Family, which produces seven radio programs, including the daily "Focus on the Family" show.

Other ministries based in Colorado Springs such as HCJB World Radio, which stands for Heralding Christ Jesus' Blessings, and The Christian and Missionary Alliance denomination produce foreign- language programs heard on radio and short-wave receivers.

The city also is home to World by 2000, a cooperative venture between HCJB and three other international radio ministries headquartered elsewhere.

Founders of World by 2000 hope to produce Christian programming in each of the world's 360 major language groups so that every person in the world can hear its gospel message before the millenium (millennium) ends.

Christian radio once was home only to screaming preachers and hellfire-and-damnation sermons.

But contemporary religious broadcasting now includes a variety of well-produced programming, from talk shows that explore contemporary issues to music programs featuring slick Christian pop and rock.

Religious programming is now the third most common radio format in the nation behind country and adult contemporary formats, according to The New York Times.

Nearly one in 10 American stations identified their programming as "religious."

Today, America's "electronic church" includes more than 1,200 radio stations and 275 TV stations that devote all or most of their broadcasting to Christian programs, according to information compiled by the National Religious Broadcasters, which just celebrated its 50th anniversary. …