Monday, July 6, 2009

Proselytizing as a reality tv show


Have you heard the one about a rabbi, an imam, a priest and a Buddhist monk?

It's no joke, but rather Turkey's latest reality show, which brings together leaders from four religions who attempt to convert non-believers to their respective faiths.

Penitents Compete features select religious authorities seeking to make believers out of 10 atheists - on camera.

Istanbul-based television station Kanal T plans to launch the show in September.

The prize for the converts? A trip to a holy site of the winner's newfound religion: Muslims will go to Mecca, Christians to the Vatican, Jews to Jerusalem and Buddhists to Tibet.

But the religious establishment and personalities are neither amused nor impressed. Jewish authorities, for example, are vehemently opposed to the program, since according to Halacha, active proselytizing is forbidden.

As a Jew, it is against our world outlook to seek to proselytize," Rabbi David Rosen, director of the American Jewish Committee's Department for Interreligious Affairs, told The Jerusalem Post. "We respect other people's attachment to their faiths."

Rosen added that proselytizing is dubious by nature and could be destructive to the religion and its reputation.

Rosen is also opposed to the show from a more universal perspective.

"I think it's very tasteless," he said. "Matters of faith, profession and lifestyle commitment are not something that should be decided on a reality show."[...]


  1. the Monsey TzadikJuly 6, 2009 at 10:47 PM

    Penitents Compete features select religious authorities seeking to make believers out of 10 atheists - on camera.

    Why we wont send them our own Roni/Tropper?, we just have to change the rules that the atheists would be married/having relation/dating with Jewish males/females, I am sure Roni/tropper will win and will bring to Romemut Israel.

  2. Why does the Rabbi need to try to convert the athiest? Just to convince him /her that Judaism is true would be a good thing and the athist could become a Benei Noach. I don't think there is anythign wrong in convincing goyim of the truth of the Torah, we just are not supposed to try to convince them to become Jews.


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