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Fact Sheets

FACT SHEETS

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“The re-emergence of religion in the public square is one of the biggest and most significant paradigm shifts of recent times.”

GRAHAM WARD

Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford

There are 7.5 billion people in the world and an estimated 85% identify with a religious group. The biggest religion is Christianity, accounting for about one-third of the earth’s population. The next is Islam whose adherents make up about one-quarter of the world’s inhabitants. There are about one billion Hindus, 500 million Buddhists, 14 million Jews and many smaller faith groups http://www.pewforum.org/.

Understanding religion and belief is and will remain central to public life and debate, however significant the growth of secularism. Tens of millions of people in the UK continue to identify with a religious faith and we all have frequent encounters with people of all faiths and beliefs. Religious literacy is essential to understanding the world in which we live and our daily interactions across all levels of society, in the public, private and voluntary sectors.

The media plays a key role in developing and enhancing this understanding. The Religion Media Centre has no editorial line nor does it promote any one religion, or religious belief in general. Instead, it exists to provide accurate, timely and relevant information to the media, enabling the public to be better informed and promoting decision-making based on fact, not prejudice or stereotypes.




Religion and Media festival

Exploring Belief, the second Religion and Media festival, was held at the JW3 Centre in north London on 30 April 2019. The keynote speaker, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, said: “The media has not covered religion as well as it might; not given it space, time or quality of knowledge that it should have done. And yet religion is essential in understanding what is going on in the world.” An audience of media professionals, academics, faith representatives and others, listened as the theme was picked up with panel discussions on how religion is understood; the stories still waiting to be told; and the impact of social media on the transmission of religion. Punchy, provocative polemics included the story of a young Jamaican Muslim rapper, Tanya Muneera Williams, who was spat on and abused by a gang. How has the media, she asked, contributed to the normalisation of hate? Read a full report of the festival here

The team at @InformReligion have put together a #factsheet for us about #ISIS - with timeline, background and beliefs to provide accurate info for your reporting

https://t.co/r2rUqGzpJI

'Muslims break their fast each day at sundown. This meal is called iftar, [...] The Prophet Muhammad was known to break his fast with dates, so many Muslims will start their iftar with a date'

Check out @michaelmunnik's factsheet on #Ramadhan

https://t.co/kKAqAhnqhy

Austria approves headscarf ban in primary schools: Law against ‘religiously influenced clothing’ exempts male Sikh and Jewish headwear: https://t.co/Kn3e0eHcMX

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The media plays a key role in developing and enhancing the understanding of religion and belief, which is central to public life. Tens of millions of people in the UK identifying with a faith and the Religion Media Centre exists to provide accurate, timely and relevant information to the media, enabling this world to be understood.