Many feel that the Hindu festival of Light, Diwali, is going the way of Christmas: over commercialised, garish, impossibly loud and, with the sheer quantity of highly explosive fireworks on the streets, downright dangerous.
Mark Stephen travels to the sprawling city of Mumbai to join an Indian family to celebrate Diwali, visits a temple which houses live cobras and finds out why city housewives like the convenience of a having their own sacred cow on tap.
Christianity in Ethiopia is the oldest and purest form of faith found in Sub Saharan Africa.
Mark Stephen joins 200,000 worshippers in Addis Ababa for the annual burning of the Meskel bonfire, attends what feels like a medieval service in one of the world famous rock churches of Lalibela and speaks at length to Abba Paulos, the Patriach of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church about the challenges facing his faith in the 21st century.
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Shinto is so much part of the Japanese mindset that it's almost another layer of faith, it's both a belief system and part of their social structure.
Mark Stephen travels to Tokyo and Kyoto to attend Shichi-Go-San, literally 3-5-7, the colourful annual Shinto blessing of young children.
He also looks at other aspects of their faith, like the veneration of ancestors, including those who many would regard today as war criminals and occasional attempts by contemporary Japanese politicians to hijack these beliefs for their own ends.