Thursday, November 24, 2016 6:00pm
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 true, there is no doubt, there has a surge in people joining this vibrant church founded in France.
Alex Strangwayes-Booth travels to France to the biggest come together of evangelical Gypsys in Europe where she finds out about the history of the Light and Life church and how it has grown, converting gypsys and travellers from Catholicism and in in many cases transforming their lives.
Producer and Presenter: Alex Strangwayes-Booth
Thursday, November 17, 2016 6:00pm
Abdul-Rehman Malik takes us on a musical journey to how he and other believers have found Allah through music. Malik discovered the music of Islam by diving into his father's old records and tapes. He recalls how music disappeared from his home for a number of years, replaced only by recordings of reciters of the Koran and why it has made a comeback in the past few years, as his parents rediscovered their musical heritage.
Music and Islam have been uncomfortable bedfellows. But in fact there is a rich musical heritage which weds theology and sound that is both accessible and inspiring to the western ear. Drawing on fresh recordings and interpretations - from the banks of the Niger to the heart of ancient Lahore - Malik explores the fault lines where culture, theology and Shariah meet and how music is central to his experience as a believer. He delves into the worlds of hip hop, folk and the Muslim answer to 'Christian Rock' - nasheeds. He explores why so much of the most popular world music today is actually deeply grounded in Islam, and why music is still the source of sometime violent acrimony between Muslims.
Thursday, November 10, 2016 6:00pm
Donald Trump predicted that if he won the votes of America's evangelical Christians he would win the election, and he was right.
A quarter of all voters count themselves as evangelical and 81% of them voted for Trump, despite the deep misgivings and public disagreements among Christian leaders over whether their conscience would allow them to endorse him.
Jane Little speaks to four leading evangelical leaders about how they define evangelical Christianity, their hopes and misgivings for the Trump presidency, what role Christian teachings will now play in shaping the country and whether we are in a new era for the religious right in the United States.
Presented by Jane Little, produced by Claire Press and Richard McIlroy.
Donald Trump joins evangelical Christians in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Thursday, November 3, 2016 7:00pm
25 years ago this month Terry Waite returned to the UK after nearly five years of captivity in Beirut. During the violent and destabilising civil war in Lebanon he had been sent by the Church of England to negotiate for the release of several hostages – but he was kidnapped and imprisoned himself by Hezbollah militants. His capture made news around the world and for a long time there was no information on whether he was alive.
During his years of solitary confinement, Terry’s courage and faith were so strong that although he was denied any writing materials, in his head he managed to write a book and conceive ideas for poems. This November, Terry Waite will release his second publication; a book of poems entitled, 'Out of the Silence'. Ahead of the collection's publication, Samira Ahmed meets Terry at his home in the heart of the English countryside. She explores his deeply held faith throughout his turbulent journey. Terry describes how the central Christian teaching of forgiveness drove him to return to Lebanon to meet with both Hezbollah officials and Syrian and Iraqi Christians.
Thursday, October 27, 2016 7:00pm
Reading can be solitary, peaceful, a moment to be alone with your own thoughts, but it can also provide collective wisdom and shared experience.
This week as part of the #LovetoRead season across the BBC, six religious leaders from around the world have chosen a single book that has a unique place in their spiritual lives, a non-religious text, but one that has enriched and informed their faith.
We’ll hear from Ilyasah Shabazz, Sunni activist and daughter of Malcom X, London based Syrian Revd. Nadim Nassar, the Rabbi Baroness Julia Neuberger, Nigerian Pastor and interfaith activist Esther Ibanga, Ahmadi leader Imam Atta-Ul Naseer and Sikh theologian Valarie Kaur.
Power of the Word was produced in Salford by Claire Press.