BBC says it's too Christian, will increase programming on other faiths

Songs of Praise presenters Pam Rhodes, Aled Jones and Diane-Louise Jordan.BBC/Emilie Sandy

A BBC internal review has concluded that it is too Christian in its religious output and should increase programming dealing with other religions.

The findings in a report by Aaqil Ahmed, the BBC's head of religion and ethics, show there is a disproportionate amount of programming on Christianity compared to faiths like Islam and Hinduism, reports the Times.

Ahmed told a House of Commons meeting on religious literacy that his report would address criticisms from representatives of other faiths that they were underserved.

While the BBC would not be drawn on whether programmes would be cut to make room for greater diversity, Songs of Praise, the BBC's flagship religious TV programme, is believed to be secure.

Ibrahim Mogra, of the Muslim Council of Britain, told the Times: "We would not wish Christians to have any less exposure."

In a statement, Ahmed said: "We do look at the number of hours we produce, and measure that against the religious make-up of society. We also carry out checks to give us a better understanding of how we represent the different faiths across the various BBC channels and services.

"Christianity remains the cornerstone of our output and there are more hours dedicated to it than there are to other faiths. Our output in this area is not static, though. It has evolved over the years and we regularly assess it."

The Church of England said faith was growing worldwide and that: "Any comprehensive review needs to move beyond arguments of mere proportionality to embrace the need not only for greater religious literacy but also increased resources to explore religious world views."