Saturday, September 24, 2016 10:00pm
Every year millions of rural Chinese workers swarm into the new vast mega cities that are growing seemingly unconstrained all over this vast country
As they settle and populate cities like Beijing and Shanghai, they are bring their Christian faith with them, changing the social and religious landscape of the country and challenging the moral authority of the Communist Party
In the second part of his journey exploring Christianity in China, Danny Vincent meets the people worshipping in the shadows, out of sight of the government who have decreed that practicing their faith is illegal
China will soon overtake the USA as the world’s most populace nation, Danny asks whether the state is just paranoid that Chinese Christians will shift their loyalty from the ideals of the Communist state to the word of God.
Saturday, September 17, 2016 10:00pm
China is an atheist state, officially, but Christianity is booming. It is estimated that there are more Christians in the country than members of the Communist Party.
Danny Vincent travels to the south-east coast to the city of Wenzhou – known as China’s Jerusalem. In Wenzhou, he discovers the scale of the recent demolitions by the government of crucifixes, the most venerated symbol of the Christian faith, officially because they are too tall or illegal. It is estimated that 1,700 crosses have been knocked down since 2014. Danny Vincent travels to Wenzhou to meet Pastor Zhang, an illegal pastor in one of the thousands of underground churches that serve the millions of Chinese Christians.
However, he also meets a pastor from a government registered church who defends the crosses being taken down and how he says the real reasons that crosses are demolished is because they are illegally built and not because the Chinese government is so concerned about the meteoric rise in the faith.
(Photo: A giant red cross propped up against a window)
Saturday, September 10, 2016 10:00pm
Some of the brightest and best students of Islam in Britain round off their education at the Cambridge Muslim College, which aims to train the next generation of British Muslim leaders. Towards the end of their course, the students (some of them trainee imams) step out of their Islamic comfort zone to experience something which is quite new to most; they immerse themselves in the faith and culture of the world’s largest Christian church during a trip to Rome and the Vatican.
Abdul-Rehman Malik travels with the group as they visit some of the Catholic world’s most important sites and meet ordinary and not-so-ordinary Catholics. How will they respond to attending mass for the first time, and to the majesty and vastness of St Peter’s Basilica? What will they make of their meeting with a lively and enthusiastic cloistered nun, or the infectious passion for astronomy displayed by the director of the Vatican Observatory, Br Guy Consolmagno? And, will all that pale into insignificance on the last day, when they come face to face with Pope Francis?
The programme examines how these encounters challenge and change the Muslim students’ perceptions of Christianity, and what they will be taking away for their future work among Britain’s Muslim communities.
Photo: A student from Cambridge Muslim College in St Peter's Square
Saturday, September 3, 2016 10:00pm
The Pope described Mother Teresa as a "gift from God to the poorest of the poor". To millions she is already a saint and an iconic saviour of the wretched of the Earth. To others, her approach to the most immediate medical and welfare needs of the poor was much more questionable. What is her legacy - not only in India but around the world? And, how is her once-so-famous charitable religious order doing today?
Mike Wooldridge looks back at her life and death, which he covered first hand as the BBC’s former South Asia correspondent and Religious Affairs correspondent.
(Photo: Nirmal Hriday women's ward. Credit: Ruth Evans)
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