Factsheets

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.

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Factsheet: Conversion therapy
What is conversion therapy, and why is it so controversial? Explore with our factsheet by Professor Michael King of UCL
Factsheet: The Church of England
The Church of England is England's national "established" Christian denomination. It split from the Catholic Church in the 16th century and today, despite decades of decline, its parishes still cover every inch of England and its institutions remain deeply embedded in national life
Factsheet: Druids
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
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
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
Background, history, beliefs, organisation of the Methodists, Britain's fourth largest denomination with 60 million members worldwide.
Factsheet: Christmas
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
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