Main content

In the fourth programme of this special series we hear that while people are keeping their distance, a sense of community is growing.

In this fourth programme of a special Heart and Soul series for the BBC World Service, amidst a global pandemic of Coronavirus, the journalist John McCarthy hears how the notion of community has changed as many people continue to be denied the chance to gather for religious practice.

Across the world the way people live their daily lives has radically altered. What new communities are emerging? Whether online, in our family or households, or simply a new relationship with neighbours, we hear reflections on how faith communities are changing and perhaps becoming deeper in their spiritual practice during this global crisis.

While people are keeping their distance, a sense of community is growing. People of faith and no faith are reaching out to support others. There seems to be an urge to share something more profound than just being together physically or clapping for nurses and doctors.

Hiba Siddiqi works for the Islamic Relief charity in Pakistan; Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani is an award winning writer who lives in Abuja, Nigeria, Reverend Julian DeShazier is in Chicago; Tarunjit Singh Buttalia is a science professor, originally from India but now living in Ohio, USA; Sister Rachel Denton has led a life of quiet prayer alone for decades and Sanderson Jones used to be a stand up comedian. He doesn’t believe in God, but he does believe in community. So much so, he set up an alternative Sunday Assembly.

Presented by John McCarthy
Produced by Olive Clancy

Available now

27 minutes


  • Fri 29 May 2020 08:32GMT
  • Fri 29 May 2020 12:32GMT
  • Fri 29 May 2020 15:32GMT
  • Sat 30 May 2020 13:32GMT
  • Sun 31 May 2020 10:32GMT
  • Sun 31 May 2020 21:32GMT