A look at the ethical and religious issues of the week

A look at the ethical and religious issues of the week


London, United Kingdom




A look at the ethical and religious issues of the week




Last rites as an 'emergency service', Lebanon crisis, 'Swing Low, Sweet Chariot'

The Catholic Bishop of Shrewsbury has called for greater recognition of the last rites as an “emergency service”, following concerns that a priest was unable to reach Sir David Amess, a Catholic, at the scene where he was attacked. Meanwhile in Parliament this week, there was talk of this being reflected in a so-called "Amess amendment" to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. Ed Stourton explores the implications. Sectarian violence on the streets of Beirut last week was the...


Church crawls, Religious toys, Jewish Fringe Festival

On this weekend’s Sunday programme, we continue to explore the future of religious worship, post-pandemic. Our reporter Nalini Sivasthasan looks into the renewed calls to make some Mosques more inclusive spaces for Muslim Women. And our Presenter Emily Buchanan speaks to the Imam and Scholar, Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra. Amidst the growing calls for the restitution of treasures looted from Africa during the colonial era, there sits in the British Museum a contested collection of Sacred Plaques...


Ben Fogle; Halal Student Finance; Day of the Scientist

Following in the footsteps of St Colomba, presenter and adventurer Ben Fogle has been on a pilgrimage across the Hebrides to explore themes of community and spirituality, He joins Edward Stourton to describe a personal journey that can be seen in a four part series on BBC One called 'Scotland's Sacred Islands with Ben Fogle'. A survey by Muslim Census has found that large numbers of Muslim students feel compromised by having to take out non halal student loans. The student loan scheme...



Is it possible for intense suffering to bring about great spiritual growth ? That’s the question our Presenter Emily Buchanan explores with the Psychologist and Author Dr. Steve Taylor in his book ‘Extraordinary Awakenings: When Trauma Leads to Transformation. It covers the stories of those who report transcendental experiences after a major trauma such as bereavement or witnessing violent conflict. Over a thousand Church Leaders are signatories to a letter urging the Government not to...


"Brown" Bouquets; Faith After The Pandemic; Deborah Feldman

This years' bumper wedding season - postponed because of the pandemic - means difficult flower choices for many a winter bride. The Chelsea Flower Show judge and Royal Wedding florist Shane Connolly believes that using unseasonal flowers at weddings and in churches is a real problem for the environment. Edward Stourton hears from recent brides who chose recycled bouquets and talks to Shane Connolly about "brown flowers" and why he wants churches to give up using plastic foams and imported...


Psalm 23 Garden, Sanctuary, Muslim Sibling Rivalry

The Chelsea Flower Show finally opens its doors on Monday 20th September. Reporter Vishva Samani went behind the scenes for a sneak preview of The Bible Society’s Garden, Psalm 23, designed by Sarah Eberle The Assisted Dying Bill gets its second reading in the Lords next month. As the debate gains momentum, our Presenter William Crawley asks how we can find more comfortable and beneficial ways of talking about the subject of death and dying. He’s joined by Liz Slade, Chief Officer of the...


Turban confusion, Jewish heritage, Hong Kong Christian activists

The first hate crime recorded after the 9/11 attacks in the US was against an observant American Sikh man Balbir Singh Sodhi. He was murdered by a man who thought his turban meant he supported the Taliban. Now Sikhs in the US and UK are concerned that the rising profile of the Taliban in Afghanistan is once again leading to abuse. We hear from the community and ask what might be done to remedy what they call "religious illiteracy". This year the UK opened its borders to people from Hong Kong...


British Muslims views on Afghanistan, Vaccine inequity, The traditions of the Jewish New Year.

As the Rt. Rev. Jonathan Goodall, the Anglican Bishop of Ebbsfleet resigns to become a Roman Catholic, we explore what it means for both faiths. Our Presenter Edward Stourton is joined by Christina Rees, who was a member of the Church of England’s Synod for twenty five years and also a prominent campaigner for the ordination of women, and the Right Reverend Monsignor Keith Newton, who is responsible for the Ordinariate of our Lady of Walsingham. John Viney, a former Jehovah’s Witness Elder...


Religious minorities in Afghanistan, The rise and fall of Christian Ireland, George Harrison’s ‘My Sweet Lord’ 50 years on

As the UK urges the Taliban to guarantee a safe passage for those who want to leave Afghanistan beyond the 31 August deadline, there have been calls in the US to prioritise the resettlement of members of minority religious groups at risk of persecution. This week, William Crawley explores the situation on the ground for minority Christians and Hazara Shia Muslims. Ireland has long been regarded as the land of saints and scholars. Yet, despite Christianity’s long dominance on the Island of...


Afghan refugee crisis; Women's rights under the Taliban; Cardinal Nichols on our moral responsibility for Afghanistan

The unfolding crisis in Afghanistan is the focus of much of this week's programme. As Afghan families arrive in the UK, we hear how religious communities are mobilising to support them and we speak to one refugee who landed here only last week. Christian charities co-ordinating the response share their concerns about the Government's resettlement scheme. And Ravi Singh, CEO of Khalsa Aid, tells William Crawley about his struggle to help 300 Sikhs and Hindus who took refuge in the Karte...


Aretha Franklin influence, 'Conversion therapy' ban, Vaccine refusal among US evangelicals

As the Aretha Franklin biopic ‘Respect’ premieres this weekend, we explore how the singer helped to bring black spirituality into the mainstream of American life. Ahead of a public consultation and proposed ban on so-called 'conversion therapy' in England and Wales, we hear views about how a ban should work in practice and what the implications could be for some religious groups. The latest polling in the US suggests that around a quarter of white evangelicals don’t want the Covid vaccine....



A look at the ethical and religious issues of the week



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...



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?...


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...


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...


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...


Climate Change Boat Relay; Faith and Football; Cult Survivor

What will you be doing on Sunday afternoon? You could look to Cornwall where the G7 will draw to a close and a group of young Christians will meet at Truro Cathedral. There they will bless a wicker boat to be carried in relay to Glasgow in time for the UN Climate Change Conference in October. Edward Stourton asks if they can really hope to change minds with the trip and finds out why they're carrying the boat. Or maybe you'll spend your Sunday afternoon doing something else entirely. As...