View Full Version : Danish TV Spreads Christendom to Turkey

Friday, June 24th, 2005, 05:44 AM
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Danish TV Spreads Christendom to Turkey

With support from the pentecostal movement a Danish TV station is setting up the first tv channel. Turks' good reception of the programs will send a reform-friendly signal to the EU, experts say.

Now the Turks won't have to wonder any more what the Bible says.

Starting on New Year's a christian danish tv-channel will send missions-tv to Turkey four and a half hours a day. The broadcasts will deal with Christendom and Christian culture and covers talkshows and tv-dramas to musicprograms and kids tv.

It all happens in Turkish, and all Turks with satellite tv will be able to watch along.

Christian Message

"We're interested in spreading the Christian message in Copenhagen, Denmark and the whole world, as far as the resources allow. That's the vision," says Tore Pansell, director for the tv-station KKR/tv in Copenhagen which stands behind the broadcasts.

100 years ago 22 percent of Turkey was Christian. Today it's 0.2 percent. Christendom is held back in Turkey, but there are still some Christians in the country, and we want to encourage and help them as well as present the gospel and the Christian message to Turkey's citizens," he says.

First Christian channel

The Christian tv-channel will be the first of its kind in Turkey, where between 97 and 99 percent of the 70 million Turks are muslim, and where several muslim tv-channels already exist. So just how will the Turks take to the new Christian tv-channel?

"Many won't care, since there's already been so many private tv-channels," believes Dietrich Jung, senior researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies. But the channel will likely be able to get orthodox muslims and Turkish nationalists out of their chairs, he says. On the other hand the channel has good value as a signal in respect to the EU.

"Turkey is showing that media pluralism is possible and that it can also allow itself to set up a Christian channel. It's a hard requirement from the EU's side. In that sense it's a sign showing that they're willing to carry out reforms. And it's a development you can consider normal since Turkey wants to join the EU.

"But on the other hand EU-opposers will also be able to use it as nationalistic anti-EU propaganda," he says.

Pentecostalist Collections

The tv-station is running around for money collected by the pentecostal movements in Scandinavia and England. It's being established because a group of Christian organisations in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark have expressed desires to see a Christian channel in Turkey for a long time, Tore Pansell relates.

The tv-station will be based in the city Ephesus with a long-term goal of expanding broadcast time to 24 hours a day.

"We aren't naive. We know that some will be mad. Others will think it's interesting. In one year, I want to be able to give viewers the opportunity to call and mail in during broadcast. That could be interesting," says Tore Pansell.

"It's good if Turkey accepts the Christian programs and if both sides are open for each other. The result will be an interesting dialogue between Muslim and Christian groups in Turkey," he believes.