Monday, August 22, 2016 5:53am
The schism in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is dividing communities, friends, even families, as they are forced to choose between Kiev or Moscow as their spiritual guide.
After Russia's annexation of Crimea and conflict continuing in the east of the country, Ukraine's fraught relationship with Russia continues to cause controversy. In a country where the majority of the population consider themselves Orthodox Christians, Olga Smirnova investigates how Ukrainian's are negotiating the rift in Ukraine's religious landscape.
Miles away from the conflict in east, Olga discovers a dispute in the village of Pticha, where the village's only church has become a symbol of the major spilt in the Orthodox church being experienced across Ukraine. Followers of the Church of Moscow have locked themselves inside the church forcing those affiliated with the Kiev Patriarchate to worship outside in the church grounds. The villagers are at war; husbands and wives are divided, as are parents and children.
In Kherson, a town in southern Ukraine, Olga meets Priest Smitriev who on behalf of his congregation switched their alliance from following the Moscow Patriarchate to Kiev. Whilst Fr. Smitriev denounces his former church as a "participant in the murders of Ukrainian citizens" many of his parishioners refute their priest's decision.
Faith on the Ukrainian Fault Line was presented and produced by Olga Smirnova
Friday, August 12, 2016 9:34am
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 by cheating you are dishonouring your faith.
Doping, Diving and God was presented by Robert Beckford and produced in Salford by Rajeev Gupta.
Photo credit: Getty Images
Saturday, August 6, 2016 10:00pm
We live in fearful times. All over the world renewed wars of religion are being fought. Politicians exploit our fears of one another in order to win power. 350 years ago, the philosopher Benedict Spinoza put his very, big brain to work on the problem of religion in politics. His theories led to the Enlightenment and its ideas of democracy and the separation of Church and State in the role of government. To do this he had to argue that God was not the God of the Bible. Spinoza’s reward: excommunication. But no threat could stop him imagining a new kind of liberty.
Michael Goldfarb tells the story of Spinoza with the help of philosophers and musicians in a programme that will make listeners think and reflect on the big questions of life, the universe and our place in it.
Saturday, July 30, 2016 10:00pm
Will Grant reports from both sides of the border in Hispaniola to look at the role of the church in the world's forgotten migrant crisis.
Neighbours Haiti and the Dominican Republic have a long and turbulent history. Today a new conflict has arisen with the announcement by the Dominican government demanding all people of Haitian descent prove their legal status. Tens of thousands of Haitians have fled to the border to escape threats of violence and deportation.
Along the mountain border near Parc Cadeau, Will meets the Jesuit organisations operating on both sides of the border, leading the efforts to provide shelter, food and spiritual support. Despite national and international pressure, and even a visit from the Pope, the influential Dominican Cardinal Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez continues to back the court ruling and antagonise attempts for intercultural dialogue. In the Dominican capital, Santo Domingo, Will meets the Jesuit priests who are protesting against their government and their own Church, asking them to help their Catholic neighbours.
Photo: Parc Cadeau, Haiti . Credit: Will Grant