This letter was published in The Telegraph on Tuesday 3 February.
The BBC’s decision to merge the commissioning of religion and ethics programming with history could not have come at a worse time.
From religious efforts at tackling Ebola in west Africa, to the interfaith solidarity that has so far helped prevent the horrors of the Paris killings being imported to Britain, religion remains a force for change.
Religious literacy is essential to the diversity we treasure in Britain – and an antidote to the extremism and intolerance that threaten it. The BBC plays a key role by its robust and rich coverage of religious life. We call on it to reinstate independent religion and ethics programming.
Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner
Senior Rabbi, Movement for Reform Judaism
Dr Shuja Shafi
Secretary General, Muslim Council of Britain
Rt Rev David Walker
Bishop of Manchester
Professor Linda Woodhead