A look at the ethical and religious issues of the week
A look at the ethical and religious issues of the week
Women at Hajj; Football and Racism and Universal Credit
This year, for the first time, women are allowed to register for the pilgrimage to Islam's holiest city this year without a male guardian. The Hajj to Mecca in Saudi Arabia begins on July 17th and continues until 22nd July. It was to be something of a festival, with women from all over the world planning to go together. Sadly only Saudi citizens can attend due to Covid restrictions. But it's still a big moment for Muslim Feminists. The BBC's Emb Hashmi reports.
England under 21's football coach Michael Johnson talks to Edward about how he guides young players and helps with their resilience and coping strategies with racism and how his Christian faith helps him in difficult times.
The Church of England and the charity Child Poverty Action want the Government to change its policy of limiting most universal credit payments to a maximum of two children per family. The two child limit started in 2017. Official figures published this week show that more than a million children have been affected since then - many from religious minorities. The Bishop of Durham the Right Reverend Paul Butler is the Church's spokesman on Families and Welfare.
Football seems to have united England - at least temporarily. And there's a lot of faith involved both on and off the pitch. William talks to Rabbi Alex Goldberg, chair of the England Football Associations Faith Network, about the example being shown by Gareth Southgate's team and how we might keep the momentum going after Sunday's game.
What does the title Reverend mean to you? A mark of respect for the office, or a contribution to an unwanted culture of deference which damages the church? Titles for the clergy such as Reverend, Most Reverend and The Venerable have been used for more than 500 years. But the Church of England now considering dropping them in favour of simple job titles. We discuss what purpose they serve with the rector who wants to get rid of them and the priest who thinks they serve a purpose.
The Methodist Church has become the largest religious denomination in Britain to permit same-sex marriages, with the first marriages expected in the Autumn. William will talk about this momentous change with Jarel Robinson Brown, who resigned from Methodist ministry as he felt unwelcome. He is now an Anglican curate with radical ideas to tackle racism and homophobia in the UK.
And Gospel Singer of the Year, Monique McKen, on the particular joy of congregational singing and its possible return.
Picture Credit: British Future
Manchester Jewish Museum; Fire Monks; Gardening
Following a two year refurbishment, the Manchester Jewish Museum has just reopened. The former Spanish and Portuguese synagogue is now resplendent in its original colours and the new extension houses a gallery that takes visitors on a journey through Manchester’s diverse Jewish history.
Next week, visitors to the Hampton Court Flower show (opening 6th July) will be able to sit in the Communication Garden which has been designed by Amelia Bouquet in support of Mental Health UK. Amelia talks about the health benefits of gardening.
When Sozan Miglioli is not performing his duties as a Buddhist Monk at the Tassajara Zen Mountain Centre, he becomes a ‘Fire Monk’. Now that wild fires are raging near his monastery in California, he describes his fire prevention techniques to Emily Buchanan.
Fatima the Film; Tik Tok Anti-Semitism and Methodist Gay Marriage Vote
Marco Pontecorvo, a director best known for his award winning work on television, including Rome and Game of Thrones, talks to Sunday about his new film Fatima. It tells the story of three Portuguese shepherds who reported visions of the Virgin Mary more than a hundred years ago.
Jewish TikTok video makers say measures to protect them against anti-Semitism on the app are actually stopping them speaking about their faith. BBC digital journalist, and TikTok user, Sophia Smith-Galer tells William what's going on.
And an exclusive interview with the first Black female president of the Methodist Conference ahead of a momentous vote on same-sex marriage. William discusses the vote with Reverend Sonia Hicks as well as her hopes of what she'll achieve in post.
Photo Copyright Republic Film Distribution 2021
Editor: Gill Farrington
Smuggling bibles to China; Wedding backlog; President Biden and the Catholic Bishops
It was called 'Project Pearl' and the mission was to smuggle a million bibles into China. On a moonlit night 40 years, vast crates containing the bibles were unloaded on to the sand in Shantou. It was a covert operation and Paul Estabrooks was there. He tells Emily how they managed to avoid capture by the Chinese authorities and what was driving them to get so many bibles into the country.
As the easing of COVID restrictions allow more people to attend a wedding, we investigate claims from couples who say the civil registrar system is failing to meet the growing demand for statutory ceremonies. If a couple wish to be married in a non-religious service they may have to take a low cost civil ceremony to ensure their marriage is legal. Julia and Jordan tell us that they were told to buy a more expensive wedding packages from their local authority if they wanted to have the legal paperwork in time for their humanist ceremony. Andrew Copson, the Chief Executive of Humanists UK tells us why he believes there is now a stronger case for marriage reform.
On Friday tremors could be felt across the political faultlines of America's Catholic Church. A majority of members of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops voted to go ahead with a process that could deny Holy Communion to public officials who take a position at odds with the church's teachings on issues like abortion. That could include President Biden, the nation's second Roman Catholic president. The decision was even in defiance of advice from the Vatican. Religious journalist Sarah Posner explains the background to the vote and the possible implications of the decision.
Producers: David Cook & Helen Lee
Editor: Tim Pemberton
Photo credit: Terry Madison
A needed coverage on religious news
Love listening to the different main religious stories of different faiths. But, the interviewees are often cut short in midsentence and rushed to finish their sentences. Why not cut down a little on the number of stories but allow for more in depth reportage?
I love having a place to go for religion news!
What a simply wonderful program. I listen to it weekly without err. The guests are respected but held to account and the entire feel is controlled yet open. Good job