BBC blasted for ‘abandoning Christianity’ over controversial Easter schedule decision

The BBC has been accused of “abandoning Christianity” over the decision to not broadcast the traditional Easter service.

The programme filmed in King’s College, Cambridge, has been dropped in favour of religious coverage on other BBC channels.

Critics have said that the broadcaster is deliberately abandoning its Christian audience.

Andrea Williams, the chief executive of Christian Concern, told the Telegraph: “The BBC’s motto, ‘Nation shall speak peace unto nation’, is Biblical in origin.

“The more the BBC seeks to forget and minimise the primary role of the Christian faith shaping this nation, the darker all things will become.

“Easter reminds us of Christ’s victory over death, which is a good-news message for us all.”

The BBC has rejected the claims that it is abandoning Christianity after dropping the King’s College Easter service, which was shown on BBC Two last year and had been on television since 2010.

It said its 2024 Faith and Hope for Spring season will “showcase a vibrant mix of programmes across TV and radio channels, shining a spotlight on faith at a time when many of the major religions are marking key moments in the calendar”.

The season includes a special performance of Bach’s St John Passion from Cardiff on BBC One on Easter Sunday, to be led by Gareth Malone, marking the 300th anniversary of its first performance.

There will also be an Easter message and blessing from Pop Francis, a Songs of Praise from Canterbury Cathedral in addition to programmes on BBC Radio 2, 3 and 4.

Daisy Scalchi, the head of religion and ethics on BBC Television, said: “This is such a special time of year and we’re delighted to work across our networks to bring viewers a diverse range of content that brings faith, belief and spirituality into focus.”

This comes after the BBC announced that “confirmed atheist” and humanist campaigner Alice Roberts would be on the Good Friday edition of Desert Island Discs rather than a Christian figure.

Ms Roberts, the professor of public engagement in science at the University of Birmingham and vice-president of the charity Humanists UK, refused the Desert Island Discs tradition of taking a Bible and the Complete Works of Shakespeare with her.

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