Britain's First Interfaith Game Show to Air on Muslim TV

What is thought to be the first interfaith game show in Britain will begin broadcasting next week to dozens of countries on the Islam Channel.

The show, "Faith Off," draws contestants with religious backgrounds from Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam and Sikhism, and has them compete for cash prizes by answering questions on both general and religious knowledge.

"Faith Off" is filmed from the London studios of the Islam Channel and will begin broadcasting on June 15, according to TotallyJewish.com.

Producer Abrir Hussain said his goal in creating the show is to facilitate better understanding between different religions.

"I wanted to do something to promote good relations and bring a new approach to the interfaith debate other than that of the usual consultative round table format," Hussain explained to Ecumenical News International.

Another goal is to attract the attention of younger people, many of whom may consider interfaith initiatives praiseworthy yet "boring."

Hussain noted, however, that the show is not designed to debate contentious issues. It will instead serve as an opportunity for discussions based on questions asked.

The show will create two teams of four that will answer questions posed by Muslim comedian Jeff Mirza, according to ENI. In the home-or-away round, contestants can answer questions about their own faith or the opposing team's for additional points.

Contestants are not theologians or scholars, but will vary in degree of religious knowledge.

"A game show is an original idea, to say the least," said Danny Judelson, one of the show's Jewish contestants, to U.K.-based Guardian newspaper. "I thought it was interesting that the channel were taking seriously the opportunity to educate their audience. There's a very serous purpose behind it."

Questions will include identifying blurred pictures of religious figures and answering multiple choice questions on religion and current affairs.

The show's producer hopes participants and viewers will recognize the similarities between religions rather than only the differences, and build better relations.

"We're living in a multi-faith, multi-cultural society," Hussain told the Guardian newspaper.

"You learn about religions at school and then you forget, so it's about transferring the basic blocks of knowledge," he said, "it's also about learning the similarities between religions, instead of focusing on the differences."

"Faith Off" will be shown in 31 countries and also be available on the Internet, according to ENI.