This month’s launch of Hope Channel Ukraine gives the Seventh-day Adventist Church its fourth fulltime satellite channel in Europe, along with growing Internet channels potentially laying the ground for future satellite transmissions.
The March 1 opening caps a nearly five-year application process for a license to operate. In August, Hope Channel Ukraine became the first Protestant TV channel officially granted broadcast distribution rights across the Eastern European country and former Soviet Republic.
The network can now broadcast on some 600 cable networks, potentially reaching up to 60 percent of the country’s population. There are roughly 45 million people in Ukraine.
Daniel Reband, who oversees TV production for the denomination’s Euro-Asia Division, based in Moscow, said, “Having lived under communism and experienced for many years countless obstacles to sharing our message, I can hardly believe what I am seeing.”
Hope Channel Ukraine currently operates a Ukrainian- and a Russian-language studio in the capital, Kiev, and in eight other cities.
Church members in Ukraine for years financially supported the development of the media ministry outreach, said Kandus Thorpe, Hope Channel vice president for international development. There are roughly 60,000 Adventist Church members in Ukraine.
The channel joins its three other sister satellite channels on the continent – Hope Channel Europe, based in England, Speranţa TV in Romania, and Hope Channel Germany.
The Adventist Church also operates six Internet Hope Channel broadcast channels in Europe – Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Norway and Poland.
Hope Channel Ukraine is the 14th fulltime satellite channel in the global Hope Channel network.
Hope Channel Philippines is set to launch as the network’s next satellite channel in August. The channel already operates online. Similarly, the Internet-based Hope Channel Indonesia is scheduled to also make the transition to a satellite channel later this year. Also upcoming is the launch of Hope Channel Africa.