How and why do religious groups use the media?

Informing and supporting their faith community

Some religious programmes have a regular slot on television or the radio. Songs of Praise is a popular television programme on Sundays, with real-life stories, interviews and live music, bringing the Christian community together across the nation.

Religious people are also able to tune into broadcasts which are held during religious festivals, such as Divali and Easter Sunday. They enable people to worship together as a community despite differences in location.

Local media can be very useful in keeping faith communities together, eg Sikhnet Radio allows the Sikh community to listen to traditional music.

Engaging in debate

Some radio stations present a wide range of problems and concerns and invite experts to discuss how religious beliefs and principles might be applied to them.

The Big Questions is a television show which discusses problems within society. The show shares the opinions of religious and non-religious people, which can benefit religion, as their beliefs and ideas are being expressed and understood and common concerns are recognised.

Informing and educating others

Most religious groups see the media as a useful tool to provide people outside of their religion with information and to promote their faith in a positive way.

Documentaries can help raise the profile of a religion among the population. BBC documentaries such as Life of the Buddha and Life of Muhammad help the audience to understand important historical facts about Buddhism and Islam.

Religious groups can also promote their religion through radio, television, or via the internet. For example, charities such as Christian Aid and Islamic Relief rely on public exposure in order to bring awareness to their causes and to raise donations.

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