Cymru : Dal i Gredu?
S4C | 3 x 30minutes
Gwion Hallam takes a journey to discover whether the people of Wales still believe in God.
Gwion, who was born in Ammanford but by now lives in Felinheli, was once a devout Christian. The television producer has since lost his faith and tries to discover why the number of people attending churches in Wales has reduced to such an extent.
“At the start of this century, three quarters of people in Wales claimed to be Christians” says Gwion. “But according to the latest census, more of us have turned our backs on Christianity than in any other country in Britain. If Christianity is no longer important to us, what do us Welsh really believe?”
We follow Gwion on his journey back to visit his old school Ysgol Maes y Gwendraeth in Cefneithin and he asks the pupils about their beliefs. In the programme, we also travel to Cardiff with Gwion to visit his brothers’ evangelical church and see the two discussing how religion can be so important to one brother when the other has lost his faith.
The series not only focuses on the decline in the number of those attending chapels and churches in Wales but also the substantial increase in the number of people who are part of the Islamic faith in Wales. Whilst visiting Cardiff, Gwion receives an invitation to attend a Mosque for the first time and joins 500 men in a prayer room.
In a multi-faith dinner at the City Hall, arranged by The Muslim Council of Wales, Gwion meets members of various religious communities.
“During a period of obvious tensions, here we have our countries religions coming together for dinner around the table – to share food and to share experiences” says Gwion. “Meeting members of the Muslim community is what I wanted to do most to ask them about their religion which has, it seems, doubled it’s numbers in Wales.”
There has been an increase not only in the number of Muslims in Wales but also the number of Welsh speaking Muslims. Gwion, who was once a Christian, asks Sara Yassine and Arooj Kahn who are part of the evening about this.
“Different people practice their religion in different ways so even though their families may be Muslim, that doesn’t mean they all practice their religion in the same way. But personally, I’m happy with my religion and try to practice it as much as possible,” says Sara Yassine.