Radio Veritas Asia Kachin Service (RVA-KS) is one of the 15 language services broadcast to Myanmar – one of the ‘Silent Churches,’ mainly to the Kachin State. The Kachin tribes are mostly in the Kachin State. The settlements of the minority Kachin are found along the Chinese, Thai, and Indian borders.
Myanmar is predominantly a Buddhist country. It is difficult to hear the Word of God, especially in the remote areas where missionaries are not able to travel. There are many people who want to hear the Word of God and yet are unable to do so due to lack of priests and poor communication and transportation facilities.
RVA Kachin Service is able to reach the Kachin people twice daily. Moreover, according to Bishop Paul Grawng, during the annual meeting of the RVA Kachin Service in Myitkyina, Myanmar in 2001, “RVA Kachin Service is the only radio station that could reach the people and give them religious information, guide them on moral principles, and promote human development as well.” RVA Kachin Service is aired daily in the morning from 7:30 to 7:55 and in the evening from 8:30 to 8:55, Philippine standard time. The total broadcast time is approximately 50 minutes. The program broadcasts every morning on the frequency 9.545 (MHZ) 31 meter band and every evening on the frequency 15.225 (MHZ) 19 meter band.
It was with the efforts of Fr. Murphy, a Columban missionary priest to Myanmar, that the Kachin Service was realized. Fr. Murphy stayed for eight years in Burma, where the Catholic population is the second largest in the Kachin State. After his eight years of service in Burma, he was appointed as the President of the Vatican TV and Radio programs. This was how the Kachin Service all began. An endearing relationship between the people of the Kachin tribes and Fr. Murphy eventually led to the inclusion of the Kachin Service in RVA.
Fr. Murphy discussed this desire with Bishop Howe, the first Bishop of the Myitkyina Diocese in Myanmar. Bishop Howe and Fr. Murphy agreed that Kachin Service be broadcast through RVA. Bishop Howe, with Fr. Murphy and Bishop Paul Zing Htung Grawng (then the bishop of Myitkyina Diocese), sought and received the approval of the Bishops of Myanmar for the proposal. An application was then sent to Cardinal Sin who was then the head of RVA, as well as the Catholic Church in the Philippines. The Cardinal accepted the application and approved the Catholic broadcast to Myanmar and to the neighboring countries of China, India, and Thailand. This momentous day was on August 20, 1982.