Televangelism is the use of media radio and television, to communicate Christianity. Televangelists are Christian ministers, whether official or self-proclaimed, who devote a large portion of their ministry to television broadcasting; some televangelists are regular pastors or ministers in their own places of worship, but the majority of their followers come from their TV and radio audiences. Others do not have a conventional congregation as such and work through television; the term is used derisively by critics as an insinuation of aggrandizement by such ministers. Televangelism began as a uniquely American phenomenon, resulting from a deregulated media where access to television networks and cable TV is open to anyone who can afford it, combined with a large Christian population, able to provide the necessary funding, it became popular among Evangelical Protestant audiences, whether independent or organized around Christian denominations. However, the increasing globalisation of broadcasting has enabled some American televangelists to reach a wider audience through international broadcast networks, including some that are Christian in nature, such as Trinity Broadcasting Network and The God Channel.
Domestically produced televangelism is present in some other nations such as Brazil. Some countries have a more regulated media with either general restrictions on access or specific rules regarding religious broadcasting. In such countries, religious programming is produced by TV companies rather than private interest groups; the word televangelism is a portmanteau of television and evangelism and it was coined in 1958 as the title of a television miniseries by the Southern Baptist Convention. Jeffrey K. Hadden and Charles E. Swann have been credited with popularising the word in their 1981 survey Prime Time Preachers: The Rising Power of Televangelism. However, the term televangelist was employed by Time magazine in 1952, when telegenic Roman Catholic Bishop Fulton Sheen was referred to as the "first televangelist". An association of American Evangelical Protestant religious broadcasters, the National Religious Broadcasters, was founded in 1944. Christianity has always emphasized preaching the gospel to the whole world, taking as inspiration the Great Commission.
This was achieved by sending missionaries, beginning with the Dispersion of the Apostles, after the invention of the printing press, included the distribution of Bibles and religious tracts. Some Christians realized that the rapid uptake of radio beginning in the 1920s provided a powerful new tool for this task, they were amongst the first producers of radio programming. Radio broadcasts were seen as a complementary activity to traditional missionaries, enabling vast numbers to be reached at low cost, but enabling Christianity to be preached in countries where this was illegal and missionaries were banned; the aim of Christian radio was to both convert people to Christianity and to provide teaching and support to believers. These activities continue today in the developing world. Shortwave radio stations with a Christian format broadcast worldwide, such as HCJB in Quito, Family Radio's WYFR, the Bible Broadcasting Network, among others. In the U. S. the Great Depression of the 1930s saw a resurgence of revival-tent preaching in the Midwest and South, as itinerant traveling preachers drove from town to town, living off donations.
Several preachers began radio shows as a result of their popularity. One of the first ministers to use radio extensively was S. Parkes Cadman, beginning in 1923. By 1928, Cadman had a weekly Sunday afternoon radio broadcast on the NBC radio network, his powerful oratory reaching a nationwide audience of five million persons. Aimee Semple McPherson was another pioneering tent-revivalist who soon turned to radio to reach a larger audience. Radio gave her nationwide notoriety in the 1920s and 1930s and she built one of the earliest Pentecostal megachurches. In the 1930s, a famous radio evangelist of the period was Roman Catholic priest Father Charles Coughlin, whose anti-Communist and antisemitic radio programs reached millions of listeners. Other early Christian radio programs broadcast nationwide in the U. S. beginning in the 1920s–1930s include: Bob Jones, Sr. Ralph W. Sockman, G. E. Lowman and the Spoken Word, The Lutheran Hour, Charles E. Fuller. Time magazine reported in 1946 that Rev. Ralph Sockman's National Radio Pulpit on NBC received 4,000 letters weekly and Roman Catholic archbishop Fulton J. Sheen received between 3,000–6,000 letters weekly.
The total radio audience for radio ministers in the U. S. that year was estimated to be 10 million listeners. Although television began in the 1930s, it was not used for religious purposes until the early 1950s. Jack Wyrtzen and Percy Crawford switched to TV broadcasting in the Spring of 1949. Another television preacher of note was Fulton J. Sheen, who switched to television in 1951 after two decades of popular radio broadcasts and whom Time called "the first'televangelist'". Sheen would win numerous Emmy Awards for his program that ran from the early 1950s, until the late 1960s. After years of radio broadcasting in 1952 Rex Humbard became the first to have a weekly church service broadcast on television. By 1980 the Rex Humbard programs spanned the globe across 695 stations in 91 languages and to date the largest coverage of any evangelistic pro
A missionary is a member of a religious group sent into an area to proselytize or perform ministries of service, such as education, social justice, health care, economic development. The word "mission" originates from 1598 when the Jesuits sent members abroad, derived from the Latin missionem, meaning "act of sending" or mittere, meaning "to send"; the word was used in light of its biblical usage. The term is most used for Christian missions, but can be used for any creed or ideology. A Christian missionary can be defined as "one, to witness across cultures"; the Lausanne Congress of 1974, defined the term, related to Christian mission as, "to form a viable indigenous church-planting movement". Missionaries can be found in many countries around the world. In the Bible, Jesus is recorded as instructing the apostles to make disciples of all nations; this verse is referred to by Christian missionaries as the Great Commission and inspires missionary work. The Christian Church expanded throughout the Roman Empire in New Testament times and is said by tradition to have reached further, to Persia and to India.
During the Middle Ages, the Christian monasteries and missionaries such as Saint Patrick, Adalbert of Prague propagated learning and religion beyond the European boundaries of the old Roman Empire. In 596, Pope Gregory the Great sent the Gregorian Mission into England. In their turn, Christians from Ireland and from Britain became prominent in converting the inhabitants of central Europe. During the Age of Discovery, the Catholic Church established a number of missions in the Americas and in other Western colonies through the Augustinians and Dominicans to spread Christianity in the New World and to convert the Native Americans and other indigenous people. About the same time, missionaries such as Francis Xavier as well as other Jesuits, Augustinians and Dominicans reached Asia and the Far East, the Portuguese sent missions into Africa. Emblematic in many respects is Matteo Ricci's Jesuit mission to China from 1582, peaceful and non-violent; these missionary movements should be distinguished from others, such as the Baltic Crusades of the 12th and 13th centuries, which were arguably compromised in their motivation by designs of military conquest.
Much contemporary Catholic missionary work has undergone profound change since the Second Vatican Council of 1962-1965, with an increased push for indigenization and inculturation, along with social justice issues as a constitutive part of preaching the Gospel. As the Catholic Church organizes itself along territorial lines and had the human and material resources, religious orders, some specializing in it, undertook most missionary work in the era after the collapse of the Roman Empire in the West. Over time, the Holy See established a normalized Church structure in the mission areas starting with special jurisdictions known as apostolic prefectures and apostolic vicariates. At a stage of development these foundations are raised to regular diocesan status with a local bishops appointed. On a global front, these processes were accelerated in the 1960s, in part accompanying political decolonization. In some regions, they are still in course. Just as the Bishop of Rome had jurisdiction in territories considered to be in the Eastern sphere, so the missionary efforts of the two 9th-century saints Cyril and Methodius were conducted in relation to the West rather than the East, though the field of activity was central Europe.
The Eastern Orthodox Church, under the Orthodox Church of Constantinople undertook vigorous missionary work under the Roman Empire and its successor the Byzantine Empire. This had lasting effects and in some sense is at the origin of the present relations of Constantinople with some sixteen Orthodox national churches including the Romanian Orthodox Church, the Georgian Orthodox and Apostolic Church, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church; the Byzantines expanded their missionary work in Ukraine after the mass baptism in Kiev in 988. The Serbian Orthodox Church had its origins in the conversion by Byzantine missionaries of the Serb tribes when they arrived in the Balkans in the 7th century. Orthodox missionaries worked among the Estonians from the 10th to the 12th centuries, founding the Estonian Orthodox Church. Under the Russian Empire of the 19th century, missionaries such as Nicholas Ilminsky moved into the subject lands and propagated Orthodoxy, including through Belarus, Moldova, Estonia and China.
The Russian St. Nicholas of Japan took Eastern Orthodoxy to Japan in the 19th century; the Russian Orthodox Church sent missionaries to Alaska beginning in the 18th century, including Saint Herman of Alaska, to minister to the Native Americans. The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia continued missionary work outside Russia after the 1917 Russian Revolution, resulting in the establishment of many new dioceses in the diaspora, from which numerous converts have been made in Eastern Europe, North America, Oceania. Early Protestant missionaries included John Eliot and contemporary ministers