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God and Government: China Edition, HBO Tackles Scientology, and More
March 26, 2015
Summary: China's atheist government once destroyed temples and jailed monks and priests. Now religion is booming--and some of it is being funded by the state. And a review of Alex Gibney’s jaw-dropping documentary on Scientology.
Ruth Morris
An Atheist Country, Embracing Buddhism March 26, 2015
Life is hard for many of China's religious minorities, where the government is arresting Tibetan Buddhist monks, ordering churches to take down their crosses, banning Muslim head scarves and sending members of Falun Gong to prison. Yet the officially atheist government, which once destroyed temples and jailed religious leaders, is promoting -- and sometimes even funding -- a resurgence of Chinese Buddhism. We begin in Shanghai, with a story from producer Ruth Morris.

Rebecca Nedostup, author of Superstitious Regimes: Religion and the Politics of Chinese Modernity
Ian Johnson,  journalist and author of an upcoming book on religion in China

Wind Music
Wu Man: Master of the Chinese Pipa March 26, 2015
Grammy-nominated artist Wu Man is a master of the pipa, a pear-shaped lute that has survived in China for some 2,000 years. She learned to play it during China's Cultural Revolution, a time when the government actively rejected religious expression. She joins us to reflect on the Buddhism of her grandmother and to play her beloved pipa live in our studios.

Wu Man, the world’s premier pipa virtuoso and a leading ambassador of Chinese music

Pictorial Evidence | Wikimedia Commons
Film Review: "Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief" March 26, 2015
Though the lid was blown off the Church of Scientology long ago, Alex Gibney’s powder-keg documentary, “Going Clear,” should certainly rattle the walls, if not shake them to their very foundations. Scott Foundas offers his take on the most talked-about film at Sundance this year, which premieres on HBO on March 29th.

Scott Foundas, chief film critic for Variety

Read Scott's review and take a look at the Church of Scientology's official response to the documentary. Then, take a listen to our 2013 interview with Lawrence Wright, author of the book that started it all.