November 9th 2009
Middle East & North Africa
The Middle East consists of 14 independent countries: Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. The population is estimated at about 187 million. While the Middle East was the birthplace of Christianity, Christian communities are now declining in numbers due to low birth rates, emigration, and persecution. In most countries, Christians have freedom of worship but are strongly regulated and restricted. TWR has been preparing radio programs in this region’s languages since 1961, and they are broadcast via three powerful transmitters and many are also available on the Internet.
North Africa today is comprised of five independent countries: Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya. The population numbers over 100 million, and over sixty percent of this number are under the age of 27. There are three major people groups, from Arabic speakers to Sahraouian and Berber speakers. In most of these countries, the church must function underground, so mass media has a big impact on church growth. TWR began airing broadcasts into North Africa in 1965. Today, a powerful medium wave transmitter broadcasts into this region.