HRH The Princes of Wales gives exclusive interview to BBC Radio 2’s The Sunday Hour about building bridges between different faiths
The Prince of Wales has given an exclusive interview to The Sunday Hour on BBC Radio 2 in which he discusses his quest to build bridges between religions and his concerns for Christians living in the Middle East, as well as his anxiety about young people living in the UK who have become radicalised. .
The interview, with presenter , will be broadcast in a special edition of The Sunday Hour on BBC Radio 2 this Sunday 8 February (Radio 2 6am – 7am), with a shorter version of the interview also appearing on Songs of Praise at 5.00 pm on BBC One.
The Sunday Hour will look at what it means to be a Christian in the Middle East and what can be done to build bridges between Christians and Muslims to create greater respect and tolerance between faiths.
Diane Louise Jordan opens the programme with His Royal Highness on his visits to Armenian, Roman Catholic Chaldean and Syrian Orthodox Churches in the UK and hears him talk about why he cares so much about these communities and wants to draw attention to their plight.
HRH The Prince of Wales said:
“I have deep concern for what so many of the Eastern Christian Churches are going through in the Middle East. I just felt that it was very important to show that sympathy with them but also in a way that might draw more attention to their plight.”
The programme contains powerful stories from members of the church congregations who have been forced to flee persecution from Syria and Iraq. His Royal Highness also talks about the practical initiatives he believes are important to meet the challenges it throws up for us here in Britain about different communities accepting each other. In addition to The Prince of Wales, members of other religious communities are also interviewed including Archbishop Athanasius Toma Dawod, Head of the Syrian Orthodox Church in the UK, Bishop Vahan Hovhanessian, Primate of the Armenian Orthodox Diocese of the UK and Republic of Ireland, Dilawar Khan, Executive Director of the East London Mosque and members of the Chaldean Catholic Church in North Ealing.
The Prince of Wales also voices his worries about what can be done to stop young people becoming radicalised
“Well of course this is one of the greatest worries I think and the extent which this is happening is the alarming part. And particularly in a country like ours where you know the values we hold dear. You think that the people who have come here, born here, go to school here, would abide by those values and outlooks.
The frightening part is that people can be so radicalized either by contact with somebody else or through the internet…I can see I suppose to a certain extent, some aspect of this radicalization is a search for adventure and excitement at a particular age. So what I have been trying to do all these years with the Princes Trust is to find alternatives for adolescents and people at young age, for constructive paths for them to channel their enthusiasm, their energy, that sense of wanting to take risks and adventure and aggression and all these things. But you have to channel them into constructive paths.”
His Royal Highness also discusses his interest in all faiths and his thoughts on how different communities can live alongside each other.
“But I think the secret is that we have to work harder to build bridges and we have to remember that our Lord taught us to love our neighbour, to do to others as you would do to you and just to go on despite the setbacks and despite the discouragement to try and build bridges and to show justice and kindness to people.
Presenter Diane Louise Jordan said:
“This was an important interview for His Royal Highness to give at a time when the trust and respect between certain faiths are on the verge of fracturing. In my view, Prince Charles is inspired by Jesus’ teaching about loving our neighbour Prince Charles passionately emphasised how we should treat each other, whatever our faith, so we can live side by side in a safe environment. His Royal Highness expressed some powerful ideas, so I am naturally honoured he specifically chose BBC Radio 2’s The Sunday Hour to articulate his views.”
The Sunday Hour is broadcast on BBC Radio 2, Sunday 8 February 6am to 7am. The programme will also be available to listen again via iPlayer Radio and the Radio 2 website www.bbc.co.uk/radio2