Baylor To Be Featured in Brazilian Television Series

  • News Photo 3804
    Brazilian TV reporter Yula Rocha de Castro, left, interviews Baylor undergraduate students Jenny Parker and Allan Marshall.
  • News Photo 3805
    Brazilian TV reporter Yula Rocha de Castro, left, interviews Baylor undergraduate students Jenny Parker and Allan Marshall.
Sept. 26, 2006

by Alan Hunt, associate director of media relations, (254) 710-6271

Baylor University will be featured in a television series about "Religion in the United States" to be shown in Brazil beginning next month by the SBT Brazilian Network (Sistema Brasileiro de Televisao).

A television crew from the network visited the Baylor campus Sept. 25 and filmed during a debate program, "Religion in the Public Square," hosted by Baylor Law School. They also visited Founders Mall and interviewed students about their choice in attending Baylor.

Students Allan Marshall, student government external vice president and a senior political science major from Cuney, and Jenny Parker, a junior economics and environmental studies major from Cedar Park, were asked how their faith shapes their collegiate experience, compared to others in their generation who attend secular universities.

The visitors praised what they termed the "old south" beauty of the Baylor campus, and filmed views of Pat Neff Hall and Old Main as the setting sun highlighted the buildings. Earlier, they filmed views of the Sheila and Walter Umphrey Law Center, including shots of the Brazos River.

Cameraman Ronaldo Dias also recorded the sound of the bells from Pat Neff tower. Other members of the visiting team included reporter Ula Rocha de Castro, producer/editor Beatriz Alessi Machado, and Maryam Jazayeri, a U.S. Department of State official and TV producer who is traveling with the Brazilian team.

Jazayeri said Baylor will be the only U.S. university featured in the series, which will be shown in Brazil during October and November this year. She said the team members have criss-crossed the country, completing segments for the series. Their travels have included New York, where they interviewed Orthodox Jews and members of the Islamic faith; Pennyslvania, where they visited an Amish community; Washington, D.C., where they interviewed for a "religion in politics" segment; and Salt Lake City, where they interviewed for a segment about the Mormon Church.

Also on their itinerary are visits to "mega" churches, including Houston's Lakewood Church, and California, where they are planning a "celebrity culture in religion" segment for the series.

The Brazilian visitors took with them a copy of the highly publicized Baylor Religion Survey, funded by the John M. Templeton Foundation and conducted by the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion and the department of sociology. Focused on improving understanding of American religion, the survey is the most extensive and sensitive study of religion ever amassed.

"We have read and heard much about the study on our travels around the country," Jazayeri said.

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