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German Hope Channel Launched

German Hope Channel Launched

“The new German Hope Channel aims to impart courage and hope to those who seek it,” said Pastor Matthias Müller, manager of the Stimme der Hoffnung media center, which is located in Alsbach-Hähnlein, Germany. The new channel was officially dedicated on Ma

March 12, 2009 | Holger Teubert /CD EUD

“The new German Hope Channel aims to impart courage and hope to those who seek it,” said Pastor Matthias Müller, manager of the Stimme der Hoffnung media center, which is located in Alsbach-Hähnlein, Germany. The new channel was officially dedicated on March 6, 2009. The channel now uses the ASTRA satellite to broadcast Christian TV programs around the clock seven days a week.

When Seventh-day Adventists started recording radio programs in 1948 in the basement of a Berlin building, they deliberately named their broadcasts Stimme der Hoffnung (Voice of Hope). Müller mentioned how the name has been kept the same ever since that time. In 1948, it was especially important to build up hope from the ruins of war. Today, many people fear another global collapse, perhaps caused by the latest economic crisis, and still need a message of hope. From its first radio programming, Stimme der Hoffnung has offered its listeners a Bible correspondence course. Today, the International Bible Institute of the media center sends out approximately 20,000 Bible study questionnaires a year. “The interest [in Bible courses] clearly shows that people do try to find answers to life’s questions,” Müller stated.

In the United States, Adventists launched the Faith for Today TV program in 1950. Stimme der Hoffnung media center followed in 1966 with their first live TV broadcast. Müller pointed out that Adventists were often ahead of their time. For instance, they have played a key role in actively promoting non-smoking campaigns for more than 110 years. Governments today advocate for more protection for nonsmokers. So health-related topics are an essential part of the station’s programming. For 150 years, Adventists have warned of environmental disaster and have strongly emphasized man’s responsibility towards creation. As a result, issues such as nature and creation are also taken up in the new Hope channel’s programming. Finally, Müller stated, “Since its foundation in the 19th century, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has stood up for religious liberty, promoting respect for the beliefs and value systems of others.” Hence, religious liberty programs are also included in the Hope channel's schedule.

Stefan Fraunberger, technical director of the Stimme der Hoffnung media center, reminded us that the first television broadcasts were produced in a garage. When more space was needed, the indoor swimming pool of an old villa, which was going to be pulled down, was used as the television studio. Later, the studio was moved to the first floor of a warehouse, where the staff had to deal with extremely hot temperatures in summer and icy temperatures in winter. It was not until March 2007 that the newly erected media center in Alsbach put an end to the temporary studios.

Hope Channel Radio editor-in-chief Christian Vogel mentioned that Stimme der Hoffnung is the oldest private Christian radio station in Germany. Initially, Stimme der Hoffnung aired via Radio Luxemburg. In 1971, the first short wave radio programs were broadcasted via Radio Transeuropa from Portugal and in 1990 via Radio Moscow. A new era began when the German Hope Channel obtained its own broadcasting license in 2008. Hope Channel Radio now broadcasts 24-hour German programming via ASTRA satellite and can also be received on the Internet at www.hopechannel.de.

In his key address, Professor Wolfgang Thaenert, director of the State Broadcasting Authority for Private Radio and News Media, pointed out that his authority only granted the license and that it is now up to the new Hope Channel “to fill its broadcasts with meaningful content.”

Brad Thorp, president of Hope Channel International, stated that the worldwide Hope Channel television network actually started in 2003. Hope programming can now be heard all over the world via nine channels and seven satellites.

Hope Channel television broadcasts will continue to be received ten hours per week over the Eutelsat Hotbird. The Hope Channel Lichtblicke (Flesh of Light) series with the television station Rheinmain will continue to be broadcast on Saturdays from 16:00 – 16:30. The radio and TV program can be accessed on the Internet at www.hopechannel.de/tv/programmheft.


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