Church leaders and lay people have for years tried to get more Christmas programming on local airwaves. This year, their efforts seem to be paying off. Father Joyanto S Gomes, director of the Christian Communications Center at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Bangladesh, said this week that a Christmas program will appear on state-run television. The program, a 55-minute drama, will air on Bangladesh Television on Christmas Day. The state-run broadcaster will also feature additional holiday programming, Fr Gomes said. This is a departure from years past, where Christmas-themed programming has largely been missing from national media in the predominantly Muslim country. Fr Gomes, also the editor of the Catholic weekly Pratibeshi, said programming this year shows a change in the media’s willingness to air Christian holiday broadcasting. “Nowadays, media is alert and keen to broadcast any newsworthy stories relating to religious rituals and festivals of believers of any community in Bangladesh.” The Christmas Eucharist at St Mary’s Cathedral in Dhaka will be broadcast live tomorrow by most local television channels, and Massranga TV will air a special message from Holy Cross Archbishop Patrick D’Rozario on December 25. Other radio and television outlets also plan to air Christmas-related programming over the holiday weekend. “A 150-member Christian delegation will go to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in her residence on December 24 to convey Christmas wishes. The event will be covered by most of the print and electronic media,” said Nirmol Rozario, secretary of the Bangladesh Christian Association.