We Traveled to 22 Countries to Ask One Question: Who Is God?

We visited 22 countries around the globe to ask everyday people six big questions. Who is God? What happens after we die? Where do we come from? Where does evil come from? Do you believe in miracles? How will the world end?

In the Street Spirituality web series, people from all walks of life share their answers to these six timeless mysteries, from creation to the apocalypse, beginning with a tough one: Who is God?

Watch: Street Spirituality: Who is God? 

The Street Spirituality video series complements the upcoming global television event, The Story of God, a six-part international documentary series that follows Morgan Freeman around the globe as he ventures to understand some of the most ambitious questions in the history of humanity. From analyzing the mystery of creation and the root of evil to the true power of miracles and the promise of resurrection, these unknown entities are what lead to such deep faith and ritual in all corners of the world. In an attempt to figure out why we believe what we do, he will traverse the worlds of religion, neuroscience, cosmology, theology, archaeology and beyond to realize the influences of faith and worship on the human experience.

In some places, he will find answers; in others, more questions. But in the grand sweep through millennia of history, Morgan Freeman will shed light on the trickiest questions in our current geopolitical landscape. It will lead him to the Pyramids of Giza, the Mayan Ruins, Buddha’s Bodhi Tree, the Western Wall, Vatican City and beyond on one epic quest to learn how religion has transformed the evolution of society.

The Story of God with Morgan Freeman filming in Guatemala.

(Photo credit: National Geographic Channels)
Photograph by National Geographic Channels

The first episode tackles a question spanning science, time and faith–what happens when we die? All we know for sure is that your body stops working. But the hope for life beyond death seems to be a nearly universal instinct, no matter how you view it, leading us to question what lies beyond the other side? Is there an afterlife? Can death be reversible? What does the digital age mean for our minds after our bodies have left the physical world? As obsessed as humans are with origin stories, we save our most fervent hopes and expectations for where we might spend eternity. From Egypt to Mexico to Jerusalem, Morgan sets out to discover how belief in the afterlife has changed through the ages, how one man’s death might allow eternal life for all, and how the desire for immortality has driven science to try and capture the soul, transcending beyond the realm of religion.

You can embark on your own virtual journey to undertake the questions that have puzzled, terrified, and inspired us; and explore traditions, rituals, and beliefs all related to death and what lies beyond it with interactive maps, excerpts from National Geographic Magazine, photo essays, video extras, and more.

The Story of God premieres globally Sunday, April 3 at 9/8c on National Geographic Channel.

Comments

  1. Richard D'Amico
    Torrance, CA, USA
    April 6, 4:18 pm

    I loved the 1st episode! One critique: The archaeologist in Jerusalem said there were no Old Testament references to heaven – that life ended with a trip to Sheol, the Pit.
    But, from Genesis till the time of Jesus, the Bible refers specifically to God’s dwelling outside this world’s dimensions. Job 33 describes God’s mediator who can “ransom men to bring back their souls from the pit” and “enlighten them with the light of life”. The prophet Elijah did not die (2 Kings 2:11) but “went up by a whirlwind into heaven”. If there was no expectation of life after death with God in heaven, why then does King David assert in Psalm 16:10, “Thou will not abandon my soul to Sheol, nor allow Thy Holy One to undergo decay. Thou will make known to me the path of life. In thy presence is fullness of joy. In Thy right hand are pleasures forever.” I spent 20 minutes scanning the Bible and found Psalm 17, 18, and 22 all reference God’s power to satisfy us when we awaken from death, “break the cords of Sheol”, turn the hearts of all the peoples of the earth to worship Him – even those who have already died.
    Psalm 23 ends, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. And, I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
    So, we see God, reigning from heaven, ransoming people, reconnecting and restoring us in this life, conquering death by his power, and bringing us to Himself. It’s all there in the Old Testament pointing to Jesus and the New Covenant.
    That’s why the Sadducees (Jesus contemporaries who did not believe in an afterlife) despised Jesus and argued with Him regarding the resurrection of the dead. This was already a well established belief espoused by the Pharisees. They observed Jesus’ sarcastic rebuke of the Sadducees (Matthew 20:27-38) and “were afraid to question Jesus any longer about anything”.
    The point is, well before Jesus rose from the dead, God revealed His intention to reconnect with us after death in the Old Testament. He prefigured it in the sacrificial system to redeem people from their sin. He accomplished it with the sinless life and sacrificial death of His Son. He proved the New Deal was in place by raising Jesus from the dead. He sealed the deal when He sent His Spirit on Pentecost.
    Every other religious system has one thing in common: the ladder of achievement. Whether it’s Hindu reincarnation till you get it right, or the Hindu shortcut based upon the location of your cremation, the goal is release from this world to the “god state”. And like all other religions, you do this yourself. It’s all on your performance.
    In contrast, the God of the Bible has a rescue plan for all people which requires us to believe that He loves us and has given His Son to pay the way for our sins. It’s by trusting God to do what we could never do (live a perfect life), and believing that He raised Jesus from the dead, that we are rescued from the penalty and power of sin. The power of sin is slavery. The penalty for sin is separation from God for all eternity – the second death.
    I thank God for His great love demonstrated in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. On my own, I’ve got nothing. In Jesus, I’ve found the way to live, the true meaning of my life, and the love of God that transcends this life!

  2. Mari
    April 10, 1:23 am

    Why would you use someone who publicly says is not a believer in God?