by Fr. Nicolas Makolo, SVD
Given that spreading the Good News in Kinshasa is a priority, the Divine Word Missionaries have been committed for the past 21 years to producing media transmissions called Verbum Bible Emissions on Catholic Television and Catholic Radio in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. Bearing in mind the importance of the means of social communication in the new evangelization, the biblical emissions have the objective of furnishing Christians, both Catholics and non-Catholics, with the necessary tools for reading and interpreting the Bible.
Kinshasa is the Capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo and has a population of about 8 million, of whom 90% are Christians. Catholics represent 50% of the populace of Kinshasa. Since 1990, with the coming of democracy and the influx of the means of social communication, the so-called evangelical churches and sects have multiplied in the capital. There are thousands of such churches and sects in Kinshasa and some of them even have their own television channels and radio stations from which they propagate their teachings.
In most cases, the preachers on TV and radio have little, if any, biblical formation. For us, as the Catholic Church, or better put, as Divine Word Missionaries, we see this as a great challenge. Our biblical emissions are in part a response to this challenge.
We are concerned with and focused on the formation of our Christians in the Word of God and want to help them pray from and with the Bible.
The Verbum Bible Emissions has produced a total of ten programmes which have been transmitted on Catholic Radio and Catholic Television in Kinshasa as well as other TV channels and radio stations in the Capital and the rest of the country. The emissions are produced in French and Lingala (one of the languages spoken in the whole country) and some are also translated into Kikongo (another local language) where some Divine Word Missionaries minister, especially in the province of Bandundu. Some of the program titles include Beliefs of Today; The Bible, a Page, a Word; Bible Sharing; and Bible Reading on Radio.
Director’s Note: Please pray for the continued effectiveness of using various communication platforms to spread the Gospel message to all people.