The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - NEWS -

FOR Oprah Win­frey’s true be­liev­ers, it should come as no sur­prise their spir­i­tual guru has waded deep into one of the most con­tro­ver­sial is­sues di­vid­ing the world to­day – re­li­gion.

But find­ing com­mon ground and cel­e­brat­ing what con­nects us all – as she does in the new OWN doc­u­men­tary se­ries, Be­lief – has been a life­long mis­sion for the me­dia mogul from Mis­sis­sippi, who found in­spi­ra­tion for her lat­est show in one of her Face­book posts.

“I started this thing on Face­book, which is now up to what, a couple of mil­lion views, where I did this long in­ter­view about be­lief and then we chopped it up into lit­tle (video) pieces. I started off talk­ing about when I was a lit­tle girl and went to church be­liev­ing that God was my fa­ther, be­cause they said (in church), ‘God is your fa­ther’. So that then said to me that Je­sus was my brother, be­cause I was God’s daugh­ter and so this was my fam­ily.”

So­cial me­dia’s re­sponse wasn’t what Win­frey ex­pected, but says much about what this se­ries is about – ex­plor­ing the world’s many re­li­gions and spir­i­tual cus­toms.

As she tells TVGuide, in her spir­ited Southern way: “The peo­ple on Face­book were like, ‘Je­sus is not your brother’. So I wrote back to one of them, say­ing: ‘I was seven, OK. Could you have this much tol­er­ance for a seven-year-old mind who hears God is your fa­ther?’ And I didn’t have a fa­ther, so I thought, ‘That’s who my fa­ther is, it’s God in heaven, which ex­plains why he can’t be with me all the time.’ Can you just give me a lit­tle bit of tol­er­ance?”

The whole idea for the Be­lief se­ries, she adds, “is to cre­ate more tol­er­ance in the world”.

To those who don’t “get it”, Win­frey’s mes­sage is: “If you want to tell me that Reshma (a young Hindu woman fea­tured in the se­ries), who goes to Kumbh Mela (a place of pil­grim­age) and finds her­self among her peo­ple … if you want to tell me, ‘Oh, that’s not God …’ Well, I’m not talk­ing to you.

“I’m talk­ing to the per­son who can see the con­nec­tion be­tween the girl be­ing bap­tised in the river in Alabama and Reshma go­ing to Kumbh Mela. If you can’t see that, then I’m not talk­ing to you. Let it be. You’re not the one I’m try­ing to reach.”



By Holly Byrnes

SOUL SEARCH­ING: Oprah Win­frey.

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