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From Russia to Israel and Beyond, TBN Spreading the Light of the Gospel
LOS ANGELES (June 5, 2012) — From a land where the gospel was once outlawed, the good news of Jesus Christ now reaches millions of individuals and families through the television outreach of the Trinity Broadcasting Network. For nearly seventy years the communist government of the Soviet Union effectively outlawed the gospel, keeping millions of its people in spiritual darkness. So when that oppressive system crumbled in 1991, TBN founder Dr. Paul Crouch immediately began making plans to bring Christian television to the countries of the former Soviet Union.
In the years since it signed on the air, TBN Russia has expanded to a family of 24-hour inspirational networks that include Smile of a Child and the JCTV youth network in Russian, along with the newly launched TBN Shalom, a Jerusalem-based Russian language network that broadcasts Christian television to the millions of Russian Jews who have returned to Israel over the past 30 years.
“When TBN first launched in Russia, we were reduced to tears as we realized that hundreds of millions of people who had lived in spiritual darkness for generations would finally have access to Christian television,” recalled Dr. Crouch. “Today, with multiple channels across the country, and a new Russian language network broadcasting from Jerusalem, this once dark region has become a shining light for the kingdom of God.”
Igor Nikitin, director of TBN Russia, recently told Dr. Crouch of the dramatic impact the new TBN Shalom is having on the diverse people of Israel. “Since it went on the air last year, TBN Shalom has quickly impacted both the churches and the communities of Israel,” Nikitin said. “Thousands of people contact us everyday with testimonies of salvation, healing, and answers to prayer.”
Nikitin noted that TBN’s presence has had a particularly positive impact on believers in Israel. When the Shalom channel launched its own version of TBN’s popular Praise the Lord music and ministry show in late May, over 3,500 believers from all over Jerusalem packed a local amphitheater for the taping of the first show. “It was a joy to witness as Arab and Palestinian Christians joined both Russian- and Hebrew-Speaking Jews and other people of different backgrounds in worship and fellowship,” he recalled.
He said that within the next month TBN Shalom will be available in every single home in Israel. “Through cable TBN is poised to reach into every kibbutz, throughout the Golan Heights, in Palestine, everywhere — even in the surrounding areas outside Israel,” he said. “We are now able to cover the whole nation with the good news of Jesus Christ.”
But Dr. Crouch emphasized that TBN’s expansion in Israel, Russia, and throughout the world comes at a price. “While God’s gift of salvation is free to all, the work of the gospel will always cost us something in time, effort, prayer, and our finances,” he said. He noted that TBN Shalom alone requires tens of thousands of dollars a month to stay on the air.
“While this sounds like a significant sum,” he said, “I can testify that in the 40 years of this global ministry, God has never failed to raise up partners who recognize that the fields are ripe, and He is calling them to help with the harvest.”
Added TBN’s founder, “From the U.S. to Russia, to Israel, and beyond, God is moving by His Sprit. We are so thankful that he has allowed TBN and its partners around the world to be a part of His mighty kingdom plan.”
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