Heart & Soul: Christians In The Holy Land

Ep 1/2

Sunday 18 May



In this two-part documentary on BBC World Service, presenter John Laurenson travels to Bethlehem, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv to explore the different Christian communities living there.

In the first programme, John visits Bethlehem to meet the dwindling Christian community that is now said to represent less than 15% of the population. Once an overwhelmingly Christian town, John finds out why so many Christians might be leaving the city and explores the reasons for the exodus hotly disputed between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

John also follows the fortunes of Bethlehem’s bagpipers as they prepare to honour a tradition that goes back to the British mandate – to parade with pipes and drums in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. While many cannot attend as the Israelis do not grant enough Easter worship permits, John accompanies a group of lucky ones through the ‘security wall’ to hear the stirring sound of bagpipes in Jerusalem.