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Tags: ukraine | russia | christian radio | ministry | odesa | music

Anti-Russian Language Law Hits Ukraine Christian Radio

microphone and sound board in a radio studio
(Viorel Dudau/Dreamstime)

By    |   Tuesday, 06 September 2022 10:41 PM EDT

A Christian radio station based in Odesa, Ukraine, is moving out of the country to avoid running afoul of a new law imposed over the war: No Russian-language music.

There are a few exceptions to the law imposed in response to the Feb. 24 invasion of Vladimir Putin's forces: classics by composers such as Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich and modern composers who have condemned the war.

As Christianity Today reports, however, the majority of contemporary worship songs in Ukraine are in Russian, including those written by Ukrainians.

"I don't want our staff busted on the air for reading the Bible in Russian," Dan Johnson, president of Christian Radio for Russia, which operates New Life Radio, told Christianity Today. "We were expecting bombs to wreck our radio operations, but it turned out to be this law."

About 65% of the station's airtime is music, and its focus is Russian speakers.

Johnson previously worked in Russia, broadcasting a radio ministry from 1996 to 2006 in Magadan before he was kicked out. He continued his satellite-based network in Moscow until 2019, when he moved to Odesa to escape repression.

Now, he says, he will move the satellite and internet-based station to Budapest, Hungary, which has a sizable Russian Christian population and has welcomed his ministry.

He is also raising funds to build a Ukrainian-language station in Odesa.

"There isn't a government in the world that can stop the gospel," Johnson said. "We will pivot and move on as always."

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Politics
A Christian radio station based in Odesa, Ukraine, is moving out of the country to avoid running afoul of a new law imposed over the war: No Russian-language music.
ukraine, russia, christian radio, ministry, odesa, music
245
2022-41-06
Tuesday, 06 September 2022 10:41 PM
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