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Podcast Sunday
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  • Psalm 23 Garden, Sanctuary, Muslim Sibling Rivalry
    The Chelsea Flower Show finally opens its doors on Monday 20th September. Reporter Vishva Samani went behind the scenes for a sneak preview of The Bible Society’s Garden, Psalm 23, designed by Sarah Eberle The Assisted Dying Bill gets its second reading in the Lords next month. As the debate gains momentum, our Presenter William Crawley asks how we can find more comfortable and beneficial ways of talking about the subject of death and dying. He’s joined by Liz Slade, Chief Officer of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches and Dr. Hina Shahid, GP and Chair of the Muslim Doctors Association. King Ina of Wessex, a Christian, confirmed the right of Churches to offer Sanctuary in 693. By 1624 those rights were abolished, but the Church is still seen as a place that people can turn to for Sanctuary in one form or another. Only last week a group of Church of England Bishops accused the Government of criminalising ‘the Good Samaritan’ under proposals outlined in the National Borders Bill, requiring Border Force vessels to turn back migrant boats, rather than give safe passage to the UK. We explore what Sanctuary means in the modern world with Dr Louise Hampson, from the Centre for the Study of Christianity and Culture, who is also leading a Sanctuary Exhibition at Beverley Minster and The Rt Revd Dr David Walker, Bishop of Manchester. Sisters, Uzma and Ambreen Hameed, have written a two-book novel series called ‘Undying’. It’s a black comedy about two rival sisters in a British Muslim family. The sisters tell William how the project brought them closer together, as they assessed what it meant to live with the label British Muslim. Producers: Jill Collins and Louise Clarke-Rowbotham Editor: Tim Pemberton
  • Turban confusion, Jewish heritage, Hong Kong Christian activists
    The first hate crime recorded after the 9/11 attacks in the US was against an observant American Sikh man Balbir Singh Sodhi. He was murdered by a man who thought his turban meant he supported the Taliban. Now Sikhs in the US and UK are concerned that the rising profile of the Taliban in Afghanistan is once again leading to abuse. We hear from the community and ask what might be done to remedy what they call "religious illiteracy". This year the UK opened its borders to people from Hong Kong in what is said to be the biggest migration here since Windrush. It's expected that between 130,000 and 300,000 will come over time. These are people who are unhappy with the path Hong Kong has taken since it was handed over to China in 1997. But key players on both sides of the argument over Democracy in Hong Kong had their roots in Christianity. William Crawley discusses this with former foreign correspondent and author of The Gate to China, Michael Sheridan. And we report on the UK's oldest synagogue, Bevis Marks and a fight against a proposal to build two tower blocks next to it. The synagogue's trustees say the proposed buildings will block almost all sunlight and change the atmosphere completely. We'll ask if we're paying enough attention to our Jewish Heritage with Professor Abigail Green, who's helping Heritage England to enrich their records with surprising Jewish connections to much-loved country houses like Strawberry Hill and Waddeson Manor. They're now inviting the public to "enrich the list" by bringing them their memories of Jewish life in important buildings:
  • British Muslims views on Afghanistan, Vaccine inequity, The traditions of the Jewish New Year.
    As the Rt. Rev. Jonathan Goodall, the Anglican Bishop of Ebbsfleet resigns to become a Roman Catholic, we explore what it means for both faiths. Our Presenter Edward Stourton is joined by Christina Rees, who was a member of the Church of England’s Synod for twenty five years and also a prominent campaigner for the ordination of women, and the Right Reverend Monsignor Keith Newton, who is responsible for the Ordinariate of our Lady of Walsingham. John Viney, a former Jehovah’s Witness Elder along with a former Witness whom we are calling Sarah, give us their reactions to the latest Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse Report Father Mychal Judge lost his life in the attack on the Twin Towers. His was the first death to be formally certified and he was identified as Victim 0001. As the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 looms, his friend and colleague Salvatore Sapienza and Francis DeBernado, Director of the New Ways Ministry, who has been working on Father Michael’s biography, reflect on the life of the Firefighter’s Chaplain. As the Taliban begins to form a Government, how do UK Muslims feel about the prospect of a new Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan? We’ve been getting the views of different sections of the British Muslim population. Rosh Hashanah marks the start of the Jewish New Year. But what does it symbolise and how is it traditionally celebrated? Different traditions observe the festival in slightly different ways as Esther Offenberg, Molly Taylor and Joe Hyman explain. Whilst many of the richer nations complete their vaccination programmes, many poorer countries have barely started. So how do we rectify this vaccine imbalance. Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown discusses the issue with our Presenter Edward Stourton.
  • Religious minorities in Afghanistan, The rise and fall of Christian Ireland, George Harrison’s ‘My Sweet Lord’ 50 years on
    As the UK urges the Taliban to guarantee a safe passage for those who want to leave Afghanistan beyond the 31 August deadline, there have been calls in the US to prioritise the resettlement of members of minority religious groups at risk of persecution. This week, William Crawley explores the situation on the ground for minority Christians and Hazara Shia Muslims. Ireland has long been regarded as the land of saints and scholars. Yet, despite Christianity’s long dominance on the Island of Ireland, it’s decline over recent years has been rapid. History professor Crawford Gribben tells the story in his new book, ‘The Rise and Fall of Christian Ireland’. George Harrison’s ‘My Sweet Lord’ was instrumental in popularising the Hindu divine form of Krishna in the West. Half a century on, we report on how Krishna found a place on George Harrison’s biggest hit and how the former Beatle’s legacy endures among the UK’s Hare Krishna movement and beyond. University can be a time when personal beliefs are challenged, changed or super-charged. As students prepare for the start of a new academic year, we bring together two undergraduates - both Christians - to explore the impact of new-found freedom on faith. Producers: Dan Tierney and Alistair Kleebaur. Editor: Helen Grady.
  • Afghan refugee crisis; Women's rights under the Taliban; Cardinal Nichols on our moral responsibility for Afghanistan
    The unfolding crisis in Afghanistan is the focus of much of this week's programme. As Afghan families arrive in the UK, we hear how religious communities are mobilising to support them and we speak to one refugee who landed here only last week. Christian charities co-ordinating the response share their concerns about the Government's resettlement scheme. And Ravi Singh, CEO of Khalsa Aid, tells William Crawley about his struggle to help 300 Sikhs and Hindus who took refuge in the Karte Parwan Gurdwara in Kabul as the Taliban swept into the city. "We must give the Taliban a chance and not be terrified by Sharia” says Khola Hasan of the Islamic Sharia Council as she debates with the Afghan film maker Dayanna Saqeb-Jamal. But has the Taliban really changed? Cardinal Vincent Nichols examines our moral responsibility as Afghans are killed in the crush outside Kabul airport and he questions the Government's figure of allowing only 20,000 Afghan refugees saying we should welcome Afghans to this country. And, as the inaugural ‘Hundred’ cricket tournament reaches its climax this weekend, we report on an initiative to get more Muslim women playing cricket and speak to Britain's first hijabi cricketer, Scotland bowler Abtaha Maqsood. Producer: Amanda Hancox and Dan Jackson Editor: Helen Grady

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