BBC has disproportionate number of Christian shows, says internal report

Posted On: 
15th May 2016

The BBC broadcasts a disproportionate number of Christian shows compared with productions aimed at the Muslim, Hindu and Sikh faiths, according to an internal review.

The BBC has been urged to increase its output for faiths other than Christianity
PA Images

Director general Lord Hall is apparently considering a report on the subject written by the BBC’s head of religion and ethics Aaqil Ahmed.

The corporation broadcasts religious shows such as Songs of Praise, Sunday Morning Live, The Life of Muhammad, and Thought for the Day, which showcase different religions.

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In a statement, Mr Ahmed said: “We do look at the number of hours we produce, and measure that against the religious make-up of society.

"We also carry out checks to give us a better understanding of how we represent the different faiths across the various BBC channels and services.

“Christianity remains the cornerstone of our output and there are more hours dedicated to it than there are to other faiths.

"Our output in this area is not static, though. It has evolved over the years and we regularly assess it.”

Ibrahim Mogra, of the Muslim Council of Britain, suggested the BBC could broadcast prayers from a mosque, among other ideas but added: “We would not wish Christians to have any less exposure.”

Former archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey told The Sunday Times: “I don’t think our liberal establishment appreciates what Christianity has done for the nation, and how much of a bedrock it is for democracy and the values we believe in.

"There is a real feeling by Christians of being let down by the Establishment. Christianity is fighting for its life in western countries.”

A BBC spokesperson said: "We fully explained to the Sunday Times that we are actually intending to do more programming around Christianity and more on other faiths as well, so there is absolutely no question of an 'either or' on our output."