CHAPTER 1 - INTRODUCTION
In 1994, Bob Priest of Assemblies of God, Australia, developed an integrated media approach in a strategy to reach a group of Muslims in the Ultrautara area of North Pulau, Southeast Asia. The approach followed this format:
1. Islamic-style radio programs.
These programs used almost exclusively Qu’ranic material that related to either Isa, the Qu’ranic term for Jesus, or material related to the credibility of the Injil, the Qu’ranic term for the New Testament. Social programs were broadcast on alternate days. These programs related to farming and health, and were intended to broaden listenership. Listeners were invited to write into Siaran Rahasia, the title of the radio program, with questions or comments about program material. Daily comments were read over the air. Appeals were given for listeners to write in and join radio listener clubs and to receive more print material.
2. Listener Tracking System.
This was a data base of listeners who through various channels came in contact with Siaran Rahasia. Most were letters from listeners, but a few were from personal contact. The tracking system recorded personal data, dates of contact and type of contact, materials sent with dates, and other relevant material related to club activity and level of spiritual interest. Out of a population of one million Ultrautaranese Muslims, over six hundred names were on the tracking system list after two years of programming.
3. Radio Listener Club.
Though this was an informal club in that neither the ministry nor Siaran Rahasia directed the club's activities, the club did have some structure including a known contact person recognized as the club leader. Siaran Rahasia did not provide club discussion guidelines or training, yet the clubs did have a regular scheduled meeting time related to the radio airing time. Club size ranged from two to ten members with one club having over fifteen members with a formal president. Seven known clubs were active at the time of the survey, yet the data base revealed that nearly one third of the six hundred viewed themselves as club members.
4. Print Media.
When someone wrote in requesting print materials, the materials request was recorded in the data base. Some thirty-six individuals had requested print media, with some members making multiple requests. In cross comparing, many of the requests came from active listener clubs with one person requesting material for the whole club. A quarterly newsletter would be sent to the total data bank of six hundred listeners. This newsletter contained no "Christian" material, but mostly contained letters from listeners and program guides.
5. Follow up teams.
Although included in the plan, the follow up teams had yet to be implemented. Siaran Rahasia, though constrained by the lack of national and missionary staff, did succeed in applying staged media principles like those explained in Sogaard's works (Sogaard 1975, 31 and Sogaard 1993, 71). In October 1997, Frank Gray, Director of Far Eastern Broadcast Corporation, expressed a desire for Siaran Rahasia to investigate more deeply the effects of media on the listening audience. Frank Preston, as part of an ongoing interest in the area of media effects, assisted Siaran Rahasia in doing the audience research to measure attitude, knowledge, and behavioral shifts from the staged media exposure.
How can results and effectiveness of an integrated media strategy to evangelize and reach a majority Muslim group be observed in their context without compromising the outreach team? Results are defined in terms of change in behavior, change in attitude, and change in knowledge.
Importance of this Study
James Engel titles a chapter in his book, Contemporary Christian Communication, “The Great Commission or the Great Commotion” where he highlights many failed media programs by Christian ministries because of not applying commonly understood media principles (Engel 1979, 19). Engel concludes, “Ministry effectiveness must be evaluated and not simply assumed” (Engel 1979, 24).
This study not only looks at the effectiveness of a communication project, but more importantly seeks to consider the unique challenges of a Muslim decision making process and conversion of Muslims in a Muslim context. Principles and considerations noted in this paper can be useful to other media purveyors developing media initiatives in Islamic contexts.
CHAPTER 2 - REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
Conversion is a process involving the interweaving of personal, social, cultural and religious forces. (Rambo 1992,159). Yet in that process one can observe stages, steps, and interventions along the way. Viggo Sogaard likens the process to a 16-mm movie where the viewer sees a dynamic motion picture that is in reality made up of still frames arranged in a way to create a movie (Sogaard 1993, 101). Each person in a conversion process incorporates the unique social, cultural, and religious matrices in which that person is engaged (Rambo 1992, 160).
Different media channels and interventions can be employed at different stages of the individual's process depending on the need and the capabilities of the media (Sogaard 1993, 102). Even with each conversion process being unique, it does follow observable patterns (Kraft 1992, 268). Sogaard notes, "For some people their spiritual journey begins with information and knowledge, but others will begin their spiritual journey as a result of a power encounter” (Sogaard 1993, 65).
It may have a beginning stage vis-à-vis power encounter or by information, and yet the journey will move in a discernable pattern toward conversion. This precedent research will look at these patterns from six major bodies of work: Everett Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovation, Martin Fishbein’s “Theory of Reasoned Action,” Alan R. Andreasen’s work on Social Marketing, James F. Engel’s contribution to Christian communications, Viggo Sogaard’s work on strategic use of media in outreach, and contributing authors from the “Handbook of Religious Conversion” on the conversion process. Jacques Waardenburg’s writings will be cited as a means of exploring Islam’s social influence impacting the conversion process.
Diffusion of Innovations, How Messages Spread Throughout Populations
“Diffusion of innovations” is a term used to describe the process by which an innovation, whether an idea or practice, is communicated through certain channels over time among members of a social system (Rogers 1995, 5).
Innovations that are perceived as having greater relative advantage, compatibility, trialability, observability, and less complexity will be adapted more rapidly than other innovations (Rogers 1995, 16).
Mass media are seen as being able to introduce a new innovation, whereas interpersonal channels are most effective in persuading individuals to adopt a new idea.
The most effective interpersonal communication occurs among people who are homophilous (shared mutual subculture). Yet most innovations are introduced by people, called “Change Agents,” who are heterophilous (people from outside the shared subculture) making the exchange of the new idea less effective due to lack of relational connectiveness. (Rogers 1995, 19).
When an innovation is introduced, the respondent often enters into a stage of uncertainty because the innovation by nature could usurp currently held beliefs and practices.
This uncertainty will initiate an information search stage to decrease uncertainty. The new knowledge will cause the respondent to either reject an innovation, thereby maintaining previously held beliefs and practices, or conversely adopt the innovation, thereby debasing previously held beliefs or practices (Rogers 1995, 182).
Social structures will either facilitate or impede the acceptance of an innovation based upon social norms (Fishbein 1995, 248). Categories of adoptors fall into five groupings.
- Innovators constitute 2.5 % of a population
- Early Adopters, 13.5%
- Early Majority, 34%
- Late Majority, 34% and Laggards, 16% (Rogers 1995, 262).
Dominant characteristics of each category are: Innovators-venturesome, Early adopter -seek respect, Early majority-deliberate, Late majority-skeptical, and Laggards-traditional. Communication behaviors of Early Adopters and Innovators are that they have more social participation, are highly connected into interpersonal networks, have more contact with Change Agents, have greater exposure to media channels, and have a higher degree of opinion leadership (Rogers 1995, 280).
Innovators will more readily adopt a new innovation but are more often seen as deviates (i.e. anomaly) of the social norms (Engel 1977, tape #9) and have low credibility with other members of their social group (Rogers 1995, 26).
Opinion Leaders are individuals who lead in influencing other’s opinions on an innovation, and are often a subgroup of Early Adoptors. Opinion Leaders, compared to Innovators, have higher credibility with the social group, and are seen as being in the center of interpersonal communication networks in a social system (Rogers 1995, 27).
Diffusion is seen fundamentally as a social process involving interpersonal networks and social modelling by these Early Adopters (Rogers 1995, 34). Anthropologists often point out that planners and officials of “innovation change" often fail to fully consider cultural values of the adopter groups of an innovation, resulting in failed programs (Rogers 1995, 47).
In observing a successful adoption rate, Innovators are the first to adopt an innovation. Often the Opinion Leaders convey their subjective evaluations of an innovation to their network partners (Rogers 1995, 68).
A diffusion will spread among Early Adopters and then will spread more rapidly to the other adopter groups, eventually tapering off with Laggards. Rogers observes that an individual will pass through five stages in adopting an innovation (Figure 1).
Knowledge is when an individual is introduced to an innovation's existence. Persuasion is when the individual develops a positive or negative attitude toward an innovation. Decision is when the individual engages in activities that lead to a choice to adopt or reject the use of the innovation. Implementation is when the adopter puts the innovation to use. Finally, in the Confirmation stage the adopter seeks reinforcement of the decision he has made, resulting in either continuing the adoption or rejecting the decision if exposed to conflicting messages regarding the innovation (Rogers 1995, 162).
Rogers observes these five stages falling into three sequential elements: Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice.
Knowledge and attitude can be positively affected by mass media, yet practice (adoption) can be negatively affected by social norms of a given social group, thus creating a "Knowledge-Attitude-Practice" or "KAP” gap (Rogers 1995, 71).
Rogers reports comparative results in early periods of diffusion with early adopters having equal results from exposure to mass media and interpersonal media. Mass media had a broad exposure, interpersonal media had a limited exposure. Yet after early time periods, mass media eventually goes flat in impact as interpersonal media continues to increase in impact (Rogers 1995, 81).
Research also demonstrated that different communication channels play different roles at various stages in the innovation decision process (Rogers 1995, 93). There are five variables that affect the rate of adoption of an innovation. The first and most influential variable is perceived attributes which accounts for between a 49% to 87% variance in the rate of adoption. The perceived attributes are relative advantage, compatibility, degree of complexity, trialability, and observability (Rogers 1995, 206).
A second variable is the type of innovation decision making employed by the target group, such as individual, collective, or authoritative. These affect the rate of adoption as well as communication channels used to expose the target group. A third variable is the social systems reflecting the degree of social connectivity. The last variable is the extent to which Change Agents promote an innovation. (Rogers 1995, 206).
One of the perceived attributes mentioned above is compatibility, being "the degree to which an innovation is perceived as consistent with existing values" (Rogers 1995, 224).
Lack of compatibility can block adoption, in that an innovation is perceived as being inconsistent with currently held beliefs. Identifying how the innovation has aspects of compatibility is a way to overcome such resistance to adoption. For example, efforts in the development of approaches of “Contextualization” in the spreading of the Gospel (a diffusion of an innovation) has as its basis a desire to identify points of compatibility and relevance of the Gospel message to target audiences (Hesselgrave 1991, 137).
Mass media have been found to be most effective at the knowledge stage in highlighting compatibility. Interpersonal channels are most effective in the subsequent stages of adoption of an innovation. (Rogers 1995, 195)
Change Agents are persons outside a social structure who seek to alter the behavior of those in the structure by introducing an innovation. Media, Innovators and Opinion Leaders are the Change Agent's main channels of diffusion (Rogers 1995, 354).
Opinion Leaders are generally members of the Early Adopters, and are most influential in the spreading of an innovation. In the Two-Step Flow Model of diffusion, the Opinion Leader is influenced by a source, be that an Innovator or media or both. Then the Opinion Leader passes on the innovation to the next segment of population (Rogers 1995, 285). Weak link heterophily communication networks (Rogers 1995, 309) most often first introduce and spread an innovation into close knit cliques (strong link homophily networks) (Rogers 1995, 313).
Fishbein’s Theory of Reasoned Action
The Theory of Reasoned Action was developed by Martin Fishbein and Izek Ajzen in 1980. The theory states that the intention to perform a behavior is determined by the individual's attitude toward performing the behavior and the subjective norm held by the individual. Attitude is formed by feelings and beliefs. It is an individual's positive or negative feelings associated with performing a specific behavior and is directly related to the beliefs that such a behavior will lead to positive or negative outcomes.
Subjective norms are determined by an individual’s beliefs that his or her reference group thinks he/she should or should not perform a behavior, coupled with a person’s motivation to comply with this reference group (Ajzen, Fishebein 1980, 6).
Dr. James Engel points out that a change in belief will lead to changes in both attitude and intention as well as behavior itself (Engel 1979, 182). Conversely, observing a change in behavior will be an indicator of change in attitude and intention, and the belief itself (Engel tape #9, 1977). Generally speaking, in order for a person to perform a given behavior, one or more of the following must be true:
- The person has formed a strong positive intention (or made a commitment) to perform the behavior.
- There are no environmental constraints that make it impossible for the behavior to occur.
- The person has the skills necessary to perform the behavior.
- The person believes that the advantages (benefits, anticipated positive outcomes) of performing the behavior outweigh the disadvantages (costs, anticipated negative outcomes); in other words, the person has a positive attitude toward performing the behavior.
- The person perceives more social (normative) pressure to perform the behavior than to not perform the behavior.
- The person perceives that performance of the behavior is more consistent than inconsistent with his or her self image or that its performance does not violate personal standards that activate negative self-sanctions.
- The persons emotional reaction to performing the behavior is more positive than negative.
- The person perceives that he or she has the capabilities to perform the behavior under a number of different circumstances; in other words, the person has perceived self-efficacy to execute the behavior in question (Fishbein 1995, 250).
Different kinds of media interventions can be employed to effect behavioral shifts when the current behavior is based on weakly held intentions or also when the subjects have strongly held intentions but are unable to act upon those intentions (Fishbein 1995, 251).
Kraft asserts that such interventions could have small cognitive content (Kraft, 1994, 42) and should appeal to the receptor’s emotions (Kraft 1994, 56). Though the conversion decision is essentially a cognitive process, research has shown the driving force of intention has its roots in emotional needs (Rambo 1992, 166). David Hesselgrave comments on this:
“Mind is knowledge and feelings. It is something more than "mind" conceived of as the faculty by which truth or knowledge is grasped. It has reference to the way in which a people think or formulate their ideas and the way they "feel" about things (Hesselgrave 1991, 295).
From the Theory of Reasoned Action one can observe that strong beliefs can be negatively or positively impacted by subjective norms derived from the reference group. Rambo writes: The second is the centrality of ritual as a way for the convert to participate in the new religious system. Through ritual, the convert goes beyond, or even bypasses, cognitive understanding, to achieve direct experience of new beliefs and practices. Social psychologists have thus demonstrated that behavior changes can produce and consolidate changes in belief systems, reversing the common assumption that changes in beliefs precede changes in behavior" (Rambo 1992 172).
To support Rambo’s premise that ritual can be used to bypass the cognitive understanding, Jonathan Perry translates the following from the Indonesian book Metode Dawah Wali Songo (The Methods of Wali Songo in Converting People to Islam):
First was the playing of the gamelan which could be heard everywhere. It had already become a traditional Javanese custom (adat) to congregate when they hear the sound of the gamelan, especially if the sound is pleasant to hear. So, it was not surprising when the gamelan played by the wali drew a huge crowd. It is necessary to remember that the Great Mosque of Demak, which had been built by the wali was equipped with entrance archways (gapura), which symbolize forgiveness. Therefore, everyone who passed through the archways had their sins forgiven .... Besides that, in front of the mosque, on the left side, was a pool for ceremonial washing. All the archways were guarded by wali; before anyone could pass through, they were required to repeat the syahadat (Islamic confession of faith: "There is no God but Allah and Muhhamad is His prophet"), as an entrance ticket. The syahadat was, of course, taught by the wali themselves. Only after reading the syahadat, were the people allowed to pass. Before they entered the porch, they had to wash their feet in the pool, which was in front of the mosque .... Guarding the pool was a wali, who explained to the people the procedure for ceremonial cleansing .... Only then were they allowed to enter the porch of the mosque to hear the wayang and gamelan.
There they were absorbed (asyik) in listening to the stories of the dhalang, which breathed (bernafaskan) Islamic values. When one of the fixed times for prayer (dhuhur) occurred, they were all invited to pray, so that the gods (dewa) would not be angry. The procedure for prayer was taught by a wali, with all the meaningful movements. All of this was accomplished, so that the people had unwittingly learned to wash ceremonially (berwudu) and pray (bersembahyang), yet they were not told that what had been performed was Islamic ritual and that they had already entered Islam.
Day by day that atmosphere continued until, without feeling it, Javanese people came in flocks (berduyunduyun) to embrace Islam. Thus Islam entered Jawa peacefully, without compulsion. (Perry 1994, 62). Exchanging one reference group which is resistant to the new belief system and introducing a supporting reference group can create new “subjective norms” allowing weak intentions to become new behaviors. Rambo writes “As noted in relation to the encounter stage, initial participation in a religious group is often facilitated by the establishment of emotional bonds between the potential convert and the advocate. (Rambo 1992, 175).
There have been many articles on ways to create new subjective norms for Muslim background believers. Parshall in Beyond the Mosque advocates a “convert church”. Parshall writes, “Such a convert church will aid new believers to maintain ties to their former ummah as well as begin to relate to a new community based on the Word of God” (Parshall 1985, 192).
John R. Stott opens up the possibility of “Jesus mosques” instead of Churches, with believers calling themselves “Jesus Muslims” instead of Christians (Stott 78, 35).
James Ray with Pioneers in 1996 presented a strategy to create a denomination called the “Ummat Isa Al Masih” (The Community of Followers of Isa) as a means of maintaining the Muslim background converts movement. One approach the author heard of seeks to create a “subset” of an Islamic sect that would be followers of Isa, which would be wholly Islamic and recognized by the Department of Religion. All these are attempts at developing an acceptable “subjective norm” that will aid the conversion process of Muslims within their community.
Marketing for Social Change: Understanding How Customers’ Behavior Changes
Jacques Waardenburg describes life in Muslim Indonesian society as one of belonging, where there are “few to no alternatives” for someone who has grown up as a Muslim to have another religious choice. It would be “meaningless to abandon that (Muslim) identity” which gives meaning to life and one’s rationality (Waardenburg 1984, 55).
Larson reports similar phenomena in Pakistan: “Islam is Pakistan’s raison d’etre. It is an identity in which Pakistani Muslims had no choice – an assumption without an alternative” (Larson 1996, 72).
This reinforces Tippet’s opinion that conversion to Christianity is an innovation (Tippett 1992, 195), especially for Muslims. Such decisions (conversion from Islam to Christianity) would be what Alan Andreasen would call “High Involvement Decision Making.” High involvement decisions are those that are very important. Such decisions require collecting information, thinking about the decision at some length, and are often becoming emotionally involved in the decision. The decision process is often complex and time consuming (Andreasen 1995, 143).
These decisions involve:
- Stages - Individuals do not undertake high-involvement behaviors rapidly and in one step. They move toward the desired outcome in definable stages. These stages include precontemplation, contemplation, preparation to act, action, and confirmation.
- Consequences - People make decisions on the basis of the consequences they believe will follow from their choices.
- Tradeoffs - Consequences are both positive and negative and so individuals are faced with tradeoffs in a decision between expected costs and expected benefits (Andreasen 1995, 143, 144)
Media interventions at each stage will be different (Andreasen 1995, 145).
In the precontemplation stage the media intervention will answer the audience’s question for “What is the innovation?” The intervention provides awareness-knowledge which will motivate the audience to seek more information (Rogers 1995, 165).
In the contemplation stage an intervention will answer the question “What does it mean to me?” as the respondent from the audience gathers “how-to knowledge” and “principle knowledge.” Such knowledge moves the respondent into preparation and action stages which require persuasion (Rogers 1995, 166).
In these stages the respondent will normally enter a time of uncertainty and dissonance (Hesselgrave 1991, 620). He may undertake an “information search” to guide him to an informed decision (Engel 1975, 74).
It is not uncommon for respondents to seek out communications that support current or previously held beliefs (Engel 1975, 53).
The action and confirmation stages are more effective where “feedback loops” exist, such as face to face conversations with a Change Agent, or in small groups (Kraft 1994, 76, 77).
Eddie Gibbs reports on an Institute of American Church Growth study which found that 75% of those answering a survey reported that the conversion came from personal contact (Gibbs 1992, 286, also see Engel 1979, 134), reinforcing Kraft’s assertion that “church grows along social lines” (Kraft 1992, 262).
Kraft advocates understanding conversion as a “process” and not so much as being an “event.” He notes, “As Euro-Americans, our tendency would be to assume that there are two compartments, one labeled THE SAVED, and the other UNSAVED. We think, then, of people as being positionally in one or the other compartment” (Kraft 1979, 240).
Kraft states that Jesus is more concerned in the “direction” of a person – moving more in Christlikeness - than the position of a person. Continuing, he comments, “It is the direction of the process in which a person is involved that is crucial, not the position of the point at which he stands”(Kraft 1979, 242.
Jacques Waardenburg View on Islam as a Signification System
We have already seen how, in his Theory of Reasoned Action, Martin Fishbein has noted two influences that impact intention and consequently behavior, beliefs and subjective norms. It has been noted that subjective norms are an individual’s normative beliefs that significant others think he/she should or should not perform, coupled with motivation to comply with its referents (Ajzen, Fishbein 1980, 6).
Waardenburg addresses the issue of subjective norms and the influence these have on Muslim societies. In his article, “Islam Studied as a Symbol and Signification System” he raises the issue of “how it would be possible in actual research to conceptualize the common bond which seems to unite various Islamic countries and areas despite great variations” (Strjanen 1984, 49).
Such research would address such issues as: “How and why Islam, for instance, has such a strong hold over its adherents, i.e., why a person who has once been a Muslim continually wants to keep his identity as a Muslim?”
This happens, says Waardenburg, because Islam has such a theological structure and character, that makes it possible for it to change into an ideology when it is no more a religion in the proper sense of the term (Strjanen 1984, 49). Waardenburg feels that Islam is best understood not so much as a religion, though he affirms Islam’s religious status (Waardenburg 1974, 271), but as a “Signification System.”
He explains: We can see here elements, signs and symbols of a signification system that, in more or less systematized form, is common to the great majority if not all Muslim societies, past and present. Moreover, the Muslim consciousness of constituting a privileged umma and sharing the absolute religion of Islam gives to umma and Islam a symbolic function with a signification to something absolute.
Adding up a number of norms, values, and assumptions which are held to be of more or less unquestioned validity by Muslims, and looking at their inner coherence, one might even say that the concept or 'signification system' particularly suits the case of Islam, with its many variations of certain basic structures. (Waardenburg 1974, 273)
According to Waardenburg, Islam’s “consciousness” of their privileged and absolute religion creates a “signification system” that unifies and provides “basic views on reality” (Waardenburg 1974, 268).
Waardenburg goes on to state: Belonging to a 'religious' signification system, Islamic thought and action has a transcendent reference which is itself of a specific religious character and which signifies something which is absolute to people in a specific way. Besides many elements, signs, and symbols of the Islamic signification system, it is also 'Islam' itself which has a signifying function. Of all things, 'religion' means most to Muslim people; that is to say, what they call 'Islam' which has, besides many other functions also a clear symbolic function and which signifies absolute religious, if not divine, reality (Waardenburg 1974, 274).
Such “absolute religious reality” causes Waardenburg to conclude that there are “few to no alternatives” for someone who has grown up as a Muslim to have another religious choice, and it would be “meaningless to abandon that (Muslim) identity” which gives meaning to life and one’s rationality (Waardenburg 1984, 55).
Rambo, commenting on conversion, states that indigenous cultures which are stable, resilient, and effective will have few people receptive to conversion. A strong culture will reward conformity and punish deviance, and those who do convert in a hostile setting become marginal members of the society (Rambo 1992, 41).
Indonesia is one example of the resilience of an Islamic culture. Indonesian Islam has been described in three categories: High Identity /High Practice, High Identity /Low Practice, and Low Identity/Low Practice. These categories are not geographically bound but exist within family units (Dixon 1994, see also St. John [Roger Dixon] 1987, 185-186).
Although these separate categories within a family unit could appear to be weak link networks (Rogers 199, 309), as members of the Umma, they will have consultations among family members before major decisions are made (Kraft 1992, 273).
Thus, despite there being differences of practice within Islam, the culture is nonetheless “resilient.” Notwithstanding Waardenburg’s point that there are “few to no alternatives” for Muslims to have another religious choice, Dale Eickelman provides a ray of hope: “As a result of direct and broad access to the printed, broadcast, and taped word, more and more Muslims take it upon themselves to interpret the textual sources of classical or modern of Islam. Much has been made of the opening up of the economies of many Muslim countries, allowing "market forces" to reshape economies, no matter how painful the consequences in the short run. In a similar way, intellectual market forces support some forms of religious innovation and activity over others .(Eickelman 1999, 3).
New market forces and the internet are allowing reinterpretation of “reference groups” from strictly family to those from the outside world. This reshaping of “subjective norms” allows for broader exchange of ideas and religious practices (Eickelman 1999, 2) thereby providing a new context for considering choice options.
Engel Scale by Dr. James Engel
In early 1970, Dr. James Engel redirected his training in marketing communications to apply these principles to the stages of the spiritual decision process in evangelism. The result was the development of the Engel Scale (Engel 1979, 183).
Engel acknowledges the influence of Fishbein in the development of the above scale (Engel 1979, 183) with his marketing education contributing to the development of these stages, (see Engel 1973).
The psychological beginning step in one's spiritual journey is the "activation of a need" (Engel 1979, 110).
Before someone will consider a belief, one must have a felt dissonance in their current belief system, which constitutes an activation of a need (Engel 1979, 118).
Once a need has been identified, a Receptor will seek information with a hope to satisfy the need. Media contributes toward satisfaction of that need through stimulation of awareness and interest, and subsequently attitudinal change, but does not play a decisive role in actually solving the need (Engel 1979, 133).
According to Engel, knowledge precedes belief change (Engel 1979, 181).
All Receptors (including Innovators and Early Adopters) maintain what Engel terms “a latitude of acceptance and latitude of rejection” of knowledge (Engel 1979, 194).
The greater the ego involvement and resistance to change, the larger the latitude of rejection toward an idea or practice. Message design and stepped exposure over time can incrementally move a person or group in a positive direction while also providing a greater latitude of acceptance (Engel 1979, 196).
Eddie Gibbs points out two weaknesses in the Engel scale. The first is that most people don’t come to Christ in a sequenced step by step process. He states, “they may leap-frog, or bounce back and forth.” Secondly, the Engel scale is based exclusively on the cognitive, making it one dimensional. (Handbook, Gibbs, 279).
Though Engel introduces the attitude in the decision making process, it is viewed as a function of the cognitive.
Viggo Sogaard’s Two Dimensional Scale
While serving as a missionary to Thailand for 13 years (1963-1976), Viggo Sogaard began using cassettes in missions, a novel technology of the late 1960s. In the process he was developing the “Segmentation Model” as an aid to message development in which he used cassette programming. In the Segmentation Model, each person is said to be somewhere in the A-Z Spiritual Process, with “A” having no knowledge of Christianity and “Z” being a fully trained leader (Sogaard 1975, 27).
Three types of programming interventions were employed based on the audience need: Sowing: needing proclamation of the Gospel, reaping: call to conversion, and refining: building up by Bible teaching. In the Segmentation Model a person becomes a believer in the “N” range. Sogaard comments, “This means also that it cannot be expected that the person who is at point B on the model can be expected to respond to material designed for the person who is at point J.” (Sogaard 1975, 28).
Sogaard acknowledges Engel’s influence in the development of the Segmentation Model (Sogaard, 1975, 14) (Figure 4) although it preceded the publishing of the Engel scale. One key aspect to Sogaard’s early work was his media effectiveness scale (Figure 5) which highlighted media effectiveness at different stages of the Segmentation Model. Sogaard comments “The media situation will change from country to country for media availability is different, as are political and social conditions. These factors all influence media effectiveness and use, and they will influence our strategy.” (Sogaard 1975, 53).
One interesting feature in the Media Effectiveness Model is Sogaard’s identification of “personal work.” He pointed out to the author during an AICC 95 seminar, “People are media in that they are and carry a message” (Sogaard 1995 , also see Kraft 1994, 43). Sogaard was later influenced by Charles Kraft’s emphasis on culture and his communication theory which includes persuasion as being as much of an emotional endeavor as a cognitive endeavor (Kraft 1983, 80).
One aspect of Sogaard’s developing thought was on the attitudinal aspect of the conversion process: Based on the conviction that conversion is not an entirely cognitive process, the affective dimension has been added to make the model more useful. The affective dimension will primarily be a person's feelings towards the Gospel, towards the church, and towards Christ. The actual decision is to a large extent an affective change, or change of allegiance. The results is a matrix on which strategy can be developed. Through research we are able to discover a person’s or a people group’s position on the “chart” (Sogaard 1993, 65).
From this Sogaard expanded the Segmentation Model to create the Two-Dimensional Scale (Figure 6) (Sogaard 1993, 65).On the scale a theoretical journey begins in the lower left corner with negative attitude and no knowledge. The person then moves toward the upper right hand corner gaining in positive attitude and increasing in knowledge as he grows in spiritual maturity. In developing interventions, considerations will be given to both cognitive and emotive (felt needs) aspects of the process (Sogaard 1993, 69).
Yet Sogaard acknowledges that people’s spiritual journeys will differ, not maintaining a straight line, and that strategies will likewise need to be different. In each of the above, one can evaluate the cognitive and affective aspects of individual’s spiritual journeys. In media evangelistic planning, one can plot how interventions can employ various media and content, based upon cultural considerations in media impact and budget considerations in a multi-media campaign (Sogaard 1993, 72 see also Yu 1971, 33 on media coordination).
In 1996 Viggo Sogaard consulted in a research project with Fuller Theological Seminary investigating the dynamics of how a contextualized approach to reach Muslims of Bangladesh was achieving spiritual change. One of the four informational needs was to investigate “the specific content of what people believe, feel, and ‘do’ as followers of Jesus in the movement” (Sogaard 1996, 8).
Questions on belief focused on three areas – Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral. Four theological categories were measured throughout the survey. These categories were: People of God, God, Salvation, and the Word (Bangladesh 1996, 10). This survey was a major attempt to look at cognitive, affective, and behavioral aspects of the conversion process of Muslims. Sogaard’s conclusions showed relationships in cognitive, affective, and behavioral aspects of Muslim converts in the conversion and growth process of those surveyed.
This precedent research has looked at six sources in regards to the conversion process of Muslims in relation to media interventions. Special attention has been taken to explore the attitudes, knowledge, and behavioral contributions to the conversion process. Everett Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovation points out that media interventions will differ based on stages of innovation and target audience (innovators, early adoptors, etc). Innovators are the first to adopt but have the least network penetration. Opinion Leaders are most influential with the remaining adoptor groups.
Martin Fishbein’s “Theory of Reasoned Action” states that intention to perform a behavior is determined by both belief and reference group influence (subjective norms). Media can be used to target beliefs or in altering reference group’s influence. Alan R. Andreasen’s work on social marketing highlights that high involvement decisions involve stages and processes, with media interventions used to target specific behaviors toward an adoption goal.
James F. Engel’s contribution to Christian communications was a first step in developing an analytical tool to assist in the evangelistic process. This tool became known as the Engel scale. Viggo Sogaard’s development of the Two Dimensional scale was explored as well as its usefulness in developing multi-media campaigns to either shift attitudes or increase knowledge toward a person becoming spiritually mature.
The contributors to The Handbook of Religious Conversion elucidate the varying depth and breadth of the conversion process. Jacques Waardenburg’s writings provide insight into the impact of Islam’s social influence on the conversion process. Sogaard’s research methods in Bangladesh provide a framework to observe the conversion process of Muslims, in a resistant context, which have been impacted by mass media. This can assist church planters in coordinating interventions that can keep the momentum of a diffusion of the “conversion innovation” moving toward a church planting movement.
CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
The research objective is to observe, and if possible measure, media effects in causing shifts in attitudes, knowledge, and behavior regarding the Gospel message among the Muslims of Ultrautara, North Pulau, Southeast Asia. Theological themes of God (Allah and Isa), Salvation, and the Holy Books will be used to observe the interviewee’s understanding of the concepts of the Gospel message (see Table 1).
The information needs are the knowledge, attitude and behavior regarding the Gospel of individuals who have not been exposed to any media, compared to the knowledge, attitude and behavior of individuals who have had subsequent media interventions.
RQ #1 How did the radio programs affect the hearer in his knowledge, attitude, and behavior? RQ #2 In what way did club membership affect the member in his knowledge, attitude, and behavior? RQ#3 How did interacting with print media affect the club member who had print media affect his knowledge, attitude, and behavior?
A four person research team was formed with Frank Preston as research coordinator. Two members of the team were from West Java, Southeast Asia and were familiar with media and Islamic language contextualization issues. One of the West Java team was a convert from Islam, and the other was a graduate of Asia Institute of Christian Communications. The other two researchers were from Siaran Rahasia's work, fluent in Ultrautaranize local language and the Southeast Asian language. Both of these researchers were converts from Islam.
Two interview teams were formed from the four man research team; one man from West Java, and one from Ultrautara on each of the two teams. This was done to assure against data gathering bias. Training of the team was held by the research coordinator with the full research teams once everyone arrived in Ultrautara. Four days was allocated to complete the research. The purpose of the research was described, and discussion of how to prevent interview leading of interviewees by interviewers.
The questionnaire instrument was adapted from Viggo Sogaard's Research Report on the Movement in Central Asia (Sogaard, 1996).
The instrument is a forced choice or multiple choice survey. By adapting his instrument, comparisons could be made in measuring Muslim knowledge, attitude, and behavior shifts from another Islamic context to verify the data in this research context. Three theological themes were the focus in the research, and questions revealing cognitive, affective, and behavioral themes were used (see Table 1).
In the final survey questions 20-22 were added to show opinion leader relationships, and questions 24-26 were added to aid in later follow up by the radio Rahasia team. These questions will not be discussed in this report since they fall outside the research objectives, and were included only to aid the radio Rahasia team. Cognitive Affective Behavior Allah/Isa 5,19,23 15,18 14 Religion 2,4,16 9,13,17 3 Books 1,10 6,11,12, 7,8
Siaran Rahasia had an extensive computer data bank of the activity of its work. At the time of the research over six hundred names of persons exposed to the work had been recorded, including address, age, date of data entry, number of letters sent to the respondent, materials sent, and special notes. Included in the list were “second listings” of persons who represented requests or questions from listener clubs, which was an indicator of active clubs.
The objective is to randomly select a sampling list from the data bank for each of the five categories. These categories are no exposure, radio only, radio plus listener club, Radio-club-print media, professed followers of Isa. With security constraints and the need to have acceptable level of data, we sought to create a list of a minimum of eight but with the intention of listing twelve.
If the interview process we were able to obtain eight interviews from the twelve, our data would be a valid representation of the population. To obtain a “Radio Only” list, eight people had recently written requesting to become club members and since they had not yet received materials as club members, we could be reasonably certain of no other media exposures other than radio exposure had affected them. But to insure quality, we decided to increase the interview population of the Radio Group from eight to twelve by randomly selection four more individuals from the data bank who had requested materials but had not yet received them.
To create the "Radio + Club Membership” group, we again worked from the data bank. From the population of two hundred eleven club members, we decided to seek to interview ten out of the population, with the hope of finding eight participants. Dividing two hundred eleven by ten, we concluded every 20th person would be selected as the random sample, and randomly the number three was selected to become the starting number. When it was realized that some of the sample population exceeded a two and half hour drive, that unit was eliminated and the next closest number was selected.
The ten units became our sample population for "Radio + Club Membership." We then computer sorted the list of two hundred and eleven club members who received print materials, the resulting population was thirty-six. Seventeen units were eliminated because of distance or security threats, leaving a population of nineteen. Out of the nineteen, seven were from active clubs. We felt these would best represent print media interaction and were included in the sample group. From the balance of the twelve, four were randomly selected completing a total sample population of eleven for the group "Radio + Club + Print".
The "Followers of Isa" had only twelve people, and most were away at the time harvesting the corn crop. Four were interviewed but two were eliminated because the local team questioned their validity. As a results only two members are included in the analysis making the sample population too small to yield reliable data. Their information will provide “observation only” data results. The control group, a group with no exposure, would be randomly selected as the researchers would enter into target areas of the above four groups.
Eight samples of "No Exposure" would be drawn. Once the data cards were made on the five groups above, the card groupings were then re-sorted according to areas. Two teams of researchers were formed, with two men from each team, one man from Java and one from local team. Each team was given cards appropriate to load distribution. Instructions were given as to the purpose of the questionnaire, how to explain to the interviewee the purpose of the question, the need to follow the questionnaire as written, and how to ask questions to avoid biased answers.
The Interview Process
The teams decided to interview the most distant locations first, working back to the research base in the city of Ultrautara.
The report from the first day was that the road to the most remote location was impassable due to recent rains that destroyed the road. The people most affected by the road closing were some who had recently requested to join a listener club or the "Radio Only" group.
In the area where the road was destroyed, the researchers interviewed several people at random as part of the "No Exposure" group. It was found that within this group some had heard the program as indicated by answer “c” of question eight. It was decided that to take those from the "No Exposure" random population that indicated 8c as a radio exposure to become part of the "Radio Only" group.
In the course of interviewing, one team had an incident where a village head questioned the team’s legality to conduct interviews. The team withdrew from that area and moved to another area. When they returned to the base camp, the team obtained letters of request to conduct interviews using Siaran Rahasia letterhead and using a Jakarta address (a secure PO Box).
The result of the first day was seven interviews. The second day was more successful mainly due to better road systems. No incidents were recorded and twelve more interviews were conducted. The third day the team completed the cards and returned to base camp.
The total for each group interviewed was: Control Group: 7 interviews (one was disqualified) Radio Group: 8 Interviews Listener Club: 8 Interviews Print Media: 7 Interviews Followers of Isa Group: 2 Interviews
Ultrautara is a strongly Muslim area. Ultrautara was one of the first in Southeast Asia to embraced Islam in the 16th century (PJRN, 2001, 121).
A Mosque in Ultrautara is one of the oldest in Southeast Asia and many of the population identify themselves as having an Arab decent. At the time of the interview, the Vice President of Southeast Asia was from Ultrautara, and he directed the ICMI (Islamic Intellectuals of Southeast Asia) organization.
It is also against the law in Southeast Asia (SARA) to have a Christian ministry directed at converting Muslims with a prison penalty if one is convicted. Islamic laws carry more severe penalties. For these reasons the Ultrautara ministry was clandestine and security issues being of the utmost concern.
CHAPTER 4 ANALYSIS OF THE RESEARCH DATA
The goal of this research study is to observe shifts in attitude, knowledge, and behavior resulting from three types of media intervention: "Radio Only Group" (herein called Radio Group), "Radio + Listener Group" (here in called Listener Group) and "Radio + Listener Group + Print Media" (here in called Print Group).
The Control Group and the Isa group will serve only as points of reference of attitude, knowledge, and behavior of typical Ultrautara Muslims and likewise of those who have made the step of allegiance to Isa as their way to salvation.
In Understanding Attitudes and Predicting Social Behavior by Martin Fishbein and Icek Ajzen (Fishbein 1980), the authors discuss the relationship of behavior with beliefs and intention - beliefs being the combination of attitudes and knowledge and intention as acting on the beliefs (Fishbein 1980, 66). For this reason the first step in observing affective and cognitive shifts is to observe behavioral shifts in the audience.
Questions Related to Behavioral Shifts
To understand how media affected the interviewee’s behavior toward learning about Allah, question number 14 asked:
14. To know more about God: a. I discuss with other people b. I pray c. I read or listen to the Qu’ran d. I read or listen to (All)the Holy Books (Kitab Suci) A common view of Muslims is that there are four holy books, in Southeast Asian called the Kitab Suci. These books are: Taurat (Old Testament Law or the books of Moses), Zabor (Psalms and Proverbs), Injil (The Gospels or the books of Jesus – Isa), and the Qu’ran. The Taurat and Zabor are for the Jews, the Injil is for the Christians, and the Koran is for the Muslims. It is commonly taught and believed by Muslims that the Taurat, Zabor and Injil have been corrupted and cannot be trusted, therefore good Muslims do not read the “other three” books. The answer most indicative of a behavioral shift toward becoming a believer would be d: "I read or listen to the Holy Books," with c indicating no behavioral shift. As noted above, Muslims typically do not have a high regard for the Holy Books other than the Qu’ran as aiding one in a desire to know Allah better, as indicated by answers by the control group to questions number one and eight.
Of the radio group, 12% answered that all the Holy Books were used to help them know Allah better. Over a 100% increase can be observed in the club group with 25% claiming all the Holy Books being used. The print group shows another jump with 57% reporting the Holy Books as being helpful. The control group shows 29% of them report that all the Holy Books as being helpful. When the data is cross tabulated with question eight, 50% of those who said all “Holy Books” from the control group also report "don't trust the Injil.” The other 50% "sometimes" read the Injil. According to the local Ultrautara team, the answer 50% who answered read all the “Holy Books” was a cultural face saving statement that really means they don't read the Injil. Essentially, some of the control group were less than forthright in this issue. The same cross check of the other groups did not reveal the same phenomena. One can observe in question 14 a positive behavioral shift in using all the books as a means to know Allah better. In Sogaard's report, 70% see the Injil as being helpful in knowing Allah better, 20% discussing with other people, and no respondents seeing the Qu’ran as being helpful (Sogaard, 1996. 37). The results of this survey agree with the findings of Sogaard.
Question three relates to religious practice.
3. I go to the Mosque to Sholat: a. Only on Friday b. Once a day c. More than once a day d. Some time The results can be somewhat surprising:
Friday 1X day >1X day Sometime Control 14.0% 29.0% 57.0% 0.0% Radio 22.5% 0.0% 66.7% 11.1% Club 12.5% 12.5% 62.5% 12.5% Print 14.3% 0.0% 85.7% 0.0% Isa 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% With increasing exposures, frequency to attend the Mosque actually increase. Sogaard's findings reported the similar results (Sogaard 1996, 36). Engel describes this phenomena as one in which the previously held beliefs are being challenged and influenced by mass media, moving the audience to go on an "information search" (Engel 1979, 131) to resolve their internal dissonance (Rogers 1995, 181). They could actually go to the Mosque more often to find answers to the questions their hearts are asking. The increased Mosque attendance is a positive sign of one searching for Allah. Questions seven and eight relate to frequency of reading or listening to the books:
7. I read or listen to the Al-Qu’ran a. every day b. once a week c. More than once a week d. Sometimes
8. I read or listen to the Injil. a. More than once a week b. Sometimes c. Only through the Rahasia radio broadcast d. I don't trust the Injil (i.e. don’t read it) e. No Answer The frequency for Qu’ranic reading showed patterns of increase for reasons similar to the increase in Mosque attendance since the people were on an information search.
Every day 1X week >1X wk Some time no_ans Control 72% 14% 14% 0% 0% Radio 50% 0% 37% 13% 0% Club 38% 13% 50% 0% 0% Print 71% 0% 0% 29% 0% Isa 0% 0% 0% 0% 100% The reading or listening to the Injil had some interesting results:
>1x wk Some time radio no_trust no_ans Control 0% 43% 0% 29% 29% Radio 0% 0% 100% 0% 0% Club 13% 0% 88% 0% 0% Print 0% 29% 57% 0% 14% Isa 0% 0% 100% 0% 0%
Note that the only group that showed lack of trust in the Injil was the control group, almost 30% didn't trust the Injil. For the radio group 100% of their Injil intake came from radio, the reason being that this was a criteria for determining this group. Frequency in Injil intake by radio decreased in both the club group and even more in the print group. In discussions with respondents it was learned that some of those that previously listened to radio only obtained Bibles and other Injil material to learn more about Isa. This reinforces what Rogers and Engel stated earlier about an information search.
Questions Related to Cognitive Shifts (Knowledge Shifts)
Cognitive shifts are more difficult to measure because of the possibility of misunderstanding of the questions. But positive shifts can be seen in questions 19 and 23 regarding who and what Isa is from their view point:
19. According to you, who is Isa Al Masih? a. The Word of Allah b. One who leads men astray c. Messenger of Allah d. Leader of a group (movement)
Word Leads astray Messenger Leader no_ans Control 0% 43% 0% 29% 29% Radio 0% 0% 100% 0% 0% Club 13% 0% 88% 0% 0% Print 0% 29% 57% 0% 14% Isa 0% 0% 100% 0% 0%
23. Who (i.e. What) is Isa al-Masih a. The Mediator (between Allah and man) b. one great prophet c. one of the many ways of salvation d. a good man
Mediator Prophet one_way good no_ans Control 14% 29% 14% 29% 14% Radio 0% 67% 33% 0% 0% Club 0% 38% 63% 0% 0% Print 29% 43% 0% 14% 14% Isa 0% 0% 100% 0% 0%
In question 19, only the control group held a view that Isa leads men astray (14%). One key indicator of a positive increase in knowledge resulting from media exposure is the view that Isa is the Word of Allah, a concept that rings true of John 1.
Though this is taught in the Qu’ran (3:45, 4:171), it is rarely taught from the Mosque. The survey reveals that 25% and 15% respectively from club and print club members hold this view. The data can seem somewhat cloudy on this question due to the small sampling size. But what is clear is a positive movement from "someone who leads people astray" to a position of prominence in the Islamic prophet hierarchy.
This is further verified in question 23 where increases in responses occurred from "Prophet" and "Good Man" in over 50% of the control group respondents to "One way" in 62% of the club membership, and "Mediator" in 30% of print group. Again, the data is somewhat scattered because of the sampling size, but it does reinforce other positive knowledge and behavioral shifts.
The Print Group also noted that almost 30% see Isa as a mediator. Though none see Isa as the "One Way," the mediator concept is one that is easier to grasp for the Muslim. Of those who saw Isa as their mediator, half also saw Muhammad as being able to forgive their sins (question 16), and conversely half did not see Muhammad as being able to forgive and yet saw Isa as being the Mediator, a quantum leap for a Muslim.
This must be tempered with question 13 where no one from the Print group saw Isa as the reason for Allah's forgiveness. Again, the Muslim worldview puts forgiveness in relationship with merit, a balance of good and bad works (Parshall 1980, 78). In that worldview if the scales are tipped to the negative, one can seek help from a patron mediator (Musk 1992, 50, 54). This same view can be observed in those relating to Jesus (Mark 10:37, Luke 23:42).
It is interesting that Jesus did not scorn them for asking him to become a mediator, but he did say that some requests were out of his ability to grant. It has been said that the battle between Islam and the Gospel lies in the battle of the books (Zwemer 1941, 215). Question number one addresses this:
1. How many Kitab Suci (Holy Books) are there? a. One b. Two c. Three d. Four The results of the data are as such:
One Two three Four Control 29% 14% 0% 57% Radio 11% 0% 0% 89% Club 0% 13% 0% 88% print 0% 0% 0% 100% Isa 0% 0% 0% 100%
Note that nearly 30% of the control group state that there is only one book (the Qu’ran as revealed in question 10), but confidence in the existence of the other books reaches 100% in club and print groups. In discussions with club group members who answered b "two" (12.5%) it was discovered they were thinking of the Injil and Qu’ran. Media helped give credibility to the Holy Books Taurat, Zabor, and Injil. No real shifts occurred in questions 2 and 16 related to salvation and Muhammad's role in that salvation.
2. Because of Hazrat Muhammad's prayer, people will be saved a) True b) not true
True Not True No ans control 72% 14% 14% radio 88% 12% 0% club 88% 12% 0% print 86% 14% 0% Isa 0% 100% 0%
16. I receive forgiveness from Allah because Muhammad prays for me. a) True b) Not True
True Not True No ans control 72% 14% 14% radio 88% 12% 0% club 88% 12% 0% print 86% 14% 0% Isa 0% 100% 0%
Though further research would be needed to explore this, the radio programs had a policy to avoid issues related to Muhammad and his role in religion, and because of this knowledge was not affected. Question 4 likewise was unaffected by the radio programs and could be recommended as another avenue of sharing about the uniqueness of Isa.
4. How can people save themselves from evil spirits and jinns? a. Through amulets or black magic b. By asking help from Allah c. By the prayer of Pir or Saints d. By asking help from Isa e. All four are true
Amulets Allah Saints Isa All true Control 0% 86% 14% 0% 0% Radio 0% 75% 25% 0% 0% club 13% 62% 25% 0% 0% print 0% 86% 0% 0% 14% Isa 0% 0% 0% 100% 0%
Questions Related to Affective Shifts (Attitude Shifts)
Questions 15 and 18 asked if they feel close to Allah and if they know Allah loves them. Almost universally the answer is yes on both accounts. Sogaard's findings are the same. But this is tempered with the findings in question 9 that most people feel their sins are not forgiven.
Question 13 explores the reasons why they feel Allah loves them. Here are the results of question 13:
13. I feel that Allah loves me and he forgives me because: a. I do sholat (ritual prayers) b. Isa is my mediator between me and Allah c. I do good works. d. I am a Muslim e. No Answer prayers Isa Deeds Muslim No_ans Control 29% 0% 43% 14% 14% Radio 22% 0% 22% 57% 0% Club 63% 0% 38% 0% 0% Print 57% 0% 29% 14% 0% Isa 0% 100% 0% 0% 0%
Again, looking at media effects on radio, club, and print groups, belief in activities such as prayers and deeds increased and the dependence on their being Muslim actually decreased. A possible reason is that people's standing in Allah's eyes as a Muslim became more tenuous as they became more concerned over their sinfulness. This can be further explored in question 17:
17. I am most frightened by: a. The day of judgment b. death c. punishment while in the grave before the judgment (squeeze) d. other people e. Nothing judge death Squeeze people nothing control 29% 0% 29% 0% 43% radio 22% 0% 11% 11% 56% club 25% 0% 75% 0% 0% print 0% 14% 43% 0% 43% Isa 0% 0% 0% 0% 100%
Respondents are not as afraid of death as they are the two phases of judgment: Alam Bajar (freely translated punishment while in the grave or the squeeze) (Musk 1992, 130) and the judgment (Parshall 1994, 124).
Over half of all categories were more afraid of these judgments than anything else. These judgments under Islam are more directly related to what they did not do, prayers and deeds, than what they did do, such as sins. The following is a story from the Fiqh 4.89, the book of the law.
"Al-Tahawi reported from Ibn Mas'ud that the Prophet (Muhammad), peace be upon him, said, 'A person was ordered to be lashed a hundred times in his grave. He continuously asked Allah to decrease his punishment until only one lash remained. His grave was totally filled with fire. When the fire was removed, he regained consciousness and asked, 'Why was I lashed?' He was told, 'You offered a prayer once without proper purification, and you passed by an oppressed person but you did not help him'."
(ISL, Release 4) Notice the punishment was not meted out for what he did, but for what he did not do.
The research reveals that this emotion grew stronger as people were exposed to the radio and other media, possibly because of a greater fear of judgment, putting them on a “needs search” (Engel 1974, 131). Observing how the media used by Siaran Rahasia improves attitudes about the Bible, Questions 6, 11 and 12 were asked.
6. The Injil is used by all religions. a. yes b. no c. no answer The results are: Yes No No Ans Control 0% 100% 0% Radio 11% 78% 0% Club 38% 63% 0% Print 43% 57% 0% Isa 100% 0% 0% Notice that the longer the exposure, the greater the number who feel the Injil is to be used by all religions.
The respondents previously felt, as evident from questions 1 and 8, the Injil was not a useful book for a Muslim. It is popularly believed that the Christian book is the Injil, and the Jewish books is the Taurat and Zabor, but for the Muslim, the useful book for faith is the Qu’ran. But research shows over time that the credibility of the Injil increases as old beliefs erode away and positive attitudes toward the Injil increase. In question 11, the data reveals that no real change occurred in the listener's feelings about the Qu’ran, but with the Injil a different picture emerges:
11. If I read or listen to the Qu’ran I feel: a. peace b. restless and uneasy c. closer to Allah d. nothing special, usual 12. When I read or listen to the Injil, I feel: a. Angry b. restless and uneasy c. closer to Allah d. I don't feel anything at all Peace restless closer nothing no_an control
0% 0% 43% 43% 14% radio 13% 0% 88% 0% 0% Club 25% 13% 63% 0% 0% print 14% 0% 86% 0% 0% Isa 0% 50% 0% 50% 0% Angry restless close nothing no_an control 0% 0% 43% 57% 0% radio 0% 11% 0% 78% 11% Club 0% 0% 25% 75% 0% print 0% 0% 57% 43% 0% Isa 0% 0% 100% 0% 0%
Observe that those who were exposed to media felt the Injil drew them closer to Allah, with the print group reporting 57% feeling that the Injil helped them feel closer to Allah. Results from the control group report that 43% felt that the Injil drew them closer to Allah.
When these are compared with question one, 66% of them believed in only one book (the Qu’ran was that book when compared to question ten). When compared to question eight, 66% read or listen to the Injil only "sometimes." Again, as noted earlier, this is a cultural means for politely answering that they don't read or listen to the Injil. So in this case, the control group can not be seen as not being credible.
CHAPTER 5 FINAL REMARKS AND FUTURE DIRECTIONS
The purpose of this study was to observe, and if possible measure media effects in causing shifts in attitude, knowledge, and behavior regarding the Gospel message among the Muslims of Ultrautara, North Pulau, Southeast Asia. The data does continually reveal clear shifts in attitude, knowledge, and behavior among these Muslims.
It can also be observed that from the program design of using the Qu’ran to reinforce Biblical truth, shifts occurred in attitude, knowledge, and behavior toward the Gospel message. Rogers noted that perceived attributes accounted for 49-87% variance in the rate of adoption (Rogers 1995, 206) and that compatibility was a key component in the perceived attributes. In this research one can observe verification of Roger’s assertions of this point. Siaran Rahasia used the Qu’ran to transfer trust of the Muslim audience to Isa and the Injil. It must be kept in mind that these groups are still Muslim, both in religion and culture.
But in keeping with Sogaard's theory, these Muslims are very close to choosing Isa as their way to salvation. It is recommended that a more active approach to the radio listener groups be taken. The group leaders can become the nucleus for a cell group, a precursor to a house fellowship. The group leaders, though, need additional training and exposure. This introduces a second recommendation for the ministry team in Ultrautara.
Observing Roger’s stages of innovation-adoption, knowledge of the existence of the Gospel is evident, and trust for the components of the Gospel is likewise strong (the Injil and Isa). It appears the persuasion and decision stages await an evangelist who could become a listener group leader "coordinator." This person can be birthing into the kingdom those who are open and ready to receive Isa as their way of salvation, and then establish the converts in a cell church. This person needs to be sensitive to the needs of "Muslims in process" and aware of the theory behind Siaran Rahasia's strategy.
Another recommendation is for Siaran Rahasia's ministry to better utilize the print media aspect of their strategy. This requires more "intention" on the part of the staff with regard to the use of print media. Inconsistencies in the data from the print media groups reveal a weakness in this area. It is recommended that additional staff be located who have the responsibility of overseeing the development and/or the utilization of existing appropriate print media in the evangelism process.
A final recommendation is the need for further research is needed to smooth out inconsistencies in the data and to better understand the conversion process among Muslims. This kind of research aids in quantifying project effectiveness and providing clear next stage interventions. Though the sample groups were adequate to reveal movement, the sample size needs to be much larger to better measure stages on the conversion scale.
APPENDIX 1: Questionnaire Translated into English
Survey Questions translated into English. The number code after the question refers to Sogaard's survey question.
The letter c = with changes or alterations, 0 = not in Sogaard's report, and r= Sogaard's question was replaced with the current question.
1. How many Kitab Suci (Holy Books) are there? (4c) a. One b. Two c. Three d. Four
2. Because of Hazrat Muhammad's prayer, people will be saved? (3) a. true b. not true
3. I go to the Mosque to Sholat: (21) a. Only on Friday b. Once a day c. More than once a day d. Sometime
4. How can people save themselves from evil spirit and Jinn? (7c) a. Through amulets or black magic b. By asking help from Allah c. By the prayer of Pir or Saints d. By asking help from Isa e. All four are true
5. According to my opinion, the Prophet Isa is from what religion? (0) a. Islam b. Buddhism c. Christian d. Hinduism
6. The Injil is used by all religions. (0) a. yes b. no
7. I read or listen to the Al-Qu’ran (24) a. ever day b. once a week c. More than once a week d. Sometime
8. I read or listen to the Injil. (20c) a. More than once a week b. Sometime c. Only through the Rahasia radio broadcast (the Ultrautara Radio broadcast d. I don't trust the Injil
9. I feel that my sins are forgiven. (11) a. True b. Not true
10. For all the Holy Kitab books that I know about, the most important is: (8) a. Al Qu’ran b. Injil c. Taurat d. Zabur
11. If I read or listen to the Qu’ran I feel: (16c) a. peace b. restless and uneasy c. closer to Allah d. nothing special, usual
12. When I read or listen to the Injil, I feel: (12c) a. Angry b. Restless and uneasy c. I feel closer to Allah d. I don't feel anything at all
13. I feel that Allah loves me and he forgives me because: (5c) a. I do sholat (ritual prayers) b. Isa is my mediator between me and Allah c. I do good work. d. I am a Muslim
14. To know more about God: (10c) a. I discuss with other people b. I pray c. I read or listen to the Qu’ran d. I read or listen to the Holy Books (Kitab Suci)
15. Do you feel close to Allah. (23) a. True b. not true
16. I receive forgiveness from Allah because Muhammad prays for me. (25) a. True b. Not True
17 . I am most frightened by: (15c) a. The day of judgment b. Death c. punishment while in the grave before the judgment (also called "the squeeze" of death) d. afraid of other people e. Nothing
18. I know that Allah loves me. (1) a. Yes b. No
19. According to you, who is Isa Al Masih? (0) a. The Word of Allah b. One who leads men astray c. Messenger of Allah d. Leader of a group (movement)
20. When you have a question about Allah, who do you normally talk to? (0)
21. When you have a question about the Qu’ran, who do you normally talk to? (0)
22. When you have a question about the Injil, who do you normally talk to? (0)
23. Who is Isa al-Masih (18c) a. The Mediator (between Allah and man) b. one great prophet c. one of the many ways of salvation d. a good man
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