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 More TV, radio channels turn to all-Jesus format

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On radio and TV, on cable and satellite, evangelicals have become a 24-hour-a-day presence with preaching, music, entertainment, talk and news.
But polls show the programs may be more effective at fortifying the faithful than converting the skeptics. The number of non-Christian listeners to Christian radio has dropped by a third since 1992.

The growth in the number of religious stations has been marked: Of 13,838 radio stations in the United States, 2,014 are religious stations, according to Arbitron Inc., the media research company. That's up from 1,089 stations among 12,840 in 1998, according to Arbitron. Salem Communications Corp., of Camarillo, Calif., the biggest owner of Christian stations, owns 104 radio stations in the country and syndicates programming to 1,900 affiliates.

On television, Christian networks have proliferated, such as CBN (home of Pat Robertson and "The 700 Club"); the nation's largest religious network, Trinity Broadcasting; Inspiration Network; Daystar; Three Angels Broadcasting; World Harvest Television; Cornerstone Television; Praise TV; Worship Channel; Gospel Music Television; The Word Network, and FamilyNet.

The widespread use of radio, television, and now, the Internet, Goff said, is just the latest demonstration of evangelicals' grasp of technology to spread their message, building on a tradition that started in the 19th century with mass printings of religious tracts.


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