Friday, May 18, 2012

AWR Begins Armenian Broadcasts

by Shelley Nolan Freesland
AWR Communication Director

AWR has begun broadcasting programs in the Armenian language, through two FM stations. Programs featuring spiritual, health, family, and children’s topics are being carried on Radio Ardzaganq, in the capital city of Yerevan, and Radio Mig, in the city of Vanadzor. Both stations are repeating the programs a second time during the day at almost no charge.

Located at the foot of Mount Ararat, Armenia is the oldest official Christian country in the world. The country has a population of about 2.5 million people, of which only 801 are Adventist church members.

“Many of the young people are moving to the capital for jobs and education, and the nation is facing hard economic times, especially in the villages and small towns,” says Vigen Khachatryan, Media Center director of the Transcaucasus Union Mission. “Radio programs can help the church’s outreach efforts in Armenia, because the most traditional Christian people in the world are more open to the gentle message from media than from so‐called ‘sectarians’.”

This is the first time that official Adventist radio programs will be heard in Armenia. (Years ago, a church member from the United States – Daniel Kaffenberger – was supporting radio in Vanadzor.) Production is taking place in a studio built by AWR. The studio director, Knarik Petrosyan, is a student at Yerevan State University; the team includes businessman Tigran Stepanyan, who is working as a presenter and programmer, as well as a whole family, the Mkhitaryans. Hovik is a journalist, while his wife, Gegecik, is a teacher; their son, Joseph, is 10 years old. The family has broadcasting experience from their involvement with the earlier radio work in Vanadzor.

“The most challenging problems in Armenia are smoking, alcohol, decrease of family values, atheism, and poverty,” Khachatryan says. “Our programs will offer hope, help in overcoming secularism, more complete family principles, assistance with stopping smoking and drinking, and more.”

Within the next few months, the programs will also be available on the web: on demand at, and as podcasts through and iTunes. Online access is particularly valuable, as there are more than four million Armenians living outside of their home country.

(Press Release)

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