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Heart and Soul


Whether examining religious faith or any other belief-system, the programme talks to believers and non-believers, and tries to get beyond superficial notions of spirituality and religion.

Whether examining religious faith or any other belief-system, the programme talks to believers and non-believers, and tries to get beyond superficial notions of spirituality and religion.
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London, United Kingdom




Whether examining religious faith or any other belief-system, the programme talks to believers and non-believers, and tries to get beyond superficial notions of spirituality and religion.




Eritrea to Huddersfield

Pastor Daniel Habteys journey to becoming a church leader in the north of England has taken him through the toughest of tests. In 2002 he fled persecution and imprisonment in his native Eritrea because of his Christian faith. After spending a fortnight crossing the Sahara Desert in the back of a pick-up truck, he, his wife and their baby daughter almost lost their lives while making the treacherous journey across the Mediterranean to Italy. Now, he leads English and Eritrean worship at his...

Duration: 00:27:39

New Life with Old Belief

Old Belief communities formed as a result of Russian Orthodox Church theological reforms of the 17th century. After a period of torture and mass executions and unrecognised by the state, Old Believers were forced to go underground or move to unreachable parts of this vast country, where they lived independent of state and official church. The Revolution of 1917 led to a further exodus – even as far as Latin America. In the last decade, the population decline led the Russian government to...

Duration: 00:26:28

Being Muslim in Manchester - One Love?

Baktash Noori is a 23-year-old practising Muslim Mancunian YouTube vlogger. He lives just five minutes drive from the Manchester Arena where, six months ago, 22 people were killed by suicide bomber. In the days after the attack his parents were warning him to stay off the streets, worried that the colour of his skin and his faith would make him a target for attack. Instead Baktash took to the Manchester streets, blindfolded, with a cardboard sign inviting people to give him a hug. Scared...

Duration: 00:26:52

Jesus Lived in the Townships

Audrey Brown is in South Africa to meet Pastor Xola Skosana. After nearly 20 years of ministering to a congregation impoverished by the legacy of apartheid he has rejected his Christian faith. It is a controversial message and uncomfortable for many Christians, but it is a message which has tapped into a bigger narrative in this troubled country. We hear how Xola struggled with his faith, and why he no longer sees his faith in the white Jesus of the established church.

Duration: 00:26:44

Africa’s Mother

Mercy Amba-Oduoye is a true reformer; in fact in her native Ghana she embodies the phrase. She is called the Mother of African Feminist Christian Theology and is globally recognised as the leader of a movement that has constantly challenged the male preconception of being ‘a good girl’ a phrase in Africa which means not questioning the established role and place of young women. In the third programme in the special season on Heart and Soul focussing on reforming faith, Anne Soy travels to...

Duration: 00:27:11

An Equal Partnership?

Dotted around London, in the concentrated areas where Orthodox Jews have made their home, groups of believers meet to pray and share their faith Nothing unusual in that, but what make these gatherings significant are that women are leading the prayers, and they are sharing their celebration with men, These prayer groups are called Partnership Minyans, and have become a symbol of a major shift in Judaism making many traditional believers extremely uncomfortable With a panel in London, Emma...

Duration: 00:26:52

Are Muslims ready for a female Imam like Seyran Ates?

To mark the 500th anniversary idea of Reformation which spilt Christianity, Heart and Soul investigates the role of women in disrupting the status quo and challenging the traditions in three of the main religions that have been preserved, in many cases, for centuries. In this first programme, Samira Ahmed is in Copenhagen, Denmark to explore whether Islam will ever properly embrace the idea that women can become Imams, prayer leaders, give sermons and offer guidance to both men and women....

Duration: 00:26:48

Underground Islam in Italy

Unlike Christianity and Judaism, Islam is not recognised in Italy. There are only eight officially recognised mosques and that is despite being home to the fourth largest Muslim population in Europe. The recent government crackdown on the estimated 2,000 makeshift ‘garage’ mosques across Italy has led to mass protests. The government have introduced a new ‘National Pact for an Italian Islam' but Muslims in Italy argue it’s not enough, the government though claims, it is a step forward in...

Duration: 00:26:45

Fighting for Their Forest Faith

Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim country. There are hundreds of indigenous faiths, practised for centuries. They are not recognised by the State and are viewed as unbelievers. Rebecca Henschke travels through some of the world’s last remaining rainforest to meet the Orang Rimba – people of the jungle. She meets those who are trying to preserve their nomadic way of life and those who, after losing their forest, are being forced by the state to convert. (Photo: Children from the Orang...

Duration: 00:26:59

A Square Dance in Heaven

For Martin Luther, music, with its power to move emotions, was an “inexpressible miracle” second only to Theology. When people engage in music, said Luther, singing in four or five parts, it is like a “square dance in heaven.” For Heart and Soul, The Rev Lucy Winkett, Anglican priest, singer and Bach enthusiast, takes a musical tour of the Reformation. The programme opens in the Georgenkirche in Eisenach, Germany, where Bach was baptised and both Luther and he were choirboys, separated by...

Duration: 00:26:28

The Bodhi Tree

Climate change and security concerns are threatening one of Buddhism's most sacred sites. The Bodhi Tree, in northern India, is believed to be descended from the actual tree under which Buddha gained enlightenment, the tree came under attack from suspected Islamist terrorists in 2013. Several bombs exploded around the temple, and there are fears that security is not tight enough prevent a similar attack in the future. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims visit from around the globe every...

Duration: 00:26:31

Faith in the Fire

On the night the Grenfell Tower fire began on 14 June 2017, the mosques and churches which encircle the tower block in Kensington, West London, provided bases for vital relief work. It was Ramadan so many Muslim faithful were returning from prayers when the fire started, and they were able to alert residents and help people get out of the burning building. In the hours and days that followed, in one of the richest areas of one of the wealthiest cities in the world, people of all religions...

Duration: 00:26:30

The Jamaican Bible Remixed

Christianity has been part of Jamaica for 500 years and it’s said there is a church on every corner. Christian worship is conducted from the King James bible in antiquated English rather than the native Jamaican patois. But the number of people - especially young people - actually going to traditional churches is falling. The answer, some believe, would be to translate the King James bible into the local Jamaican language, offering a uniquely Jamaican version that appeals to ordinary...

Duration: 00:26:41

Diary of a Pakistani Atheist

In March 2017, a High Court Judge in Pakistan made the dramatic declaration that “blasphemers are terrorists.” The declaration is just one part of a growing national campaign to make disbelief socially, publicly and morally not just unacceptable, but one that allows Pakistani people the right to attack those who doubt the importance of Islam. Websites offer a satirical take on Islam and challenge the notion that Pakistan is an Islamic Republic, but the government replied with adverts in...

Duration: 00:26:45

Sacred Songs of the Sikhs

The YouTube generation are re-inventing Kirtan, an ancient form of Sikh worship. Kirtan, the devotional singing of the Sikh holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib, has traditionally been accompanied by tabla or harmonium. Today, a new generation of Sikhs are uploading their own style of Kirtan to the global diaspora. Nina Robinson meets Kirtan artists Manika Kaur from Dubai and Violinder from San Francisco. With millions of views on their respective YouTube channels, these musicians are pushing...

Duration: 00:26:55

Doping, Diving and God

Dr Robert Beckford explores how cheating in sport conflicts with Christian principles. He asks how can an Olympic champion stand on the podium with a gold medal and then thank God in an interview if they have taken performance enhancing drugs? Can a footballer celebrate the penalty he has ‘won’ and then point to the sky in honour of God? In this edition of Heart and Soul, featuring Olympic medallist Ben Johnson, Robert explores what the Christianity has to say about fair play and whether...

Duration: 00:27:00

The Radical Disciple

Every week Father Michael Pfleger takes to social media to share the number of people killed over the past few days in his city, Chicago. The numbers are almost always in double figures and many of the dead are young African-American men shot on the streets that surround his church, St Sabina’s, in the almost entirely black suburb of Auburn-Gresham. Rajini Vaidyanathan meets Father Pfleger after Sunday Mass, to explore with him why he has devoted his life’s work to trying to rid...

Duration: 00:26:57

When the Soul Goes Out

He is he says, on a mission from God, Robert Berman’s lifelong campaign for organ donation to be permissible under Jewish/Talmudic law – Halacha – is at the centre of an ongoing debate in Israel. Berman, a Harvard University graduate, is striving to change attitudes to the donating of organs and possibly redefine the strict and ancient definition of death. Berman has been referred to as “the murderer” as he continues to promote donor cards to this traditional community. Berman’s campaign...

Duration: 00:26:58

Nepal's Living Goddess

In the centre of Patan City in Nepal resides a living goddess, a child as young as four, chosen to host a deity of invincible feminine power. On her young shoulders rests the fate of the nation. Goddesses in many religious traditions around the world exist only in the spiritual realm, symbolised by statues and icons. But in Nepal they live and breathe and take the form of young girls – the kumari. For centuries Hindus and Buddhists across the Kathmandu Valley have worshiped these young...

Duration: 00:27:00

Finding the Light

Huge numbers of Gypsies and travellers across Europe now say they've joined a new movement called Light and Life. Those who join have given up on some parts of their lives that have become associated with being a Gypsy, such as drinking alcohol and fortune-telling, with many even abandoned their traditional Catholic faith. The Gypsy led, Pentecostal movement, has grown rapidly in the past 3 decades - it claims that up to 40% of British Gypsies worship within it, whether that’s actually...

Duration: 00:26:49

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