THE BLOG

Introducing 'Beyond Belief'

04/11/2014 12:46 | Updated 03 February 2015

Today The Huffington Post UK launches a unique series of in depth interviews exploring the lives of remarkable Britons whose devout faith has pushed them to go beyond the traditional teachings, and in some cases, take on the very establishment that has helped foster their beliefs.

Modern Britain appears to be suffering a crisis of faith, where our beliefs are often used in the popular media to negatively define and divide us along religious lines. Our editorial team wanted to go beyond these divisions to find the people who have bravely questioned their faith and tackled the uncomfortable issues others avoid.

Beyond Belief will challenge the conventional idea of religion being an accepted wisdom. We'll explore the myth that followers passively adopt the values of their chosen faith. We'll will show that positive change can be created even within the traditional, restrictive and sometimes unforgiving framework of mainstream religion.

We launch the series with a fascinating poll that looks at the role religion plays in Britain's diverse society.

This sets the scene for the subjects of Beyond Belief including Leyla Hussein, a proud Muslim woman and anti-FGM activist who challenges the idea that sexual mutilation is simply an Islamic issue.

Christian theologian Vicky Beeching speaks to Jessica Elgot about coming out as gay and how she's campaigned within the church to promote views of the homosexual community.

You'll also read about Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, the only female head of faith in Britain, Catholic Pamela Mhlophe, who has dedicated her life to helping prostitutes, Jackie Boyd, one of the heads of largest gypsy church in Britain who is changing core elements of Romani identity and Asim Hafiz, who is the religious adviser to the armed forces, Imam and the first Muslim chaplain in the UK military.

Everyone we've interviewed for this series is inspirational because they've very often braved hostility, trolling, personal doubt and setbacks on their journey create change.

Beyond Belief is the work of Jessica Elgot, Louise Ridley, Sara Nelson, Jack Sommers, Chris York, James Martin and Mehdi Hasan.

At the HuffPost UK we passionately believe that while we start conversations we need our readers to continue them. Now we're looking to you to take part by sharing these stories and taking the debate your your communities.

We want to hear what you think and to learn of the people in your lives who've embraced a similar set of values displayed in our Beyond Belief series.