Every Tuesday in a small studio in Moscow, Oleg sits down with 3 non-Christian students to read the Bible and talk about their reactions on air.
How this program got started is quite a story.
A Love for Radio
Oleg grew up with a love for media, and for radio especially. As someone who struggled with blindness, he found solace in listening to the radio, and later in producing audio programs.
After becoming a Christian and working in various different jobs, Oleg got a job working on a radio program at a secular station, launching a radio internship program with several students from a secular university.
Eventually, Oleg left the job and joined FEBC Russia at the beginning of 2016.
He thought the interns would lose interest —these were secular students, why would they want to intern at a Christian radio station? So he was surprised when he got a call from several former students, asking if they could intern at FEBC.
“You don’t understand,” he said, “this is a Christian radio program and you are atheists, you will have to be ok with talking about Christianity.”
The students and university were surprisingly unfazed and said they were fine with it. Oleg was pleasantly surprised, and quickly thought of a way to get them involved.
Reading the Bible with Non-Christians
What formed was a radio program centered on honest opinions and open discussion about the Bible.
Each week Oleg sits down with 3 students and discusses a certain section of the Bible that they read before the program. All of the students have had very little exposure to Christianity, so they start at the beginning in the Old Testament, then the New Testament and just recently read through the Sermon on the Mount passages in the Gospels.
Oleg feels that there is a lack of programming in Russia centered on a dialogue with one another, but that Russian desperately want these types of broadcasts. Speaking on the audience and style of the radio program he hosts, Oleg says, “They just want someone to talk to them and talk with them. That’s where we married the Internet with talk radio.”
On a recent program in which the woman at the well was being discussed, one of our students said, “Man, this Jesus, He always surprises me. The things He’s doing are totally unexpected; it’s not what I would think to do.”
Oleg chuckled and said, “We share a few things in common here—He surprises me just as much, in fact, He’s been surprising me for the last 30 years of my Christian life. And that’s a great place to start.”
Growing a Younger Audience
With the loss of some of our AM broadcast licenses due to the newest government restrictions, it could be seen as a step back, but broadcasters like Oleg are looking towards the growing Internet audience. These are the types of new programs that are on the horizon for FEBC Russia.
“Right now the audience is not as large as we’d like it to be, but the people who are online are 20, 30, 40 years old and they are the internet generation. They want a personal touch, and programs that are conversational.”
Programs like these prepare atheists, seekers and non-believers for conversations with Christians, and in the long-term: salvation.