Skip to comments.Turkish TV gameshow looks to convert atheists
Posted on 07/03/2009 6:38:48 PM PDT by Gordon Greene
What happens when you put a Muslim imam, a Christian priest, a rabbi and a Buddhist monk in a room with 10 atheists?
Turkish television station Kanal T hopes the answer is a ratings success as it prepares to launch a gameshow where spiritual guides from the four faiths will seek to convert a group of non-believers.
The prize for converts will be a pilgrimage to a holy site of their chosen religion -- Mecca for Muslims, the Vatican for Christians, Jerusalem for Jews and Tibet for Buddhists.
...secular Turkey are not amused by the twist on the popular reality game show format and the Religious Affairs Directorate is refusing to provide an imam for the show.
"Doing something like this for the sake of ratings is disrespectful to all religions. Religion should not be a subject for entertainment programs," High Board of Religious Affairs Chairman Hamza Aktan told state news agency Anatolian after news of the planned program emerged.
The makers of "Penitents Compete" are unrepentant and reject claims that the show, scheduled to begin broadcasting in September, will cheapen religion.
"We are giving the biggest prize in the world, the gift of belief in God," Kanal T chief executive Seyhan Soylu told Reuters.
"We don't approve of anyone being an atheist. God is great and it doesn't matter which religion you believe in. The important thing is to believe," Soylu said.
The project focuses attention on the issue of religious identity in European Union-candidate Turkey, where rights groups have raised concerns over freedom of religion for non-Muslim minorities.
Detractors of the ruling AK Party government, which is rooted in political Islam but officially secular, accuse it of having a hidden Islamist agenda, a charge it denies.
A team of theologians will ensure that the atheists are truly non-believers...
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
Not in this country, but...
Let’s wait and see if lightning strikes the losing contestants.
... and unrepentant atheists don’t go anywhere but Turkey. Apropos.
Most Christians would have little interest in visiting the Vatican. Well, maybe as a touristy thing, but not as a spiritual journey.
Given that slightly more than half of the world's Christians are Catholic, why would this be the case?
(It was strictly a touristy thing for me when I visited the Vatican, but I'm not a Christian)
I guess it’s because I know so many people who claim to be Catholic but are really not even Christians.
I used to be one. Now I follow Christ with all my heart. And I don’t believe he ever lived in a palace in Italy.
If someone is a Hasidic Jew, they're Jewish. If you join Sunni Islam, you're a Muslim. Given that Catholicism is a subset of Christianity, wouldn't someone who belongs to the Catholic Church be a Christian by definition?
Well,.....NO. Of course not. Unless Christianity became a race while I wasn’t looking.
Um...how does race pertain to this argument?
The remaining atheists will get a trip to Cambridge, Massachusetts.
If only it was this easy to convert to Judaism....
As a Protestant Christian, I'd far prefer to win a trip to Jerusalem than the Vatican. No offense to Catholics, but the Holy Land is the heart of Christianity, not Vatican City.
Interesting concept, though. Am a little nervous about what really happens to the contestants who reject the imam's "offer"...