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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.”


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.

Tuesday April 30th

JW3 Centre 341-351 Finchley Rd, London NW3 6ET

Religion and Media Festival

An exploration of religion in the media, with speakers including Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, about the vital need for religious literacy; Simon Terrington, the Director of Content Policy at Ofcom, overseeing media policy work in relation to the broadcast sector; and the BBC's Director of Radio and Education, James Purnell, who is also responsible for religious affairs programming. Panel discussions include a presentation by Dr Lois Lee, from the University of Kent, on the global research programme 'Understanding Unbelief', uncovering the nature and diversity of unbelief. Short platform addresses will be given on Islamophobia and Christophobia; and a transgender priest will reflect on her experience of dealing with the media. In addition, media professionals will lead workshops on creative skills, including podcasting. For further details: Events To book a place: Book Here To view the programme:

View Programme

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.