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Oprah Winfrey's Belief Explores the Differences That Make Us All the Same

Oprah Winfrey

Photo Courtesy of Harpo, Inc.

Turn on the news these days and it seems like we are a country, and a world, divided. There is a polarizing force at play on almost every topic on the planet. Everything is “us vs. them” on issues like gun control, global warming, women’s health, racism, immigration, war, oil, big banks, taxes and so much more. And often at the very foundation of many of these fights is the one thing that should keep us grounded. Religion.

Starting October 18, OWN is taking a look at our differences to find the one common thread — Belief. Whatever it is we believe in, we all believe in something. Even those who have faith in nothing at all, hold firm to that conviction.

And no matter what our opinions are, everyone is looking to find a deeper connection and meaning. The landmark seven-night television event seeks out the commonalities in our diverse views. By finding out what makes us different, we can arrive at what makes us all the same. At one point in our life we all wonder the same thing — “Who am I and why am I here?”

The series is the culmination of Oprah Winfrey’s vision of what she wanted OWN to be when she first started the network. In a press statement she said, “For the past three years, my team and I have been working to find the most compelling and thoughtful stories of faith, love and devotion from around the world. This truly has been my heart’s work, to be able to share stories like these that reflect our world and explore humankind’s ongoing search to connect with something greater than ourselves.”

Through stunning imagery and emotional storytelling, Belief explores a different theme each night — the exploration of purpose, the meaning of love, the challenge to overcome obstacles, the desire for change, the will to push through loss, the practice of faith and the mystery of death.

The making of Belief involved traveling over 150,000 miles to six continents and visiting 33 sacred sites. It includes stories of people who practice Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, Atheism and more. The filmmakers tell of Hindu women traveling to the Ganges River for a spiritual gathering, an Aboriginal elder who is nearing death and a scientist who is exploring the universe for clues of how it all began.

Viewers will see a mother facing a son’s killer as she grapples with forgiveness, Whirling Dervishes who worship through meditative dance, a young Buddhist monk trying to master the the spiritual element of Kung Fu and an 18-year-old Jewish cellist and a 17-year-old Muslim flutist who find common ground through music. They’ll witness a skateboarder making a pilgrimage to explore his Islamic religion, a father and daughter attending Burning Man to delve into the art of self-expression and a climber who scales the heights of a 1,000-foot cliff without ropes or harnesses, believing purely in the power of being present.

As the series begins, Oprah says, “We are born into belief and where we go from there is our own highly personal lifelong creation.” This filmmakers study believers who were brought onto this earth into a culture that dictated their beliefs and follows their journeys to discover ways to adapt, transform and transcend.

Don’t miss this beautiful, moving, epic series about hope and humanity. You won’t be sorry you tuned in. Belief premieres Sunday, October 18 at 8 p.m. EST/PST and airs for seven consecutive nights on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

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