How Radio Veritas Asia became 'voice of Christianity'

Posted at Jan 14 2015 11:07 AM | Updated as of Jan 14 2015 07:11 PM

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MANILA - In the darkest days of the dictatorship, it called itself the voice of truth.

Most Filipinos would still remember Radio Veritas as the domestic broadcaster that played a prominent and historic role in restoring Philippine democracy.

Few, however, are aware of its international arm - Radio Veritas Asia or RVA, which broadcasts evangelization as well as social and human development programs via shortwave transmissions.

Pope Pius XII first had the idea of a Church radio station for Asians to address the needs of Catholics in the region.

At a meeting in 1958, the Conference of Southeast Asian Bishops agreed to establish Radio Veritas Asia in the Philippines.

It was a strategic choice. Unlike its other Asian neighbors then, the Philippines enjoyed democratic freedoms and allowed private ownership of radio stations.

The German government of chancellor Konrad Adenauer provided funding of 13.5 million German marks. This enabled the Philippine Radio Educational and Information Center to build and operate Radio Veritas Asia. It was inaugurated in April 1969.

Radio Veritas relied on shortwave radio technology to reach audiences in remote areas in the Asia-Pacific, the Indian subcontinent and mainland China.

RVA could beam radio programs over long distances without reying on satellites.

Radioa Veritas became a virtual mini-United Nations of broadcasters. At the height of its operations from the 1970s to the turn of the century, program producers broadcast in 17 languages including Pilipino beamed to OFWs in the Middle East.

The station came to be known as the missionary of Asia and as the voice of Christianity, freedom and reconciliation.

ANC THE WORLD TONIGHT, January 13, 2015