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'In God's Name,' a Major Television Event Addressing Some of the Most Challenging and Profound Questions of Our Time, Will be Broadcast Sunday, Dec. 23 on the CBS Television Network

Primetime Special Includes Extraordinary Footage of 12 of the World's Most Influential Religious Leaders, all Featured in a Single Broadcast for the First Time

Filmmakers Jules and Gedeon Naudet Return to the Network with Their First Project Since the Multiple Award-Winning Film '9/11' 

Contact:   Barbara Abseck, 212-975-4637, beabseck@cbs.com; Lori A. DelliColli, 323-575-4269, ladellicolli@cbs.com

MEDIA ADVISORY, Nov. 30 /Christian Newswire/ -- IN GOD'S NAME, a CBS primetime special produced in association with the acclaimed French filmmakers Jules and Gedeon Naudet, will explore the complex questions of our time through the intimate thoughts and beliefs of 12 of the world's most influential spiritual leaders.  These diverse and powerful voices offer provocative, compelling and enlightening perspective on myriad issues in our post-9/11 world, including the rise of terrorism, fanaticism, intolerance and war.  The two-hour special will be broadcast Sunday, Dec. 23 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

On the day of the terrorist attacks in September 2001, Jules and Gedeon Naudet were caught in the collapse of the World Trade Center.  Jules was shooting inside when the South Tower fell.  "On Sept. 11, we faced death and thought we had lost each other," said Jules Naudet.  "This harrowing experience was the first step in a journey that would take us around the world searching for answers to the meaning of life."

The brothers' quest took them to Egypt, England, India, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, Russia and the Vatican, as well as Illinois and South Carolina.

"We chose these 12 leaders because of the vast number of believers -- more than four billion -- that their faiths represent," said Gedeon Naudet.  "We also wanted to explore the diversity of spirituality in our world today."

The program marks the first time that this distinct group of leaders has appeared in one broadcast.  These spiritual beacons speak out about violence and hatred and reveal their own thoughts about faith, peace, unity, tolerance and hope.  Viewers will see them in intimate settings, including their homes and personal places of worship.  Ultimately, through the eyes of these 12 very different religious figures, the filmmakers discover the common ground among believers around the world.

The 12 leaders featured in this special, in alphabetical order, are:

  • Alexei II, Patriarch of Moscow and head of the Russian Orthodox Church
  • Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi), a Hindu spiritual leader
  • Pope Benedict XVI, head of the Roman Catholic Church
  • The Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso), spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists
  • Ayatollah Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah, a prominent Shi'ite Muslim leader
  • Bishop Mark Hanson, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and President of the Lutheran World Federation
  • Michihisa Kitashirakawa, Jingu Daiguji (High Priest) of the Shinto Grand Shrine of Ise
  • Yona Metzger, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel
  • Dr. Frank Page, President of the Southern Baptist Convention
  • Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi, Sheikh of Al-Azhar and a prominent Sunni Muslim leader
  • Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar of the Akal Takht, the Sikhs' highest authority
  • Dr. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury and head of the Church of England

IN GOD'S NAME is produced by filmmakers Jules and Gedeon Naudet and CBS News' Susan Zirinsky, who last collaborated as the executive producers of the Peabody and Emmy Award-winning film "9/11" for the Network. Mark Koops of Reveille, which represents the Naudets, serves as an executive producer. Also for CBS News, Nancy Kramer and Peter Schweitzer are the senior producers on the project, Mead Stone, Mike Vele and Basil Pappas are the producer-editors, Susan Mallie is the producer and Sarah Prior is the associate producer.
Photos are available on http://www.cbspressexpress.com

Contact:   Barbara Abseck, 212-975-4637, beabseck@cbs.com; Lori A. DelliColli, 323-575-4269, ladellicolli@cbs.com