Witch Markings, New Zealand Mosque Attacks and Religion in China
Experts at Creswell Crags in Nottinghamshire thought the hundreds of markings covering the walls of caves were Victorian graffiti. Now they are believed to be Britain's largest collection of 'witch markings' from 16th - 18th centuries to protect people from the dark forces of the underworld. Reporter Harry Farley went to see them. The head of China’s state-sanctioned Protestant Church claims Western forces are trying to use Christianity to “subvert” the Chinese government and the Governor of Xinjiang province says the ‘re-education camps’ for Muslim Uighurs are reducing terrorism. Edward Stourton discusses religion in China with Maria Jaschok and Edmond Tang. In response to the New Zealand Mosque attacks, Edward speaks to the Bishop Christchurch. Samayya Afzal, Community Engagement Manager for the Muslim Council of Great Britain and Dr Rosemary Hancock of the University of Notre Dame in Sydney Australia discuss Islamophobia and what lies behind it.
Photo Credit: Creswell Heritage Trust
25 years of women priests; Amanda Spielman on faith schools
This week marks the 25th anniversary of the first female ordinations in the Church of England. Rosie Dawson reports on the struggle women faced to become priests and the opposition that still exists in some segments of the Church.
Amanda Spielman is Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of schools and she has angered some conservative religious groups by saying all children must learn about same-sex couples, regardless of their faith background. She responds to parents at Parkfield Community School in Birmingham who have withdrawn their children in protest at lessons about LGBT issues.
Scottish couples are nearly four times less likely to divorce if they marry in a Humanist ceremony, according to figures given exclusively to Sunday. We discuss the story with Andrew Copson, chief executive of Humanists UK and Harry Benson, research director at the Marriage Foundation.
Producers: Harry Farley
Editor: Amanda Hancox
Helen Taylor-Thompson; new Farsi service
94 year old Helen Taylor-Thompson talks to Emily Buchanan ahead of International Women's Day. She was a member of Churchill’s ‘Secret Army’ during World War 2 and went on to found Europe’s first AIDS hospice in the 1980's. She talks to Emily about how her Christian faith has helped her through.
A new service in Farsi is launched at Wakefield Cathedral to cater for a growing number of Iranians who have become Christians in the last 5 years.
Andrew West in Sydney reports on Cardinal Pell's challenge of his child abuse conviction and one survivor of abuse by a teacher in a Catholic School in Lancashire criticises the Catholic Church in England and Wales over its attitude towards survivors. Christopher Pearson, Chair of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission responds.
Louise Clarke- Rowbotham
Isis bride, sex education backlash
Tania Joya is a former ISIS bride and now lives in the US and works in de-radicalisation. She talks to Edward Stourton about the Shamima Begum case.
Sunday's Harry Farley reports on how some Orthodox Jews state they will leave the country if new Government plans on Relationship education are implemented.
Martin Bashir reports from Rome on the final day of a major summit on clergy sexual abuse, as the Pope calls for "concrete measures" and not only "simple and obvious condemnations".
US comic writer Mark Russell talks to Edward Stourton about his comic about Jesus called ‘Second Coming’ and controversy around it.
Producers: Catherine Earlam and Helen Lee
Editor: Amanda Hancox
Medieval Nun, Burial Space.
Buried within medieval archives is the story of Joan of Leeds – a nun who faked her own death in order to run away and live a wanton life. Professor Sarah Rees Jones of York University tells Edward the story. And why not everyone wants to be cremated even though we’re running out of space for burials - Professor Douglas Davies, director of Durham University’s Centre of Death and Life Studies and Mohamed Omer, board member of ‘Gardens of Peace’ the largest dedicated Muslim cemetery in the country discuss the theological reasons for burial. Following our special programme from Lagos last weekend we hear the latest results and predictions from Mayeni Jones in Nigeria.
Photo credit: Borthwick Institute for Archives, University of York.