BBC One: Heaven and Earth Show: Children of God

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BBC Heaven and Earth Show: Factsheet for Sunday 22 July 2007


This week Gloria was joined by her lively studio panel. They were:

Miriam Shaviv

Miriam is one of Britain's most respected Orthodox Jewish journalists. She spent much of her youth in Australia and Canada but now lives in the UK - and for most of her adult life she has lived in an Eruv. She has held senior posts at the Jerusalem Post and the Jewish Chronicle.

Dr Danny Sriskandarajah

Danny is the head of Migration, Equalities and Citizenship at the left wing think tank the Institute for Public Policy Research. He holds a first class honours degree from the University of Sydney, and an MPhil and DPhil from the the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He is regularly quoted in UK and international newspapers, and in publications such as The Economist, Newsweek, and TIME.

Andrew Pierce

Andrew is Assistant Editor of 'The Daily Telegraph'. He joined the paper last year from the same role on 'The Times'. As one of the most high profile writers on Fleet Street his journalism has covered a huge range of roles - from breaking political front page leads to 'people' columnist. For several years he co-presented BBC Radio Five Live's 'Sunday Service' which was nominated for a series of Sony Awards.


Children of God

Three sisters - Kristina, Celeste and Juliana joined Gloria to talk about their harrowing upbringing within the new religious movement known then as 'The Children of God'. From the age of three the girls were considered to be sexual beings by their 'guardians'. They were abused and were the victims of advances from men old enough to be their grandfather. They were denied formal schooling; they were forced to beg on the streets and were beaten for 'crimes' as benign as reading an encyclopaedia. Eventually the sisters escaped, as did their mother, when they realised that the group's leader was a false prophet. The three sisters, now grown women, have started their own organisation called RISE International to help other victims of abusive religious groups.

Their new book is called 'Not Without My Sister'.