What could be the setup for a lame joke turns out to be the setup for a lame reality show in Turkey . Penitents Compete , scheduled to launch in September, includes select religious leaders seeking to convert a group of ten atheists to their respective faiths.

The winning religious leaders get to add a new soul to their ledger while the winning converts get a trip to a holy site of their new religion: Muslims go to Mecca, Christians to the Vatican, Jews to Jerusalem, and Buddhists to Tibet.

Turkish religious authorities aren’t amused but the studios chief executive Seyhan Soylu sees the big picture. “We are giving the biggest prize in the world, the gift of belief in God,” Soylu told Reuters. “We don’t approve of anyone being an atheist. God is great and it doesn’t matter which religion you believe in. The important thing is to believe.”

Something tells me that such squishy theology isn’t going to make for compelling television.

Articles by Joe Carter

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