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Around the World in 80 Faiths

Around the World in 80 Faiths
Around the World in 80 Faiths titlecard
Genre Religious, Documentary film, television program
Directed by Sian Salt
Tom Sheahan
Karen Selway
Graham Johnston
Rob Cowling
Kevin Jarvis
Presented by Pete Owen-Jones
Composer(s) James Atherton
Johnny Clifford
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series One
No. of episodes Eight
Executive producer(s) Jean Claude Bragard
Producer(s) Sian Salt
Tom Sheahan
Karen Selway
Graham Johnston
Rob Cowling
Kevin Jarvis
Editor(s) Steve Stevenson
Ivan Probert
Dave Reynolds
James Marson
Location(s) Worldwide
Camera setup Graham Veevers
& Self Shot by Directors
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s) BBC Television
Original channel BBC Two, BBC HD
Picture format HD
Audio format 5.1 Surround Sound
Original run 2 January 2009 (2009-01-02) – 20 February 2009 (2009-02-20)
Preceded by Extreme Pilgrim
External links

Around the World in 80 Faiths was a British television series which was first broadcast by the BBC on 2 January 2009. The series was presented by Anglican vicar Pete Owen-Jones, who was researching the various faiths from around the world.[1][2]

There was also a book planned to accompany the series, written by Owen-Jones and published by BBC Books, but the book is not published.[3][4]


  • Episodes 1
    • Episode One: Australasia and the Pacific Ring of Fire 1.1
    • Episode Two: The Far East 1.2
    • Episode Three: Africa 1.3
    • Episode Four: The Middle East 1.4
    • Episode Five: USA 1.5
    • Episode Six: India and Nepal 1.6
    • Episode Seven: Latin America 1.7
    • Episode Eight: Europe 1.8
  • References 2
  • External links 3


The series was presented in eight episodes with the last one airing on 20 February 2009:

Episode One: Australasia and the Pacific Ring of Fire

Directed & Produced by Sian Salt, Camera Graham Veevers

  • Faith 1: Islam and Spirit Worship: Attends a sword-stabbing ritual performed by the Bugis people of Sulawesi, Indonesia.
  • Faith 2: Christianity and Ancestor worship – Attends a funeral rite performed by the Tana Toraja people of Sulawesi, Indonesia and reflects on their relationship with the dead.
  • Faith 3: Catholic Carabao festival: Visits the Carabao festival of Pulilan, Bulacan, Philippines in honour of the town's patron saint, San Isidro Labrador.
  • Faith 4: Catholic fertility ritual: Attends the Obando Fertility Rites in Obando, Bulacan, Philippines, a pagan fertility festival now held in reverence to three Catholic saints. Locals dance during the festival for fertility, out of tradition for past successful dances, and just to be a part of the festival. A priest delivers prayers before directing a large dance in the Church. Peter reflects on the cross-fertilization between Catholicism and animism and suggests that instead of the Catholics simply incorporating the dance into a prayer to the saints the festival may instead be a mutual coupling of fertility and creation.
  • Faith 5: Aboriginal Dreaming: Visits Alice Springs to meet with the Indigenous Australian people, the Aborigines, to witness a baby smoking ritual. Peter accompanies a group of locals on a trip to find the bush used in the ritual. A baby is then held in a small sand pit containing smoldering leaves for a few seconds at a time. A local tells him that the ritual is done so that the baby will be healthy and strong. Peter hoped to witness some of the Aboriginal Dreaming rituals, however, a local tells him that baby smoking is not related to Dreamtime. Peter reflects that the ritual seems to have lost its meaning as the locals are sparse in their explanation of the spiritual aspects of the event. The women of the group then remove their shirts and paint their chest and arms. With feathers in their hair, they dance around a fire. The women tell Peter they are Christian and do not know of the old Aboriginal religion.
  • Faith 6: The Iraqi Mandaeans: Attends a regular baptism service inspired by John the Baptist and performed by the persecuted Mandaeans of Iraq in a park in Sydney, Australia.
  • Faith 7: Urban witchcraft: Visits a group of witches who have established their coven, led by Tim Hartridge, within Sydney, Australia.
  • Faith 8: Indigenous Kastom: Meets practitioners of the tribal faith of Kastomism on the South Pacific island of Tanna, Vanuatu.
  • Faith 9: John Frum cult – Meets practitioners of the new religion of John Frum of Tanna, inspired by the American presence on the island after the World War II.
  • Faith 10: Prophet Fred and Unity: Witnesses the religion of Unity and interviews their prophet, Fred from Tanna and Killian.

Episode Two: The Far East

Directed, Filmed & Series Produced by Graham Johnston

Episode Three: Africa

Directed, filmed & produced by Tom Sheahan

Episode Four: The Middle East

Directed, filmed & produced by Tom Sheahan

Episode Five: USA

Directed & Produced by Karen Selway. Camera Graham Veevers

Episode Six: India and Nepal

Directed, filmed & series produced by Graham Johnston

  • Faith 50: Tibetan Buddhism Witnesses a tara ritual at Kutsab Ternga monastery, near Jomsom, Mustang district, Nepal.
  • Faith 51: Hinduism: Muktinath Walks through 108 waterspouts at the Stupa of Muktinath, near Jomsom, Mustang district, Nepal.
  • Faith 52: Hindu/Buddhist: Child blessing. Attends a child blessing in a house in Kathmandu, Nepal.
  • Faith 53: Hinduism: The Durga Puja festival. Witnesses the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India.
  • Faith 54: Hindu Aghoris: Meets an aghori in Tarapith, West Bengal, India.
  • Faith 55: The Bishnoi: Visits The Bishnoi and discusses their belief system in Rajasthan, India
  • Faith 56: The Nath Firewalkers: Witnesses Fire walking at Purnima in Rajasthan, India.
  • Faith 57: Zoroastrianism: Attends a Parsi wedding at the Parsi Fire Temple, Mumbai, India.
  • Faith 58: Sikhism: Attends the 300th anniversary of the consecration of the Guru Granth Sahib at Nanded, Maharashtra, India.
  • Faith 59: Jainism: Witnesses celebrations at the monolithic statue of Lord Gomateshwara, Shravanabelagola, Hassan district, India and here meets a Jain wandering nun, which proves to be a moving experience.
  • Faith 60: Hindu Gorehabba ritual: Takes part in the Gorehabba ritual during Diwali at Gummatapura, a village on the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border, southern India.

Episode Seven: Latin America

Directed & produced by Rob Cowling. Camera Graham Veevers

Peter Owen Jones then visited Bolivia, mentioning how the current president is the first native ethnic president of Bolivia.

Episode Eight: Europe

Directed, filmed & produced by Kevin Jarvis


  1. ^ Orr, Deborah (5 January 2009). "The Weekend's Television".  
  2. ^ "BBC Two - Around the World in 80 Faiths". BBC Two. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "Around the World in 80 Faiths". Amazon. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Around the World in 80 Faiths". Wisdom Books. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 

External links

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