BBC NEWS
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC News UK Edition
 You are in: UK  
News Front Page
World
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
Education
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
CBBC News
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Friday, 19 June, 1998, 10:06 GMT 11:06 UK
Religious controversy over Millennium Dome
There is fresh controversy surrounding plans to mark the millennium after remarks by the Minister without Portfolio, Peter Mandelson, that Christianity will be a central theme of the Millennium Dome.

There are concerns that minority religions in Britian might now feel excluded.

In a letter to the Daily Telegraph, Mr Mandelson, who is responsible for the Dome, wrote: "The impact of Christianity on Western civilisation will be central to the Millennium Experience."

He made the remarks after fears were expressed by church leaders that the 750m Dome being built in Greenwich would lack a spiritual dimension.

On Monday, the Bishop of Oxford, the Right Reverend Richard Harries, said the millennium was primarily a celebration of the birth of Christ.

"The churches will certainly be very disappointed if the element of Christian celebration is not signficantly present, if it is marginalised in any way."

Minority
Minority faiths fear they may be left out of the celebrations
However, representatives of other faiths in Britain are worried.

Some of them think that a purely Christian celebration would not reflect the whole of modern British society.

Dr Ghiyasuddin Siddique, the director of the Muslim Institute, says that during the last 50 years, the social landscape of Britain has changed.

"I think we are not talking about past and present. We are talking about the future as well, and this is where the changes that have come about ought to be reflected."

Rabbi David Goldberg of the Liberal Synagogue says he believes the millennium celebrations offer an opportunity.

"What I would like to see is all the major faiths coming together - not in a spirit of competition or triumphalism but in genuine unity to look for some common goal."

It's still not clear what will go inside the Dome.

Mandelson
Peter Mandelson seeks inspiration at Disney World
Peter Mandelson has been abroad to seek inspiration for ideas.

At the weekend, he visited Disney World in Florida.

Last month, an all-party commission of MPs criticised the secrecy over plans for the dome, saying it could undermine the project's future.

Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more UK stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | World | UK | England | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales |
Politics | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology |
Health | Education | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes