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A lap dancer, a lesbian, and a lapsed Christian with a pregnant girlfriend are among the participants on the U.K.'s newest reality show, Make Me a Christian, where Christian leaders attempt to bring a group of unlikely candidates to the faith. The show's premise is to find out if Christianity can help repair the moral fabric of British society.

The volunteers aim to live by the teachings of the Bible for three weeks, guided by the Rev. George Hargreaves, outspoken political activist and leader of the Christian Party, and his team of mentors. The participants take Communion, get their own Bibles, receive lessons on the correct way to view sex, and learn about service in soup kitchens.

The three-episode show has been airing Sunday nights on Britain's Channel 4. The final episode airs Sunday night.

"I was pleased at first to hear that the producers were trying to make Christianity accessible to people who might not usually watch religious programming," said Charis Gibson, senior press officer for the Evangelical Alliance. After watching the first two episodes, however, she said, "I'm starting to think I would prefer spending my Sunday nights being bashed repeatedly in the face with a large, leather-bound King James Version."

Other British Christians are reacting with similar dismay.

"The program says little about relationship and a great deal about regulation," said Melvyn Cooke, minister of Gillingham Methodist Church. "While there is a slim chance it may promote conversation, by and large my view is that it is damaging to the gospel."

Even the Christians on the show are unhappy. Joanna Jepson, chaplain at the London College of Fashion and one of the mentors on the show, agrees. Describing the show as "sensational," "irresponsible," ...

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August 2008

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