“Smartphones can be turned into a tool for showing Christ’s love to refugees”

Trans World Radio developed a mobile app to share “the hope of Christ” with refugees. It can be downloaded in Arabic, Farsi and Dari.

Evangelical Focus

Trans World Radio · VIENNA · 20 OCTOBER 2016 · 12:53 CET

Syrian refugees at a refugee camp in Athens. / TWR,trw, app, mobile
Syrian refugees at a refugee camp in Athens. / TWR

How can Christian ministries reach out to refugees through smartphones? This is a question that Trans World Radio (TWR) has been trying to answer this year.

The radio ministry specializes in developing and distributing audio media content “that brings the Hope of Christ to people around the world in their mother languages”. They have traditionally worked through radio, and continue to use this medium as their primary outreach, while also moving into newer forms of media such as smartphone apps.

“TWR wants to reach out to refugees, and to partner with other Christian organizations in doing so. Even within Europe, it can be difficult to minister to refugees, due to language/culture differences, complicated asylum procedures, and the sheer number of refugees. However, smartphones are indispensable for many of them. What if smartphones can be turned into a tool for showing Christ’s love to refugees?”, they say.

Therefore, TWR has developed its Refugee Media Ministry, which reaches out to refugees primarily through the “Refugee Bridge” smartphone app.


A power bank with the QR code to the app website. / TWR

“Any refugee who has an Android smartphone can download this app and instantly access audio programs in Arabic, Farsi, and Dari. (Funds have been secured to develop an iOS version for iPhones as well.) They have been hard at work the last few months to add carefully chosen content and improve the user experience, and now the app is ready, with nine audio programs and over 330 episodes!”

These programs have been selected for their use in addressing the trauma and other difficulties that refugees face in Europe, “as well as speaking of the only true hope—Jesus Christ.”

New episodes are added every week for many programs, so that refugees always have something new to look forward to on the app.

This app is envisioned as a tool in reaching refugees with hope-giving messages in their mother languages.


Syrian refugees at a refugee camp in Athens. / TWR

“We encourage anyone to download the app and tell refugees and refugee workers about it. It is easy to access with an Android phone, by searching ‘Refugee Bridge’ in the app store, or visiting the app’s website and clicking on the banner to download the app”. Arabic and Farsi/Dari promotional cards are also available for those who would like to print them out.

“Together, Christians can show Christ’s love to refugees, using the very smartphones in their pockets!”, the developers say.

Learn more about the “Refugee Bridge” mobile phone app here. You can contact the producers throught the email refugeebridge@twr.org.

This piece was written with information provided by Francisco Alves.

Published in: Evangelical Focus - life & tech - “Smartphones can be turned into a tool for showing Christ’s love to refugees”