Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), commenced as a dream, a response to Scripture mandate to share Christ to all peoples in all corners of the world. The focus was in the Asian continent: to proclaim His truth from the housetops through the airwaves. The dream was doused with urgency in the horror that engulfed the continent after the Second World War. Throughout the vastness of China and its southern neighbors Vietnam, Korea and Burma, the evil of Communism shook the foundations of human dignity. This colossal threat, was known in history to have have methodically, but brutally destroyed millions of lives, curtailed all practices of freedom and crushed all attempts to live the Christian faith. With governments opposed to basic human dignity, Christ was the people’s only hope and His voice was to reach them through the marvel and power of radio.
Response of the Church in Asia
In 1958, the dream was brought before an assembly of 100 bishops from Asia and Australia at the central seminary of the University of Santo Tomas in Manila. This idea was eventually approved and accepted with the concurrence of The Holy See. Pope Pius XII has a continental Catholic radio station in Asia. After his death, the idea was carried out by His Holiness Pope John XXIII, who sent Papal delegate Gregory Peter XV and Cardinal Agagianian to discuss the challenges of Communism to the Church in Asia.
The Philippines, the only Catholic country in Asia nearest to China, was to be the host of this radio facility. Cardinal Rufino Santos, who was then the Archbishop of Manila, agreed to the task. In 1961, a legal body for Radio Veritas was created in Manila. This was the Philippine Radio Educational and Information Center (PREIC) which provided the legal status for RVA.
In 1970 Pope Paul VI inaugurated RVA in Manila with these words: "This great enterprise and such an important work should echo the teachings of Christ and lift hearts to God's truth and love." Pope John Paul II’s visit to the station in 1981 yet again sealed the relevance of the shortwave station for the Church's task of evangelization by his description of RVA as the "voice of Asian Christianity." And in "Ecclesia in Asia," the Pope in 1999 referred to Radio Veritas as an "excellent instrument of mission."
God’s generosity was experienced in realizing this project because the German Church came forward to help the Asian Bishops to great dream. On October 11, 1960, Conference, the Chancellor of Germany, Konrad Adenauer committed in realizing this dream project of Radio Veritas Asia. On the part of the Church, the following promised financial support: the Propagation of the Faith; the Bishops’ Conference of Germany; the Archdiocese of Cologne; the mission aid societies Missio, Misereor, Aid to the Church in Need, and the Holy Childhood Association.
Some of Asian Bishops’ Conferences also expressed their solidarity for this great missionary venture. Thus Bishops Conferences of Japan, Korea and Thailand land forward to support this venture. To house the production studios, the Archdiocese of Manila allocated a property in Fairview, Quezon City. The Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) was established on the historic visit of Pope Paul VI in Manila in 1970. From then on, the responsibility for the station was entrusted to this collegial body of Bishops in Asia. This would be realized through the FABC Office of Social Communication. Its Board of five Bishops and Executive Secretary had been at the helm of planning and helping secure finances for running the station.
RVA and Technological Revolution
In today’s technology-driven world, the Radio apostolate cannot afford to lag behind. Streaming programs was introduced at the turn of the millennium, making programs accessible to the migrants in Diaspora countries anytime and anywhere, through the marvel of internet and other digital modalities. In 2007, RVA digitalized its production facilities paving the way to shift some of the languages, where it is politically stable, to their language areas. Furthermore, this development ushered the possibility for most programs to be produced in the native areas and sent to RVA studios through Internet.