New BBC documentary on the battle for Christianity

18 March 2016

As Easter, the holiest festival in the Christian calendar, approaches Professor Robert Beckford looks at how immigration, radical social action, conservative morality and charismatic worship are all transforming the face of the faith in a new revealing BBC documentary.

The Battle for Christianity gets to the heart of what’s changing within Christianity in the UK. It shows how the faithful are kicking back against the steady decline in church attendance, and provides evidence of a more committed, but potentially divided future.

Some academics are warning that popular churches who take a firm line on issues like gay marriage, abortion and euthanasia are pushing Christianity farther away from the attitudes of mainstream society. Others believe that the fervour of charismatic faith is attracting large numbers, but ignoring a quiet exodus out of the back door.

In the documentary Professor Beckford, from the University’s School of Humanities, speaks to church leaders in the UK, including the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, about how they see the future of the faith in an increasingly secular society.

The Battle for Christianity was shown on Tuesday, 22 March 2016, BBC One 10.45-11.45pm and is available to watch on BBC i-Player for 29 days.

Notes to editors

  • Robert Beckford is Professor of Theology and Culture in the African Diaspora. His particular research interests include Media, Religion and Popular Culture, where he interrogates the intersection(s) of religious experience, cultural expression and black political praxis. He researches in written, visual and audio texts and has won numerous awards, including a BAFTA. He has presented over twenty television documentaries on commercial television stations, including Channel 4, BBC 2, BBC4 and Discovery USA.  

Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.

With 17,000 students across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.

  • 95% of our UK undergraduates were in employment or further studies six months after completing their studies*.
  • We are one of the South East’s largest providers of education, training and skills leading to public service careers.

*2013/14 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey



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Last edited: 14/12/2018 23:05:00