|Founded||21 April 1967|
Evangelische Omroep (EO, English: Evangelical Broadcasting) is one of the twelve member-based broadcasting associations contributing to the Netherlands Public Broadcasting system. It has as its mission to bring people into contact with Jesus Christ and its statement of faith is a form of Evangelicalism. EO is one of the few broadcasting associations in the pillarized Dutch broadcasting system to have remained totally faithful to its religious roots. For a long time every one of its programs made reference to God and to the Christian religion, although this is less often the case in the 21st century.
EO was founded in 1967 by Christians, mainly Free Church members who were disappointed with the other Protestant broadcasting association, NCRV, for not putting more emphasis on its Christian inspiration. It is not known how effective EO has been in winning people for Christianity.
Documentaries are often edited to reflect EO's creationist convictions. While still being presented as a BBC documentary, The Life of Mammals series was edited to remove material incompatible with young earth creationism, and profanity is regularly edited out of bought-in drama series.
The subject of creationism has sparked a number of EO-related controversies. In early 2009, a controversy arose over statements by a leading presenter and former director, Andries Knevel. He considered it possible for a religious person not to believe in the literal interpretation of the biblical creation story (Genesis 1-2). Shortly afterwards Knevel apologized for the highly charged way in which he had made his statements and for the fact that his personal viewpoint could have been interpreted as the official viewpoint of EO.
In 2009 Arie Boomsma, an EO television presenter was suspended for three months after appearing partially undressed in a magazine called L'Homo. Later that year, EO planned to broadcast a new television show called Loopt een man over het water... ("A man walks over the water...") which Boomsma would present. In the show, non-Christian comedians were to be asked to create short sketches about Jesus of Nazareth. The planned show caused so much uproar among EO members that it was cancelled. Soon afterwards Boomsma left EO and joined the Catholic broadcasting association KRO.
As a result of these and other controversies, the number of subscribing EO members has declined. In March 2010, this led to a member initiative entitled Ik bid en blijf lid (I pray and stay a member) which called upon members of EO to retain their membership and pray that the association will continue to spread God's word in a way that remains true to the Bible.