Saturday, May 21, 2016 10:00pm
For Christians, the Feast of the Annunciation on the 25 March celebrates the moment that the Angel Gabriel told Mary she was going to give birth to the Son of God – it is also a national holiday in Lebanon where Mary is important to both Christians and Muslims - in the Koran she is referenced 37 times.
Mary became a symbol of unity after the civil war of the 1980s and continues to be one for Lebanese people who worry that Islamic State will bring their extreme views and violence over its border with Syria.
John Laurenson follows the crowds as they celebrate Mary and talk to Muslims and Christians about the hope she represents for Lebanon and their affection for the woman they see as their Holy Mother.
Produced and Presented by John Laurenson Picture: AFP/Patrick Baz
Saturday, May 14, 2016 10:00pm
Reverend Gretta Vosper is a minister in the United Church of Canada, an author and an avowed atheist. She is open about her lack of faith in a supernatural God and preaches that acting like a Christian is more important than believing like one. Now her controversial beliefs are testing the limits of her famously liberal church, and may lead to her being defrocked.
Jennifer Chevalier travels to Toronto to meet with Gretta Vosper and find out why her congregation prefers a church without God. Jennifer also hears from a minister who feels Gretta’s views are fundamentally at odds with what the United Church of Canada stands for. But a meeting with a third minister reveals that Gretta’s views are not as rare as they might seem.
Presenter: Jennifer Chevalier
Producer : Viv Jones
Picture courtesy of Viv Jones.
Saturday, May 7, 2016 7:00pm
The Alevi, Turkey's largest religious minority are Muslims who fuse Shiite Islam with Sufism and Shamanism. Rather controversially they are also followers of Ali – the son -in-law of the Prophet Muhammad.
The Turkish government continues to reject recognition of Alevi ‘Cemevis' as places of worship, despite several recent rulings taken by the European Court of Human Rights instructing Turkey to do so. The Alevi see this as a refusal of religious freedom by the Turkish authorities toward them and other religious minorities making up the country's rich diversity.
Dale Gavlak meets Alevi leaders who are concerned that the Turkish authorities are trying to impose a Sunni majority agenda on them by not allowing them to register their places of worship, nor permit their version of Islam to be taught in government schools, where right now, the compulsory teaching of Sunni Islam takes place.
The Alevi are a distinct, colourful, poetic faith within Turkey. Heart and Soul explores the community and in doing so highlights their difficulties in establishing their role in a changing Turkish society.
The Producer and Reporter for Heart and Soul was Dale Gavlak
Photo: The spiritual Alevi dancers. Credit: Dale Gavlak
Saturday, April 30, 2016 7:00pm
When apartheid in South Africa ended in 1994, Archbishop Desmond Tutu preached that the only hope for the country to heal its deep wounds was to turn its back on revenge and retribution and embrace the ancient humanist African philosophy of Ubuntu.
The Zulu proverb “Umuntu ngumuntu nag Bantu” means a person is a person through others. Ubuntu states that our humanity is inextricably bound up in others. We cannot live in Ubuntu and violate the dignity or humanity of another. The two are irreconcilable.
Twenty years since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was established, the body chaired by Archbishop Tutu in South Africa after the abolition of apartheid in the 1990s, Audrey Brown investigates whether Archbishop Tutu’s championing of Ubuntu has helped South Africa to heal and embrace forgiveness in the shadow of the Apartheid regime. Audrey meets the current day faithful advocates of Ubuntu, who like Archbishop Tutu, continue to facilitate conflict resolution, defend the persecuted and promote peace.
(Picture: F.W. de Klerk, former South African National Party President and Bishop Desmond Tutu, after signing South Africa peace pact, aimed at ending Apartheid. Credit: Laurence Coss/Associated Press)
Monday, April 25, 2016 11:37am
Deep in the heart of Catholic Spain there has been a dispute that has lasted for centuries over a Mosque, the Great Mosque, or for others the great Cathedral of Cordoba, which carries on to this day. Once a small Christian temple, then a major medieval Islamic haven of worship, it was converted into a Christian cathedral in the 13th century.
Helen Grady joins Muslim travellers on their journey to Cordoba – a focus of their Islamic faith on the European mainland despite a growing animosity towards them and banning of Muslim prayers at the site. Local activists voice their concerns over the renaming of the mosque the Cordoba Cathedral and accuse the Catholic church of ‘a land grab’. They claim the church is intent on erasing Spain’s long Muslim heritage and fear this will jeopardise the delicately balanced relationship between the two great faiths in Europe.
As Europe continues to debate its current relationship with Islam, Spain has attempted to position itself as a symbol of interfaith harmony and a major destination for Muslim tourism and business. However, Cordoba's Mosque-Cathedral has become a focal point for the increasingly fierce dispute over how Spain's Islamic past should inform its present and future.
But for the people of Cordoba the beautiful imposing building is the focus of their deep faith where every day they come to pray to their God. It is through these ordinary people that Helen hears about the importance of the Mosque-Cathedral.
(Picture: Kierin, Shabnab and Nabila - visitors to the Mosque Cathedral from the UK. By Cesar Dezfuli)