Factsheets are written by academics, journalists and commentators to explain the context and background of current religion and belief stories. They include information on festivals, timelines of running stories and suggestions for experts and commentators.


All Factsheets

Factsheet: Druids

March 26, 2021

Druidry is a contemporary movement which takes inspiration from the beliefs and practices of the religious leaders in Iron Age European society, known as druids. Modern druidry began in the 18th century during a revival of interest in ancient druids, of which almost nothing is actually known with any historical certainty
Factsheet: Haredi Jews

March 12, 2021

By Lianne Kolirin Who are Haredi Jews?  Strictly Orthodox Jews are often referred to as Haredi, which stems from the Hebrew word hared, meaning to tremble. Added meaning is drawn from a verse in Isaiah, in which God says: “But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at my...
Factsheet: Buddhism

February 12, 2021

Buddhism is followed by approximately 535 million people worldwide and is variously described as a religion, philosophy, code of ethics, path of practice and spiritual development and/or a way of life
Factsheet: the Methodist Church

February 5, 2021

The Methodist movement is a denomination of Christianity which was born in the 18th century with John Wesley, a Church of England cleric and evangelist who sparked a revival through preaching to ordinary people outside the church. It later blossomed into its own denomination after Wesley's death and is now widespread across the world
Factsheet: Christmas

December 20, 2020

Christmas is one of the major annual festivals in Christianity, and marks the birth of Jesus. It falls on 25 December each year
Factsheet: Jehovah’s Witnesses

December 15, 2020

Jehovah's Witnesses are the followers of a Christian-based religion perhaps best known for their door-to-door evangelising, their belief that we are living in the last days, and their refusal of blood transfusions