240 episodes

A look at the ethical and religious issues of the week

Sunday BBC

    • Spirituality
    • 4.1, 14 Ratings

A look at the ethical and religious issues of the week

    Greyfriars Bobby; Jehovah's Witness; the New Archbishop of York

    Greyfriars Bobby; Jehovah's Witness; the New Archbishop of York

    Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh is well known for the statue of the small Skye terrier, Greyfriars Bobby. It commemorates the dog’s loyalty after it guarded the grave of his owner for 14 years. Celebrations to mark the 400th anniversary have been cancelled because of Corona virus but the Rev Richard Frazer, Minister of Greyfriars Kirk, tells Emily why people are being encouraged to model their own statues of the iconic dog as part of the celebrations.

    In August the Jehovah’s Witnesses will give evidence to the Independent Inquiry Into Child Sex Abuse. Submissions will also be heard from survivors who have criticised the church’s handling of abuse allegations. Their appearance comes as campaigners around the world are questioning why the religion is restructuring the organisation and selling off substantial amounts of property. Sunday’s - David Cook has been investigating.

    The newly confirmed Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell joins Emily to talk about the challenges he faces post pandemic in the Church, the needs of the North and the faith of the nation.

    Producers
    Carmel Lonergan
    David Cook

    Editor
    Amanda Hancox

    • 43 min
    Cycling Sisters; Leicester in Lockdown; Children's Mental Health

    Cycling Sisters; Leicester in Lockdown; Children's Mental Health

    Pre-pandemic times saw Britain’s roads sprinkled with cyclists but they were mainly white, male and clad in lycra. Cycle Sisters in East London challenges this stereo-type because it’s a cycle group for Muslim women.

    There is a high proportion of ethnic minority families living in the part of Leicester where the highest number of Covid-19 cases have been recorded. Suleman Nagdi, from Leicester’s Federation of Muslim Organisations, talks to Edward about how the Muslim community is feeling as the city experiences its second lockdown.

    The CEO of World Vision UK, Mark Sheard, and Bernadette Fisher, Director of Brentwood Catholic Children’s Society, discuss how churches can support parents to help their children process the coronavirus crisis.

    Bishop Jonathan Ruhumuliza has been offered a job as a priest by the Diocese of Manchester despite twice having been refused asylum in the UK (on the grounds that he was a “genocide denier”). In 2014, he was finally allowed to stay in Briton on appeal, the immigration tribunal deciding that he had “found redemption through his religious work since the genocide”. The Guardian's Chris McGreal talks about Jonathan Ruhumuliza’s past asks whether he should have a future in the Church of England.

    Producers:
    Helen Lee
    Dan Tierny


    Photograph by Jenna Selby, Waltham Forest Council

    • 43 min
    Hajj, Russian Jews and Weddings are back.

    Hajj, Russian Jews and Weddings are back.

    Hajj will be held on a much smaller scale this year with a very limited number of pilgrims from various nationalities who already reside in Saudi Arabia able to perform it. Emily asks Dr Carool Kersten from Kings College, London, what took the authorities so long and what impact has this had on Muslims world wide?

    For religious groups everywhere, lock-down has been a huge challenge. With places of worship and religious centres shuttered, maintaining a sense of community hasn’t been easy. It’s a particular problem for Russia’s Jewish community, which – 30 years after the fall of communism - is still recovering from decades of state-sponsored Antisemitism. Our Moscow correspondent Steve Rosenberg reports on what the Jews of Russia have been doing to build a community and the efforts they’re taking during the pandemic to preserve it.

    With places of worship opening for weddings from the 4th of July we hear from one couple who have been waiting in limbo to hear whether their postponed big day could go ahead and BBC Religion Editor, Martin Bashir explains the rules of socially distanced weddings.


    Producers
    Carmel Lonergan
    Catherine Earlam

    Editor
    Amanda Hancox

    • 43 min
    The Journey App, Rowan Williams, Black Jews

    The Journey App, Rowan Williams, Black Jews

    “The Journey – Leo’s story” is a new app created by the National Holocaust Centre and Museum on the theme of the Kindertransport. The role-play story app follows Leo, a young boy forced to flee Nazi Germany. Marc Cave, Chief Executive of the National Holocaust Centre and Museum and children involved in trialling the app talk about how it reveals the true horror faced by German Jews during WWII.

    This week the government announced that it is merging the Department for International Development and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The former Archbishop of Canterbury and Chair of Christian Aid - Dr Rowan Williams - expresses his concerns about the way in which the UK's aid budget will be administered in the future.

    The Board of Deputies of British Jews have launched a Commission into Racial Inclusivity ‘to banish prejudice and promote inclusion’. Nadine Batchelor-Hunt is a writer and journalist. She describes what it is like to be black and Jewish. Stephen Bush, Political Editor of the New Statesman and Chair of the new Commission, talks about what he hopes it will achieve.

    When Hamed Amari and his family fled Afghanistan in 2000 they arrived in the UK with nothing. Hamed’s older brother Hussein was seriously ill with a heart condition and died two years ago. Hamed talks to Edward about his first book, 'The Boy With Two Hearts', in which he has captured the family's harrowing journey to safety in the West and talks about how they were determined to ‘give back’ to the NHS and to the country that provided them with a safe home.

    Producers:
    Amanda Hancox
    Helen Lee

    Picture Credit : Bright White and Studio Liddell

    • 43 min
    Post Office IT dispute, Carers week; Places of worship reopening.

    Post Office IT dispute, Carers week; Places of worship reopening.

    The government will shortly launch an independent review to consider whether Post Office Ltd has learned lessons from the Horizon dispute and court case, and made the changes needed to ensure a similar case cannot happen again. The Church of England also has a part in this story as Paula Vennells, former Post Office Ltd CEO and current Chair of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust is also a non-stipendiary priest in the diocese of St Albans. There have been a number of complaints to her Bishop about whether she should continue to be a priest, William Crawley asks are these justified?

    To mark Carer’s Week, we talk to Chris (80) and Cheryl (75) who are facing extra challenges during lock-down as they care for their 47 year old daughter Natasha.

    Not all faith communities have welcomed the government announcement that places of worship can open on June 15th for private prayer. To explain why, William is joined by Rabbi Nicky Liss from the Highgate Synagogue in north London, Hassan Joudi who is Deputy Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain and Rev Canon Chris Thomas, General Secretary of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference.


    Producers
    Carmel Lonergan
    David Cook

    Editor
    Amanda Hancox

    • 43 min
    Young Black UK Voices; President Trump's Evangelicals; Hagia Sofia

    Young Black UK Voices; President Trump's Evangelicals; Hagia Sofia

    As America mourns the death of George Floyd - with memorial services and protests across the country - we ask what impact his death has had on the black community in the UK and what changes they would like to see. Edward Stourton discusses the issues with Aliyah Hasinah from Black Lives Matter UK and Ruth Yimika Afolabi founder of Magnify magazine.

    The pictures of President Trump standing outside St John's Episcopal Church just across the road from the White House, bible in hand , have been interpreted as a direct appeal to his religious base. Donald Trump has long enjoyed the support of American Christians, especially white evangelicals, and it’s this relationship that journalist and author Sarah Posner discusses on the programme.

    Is Turkey’s President Erdogan planning to allow the Hagia Sofia - one of Christianity’s greatest churches - to be converted into a mosque? Dorian Jones reports.

    Producers:
    Helen Lee
    Amanda Hancox

    • 43 min

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5
14 Ratings

14 Ratings

Mo Sena ,

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?

Organa57 ,

Yes!

I love having a place to go for religion news!

Lord Watson ,

Wonderful program

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

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