Oprah Winfrey Presents: Belief

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Oprah Winfrey Presents: Belief TV Poster Image
Nonjudgmental doc explores faith, spirituality in America.

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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Religious and spiritual beliefs are addressed with empathy. Interconnectedness and peace are themes.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Religious/spiritual leaders discuss their beliefs, values.


Accidents, deaths, religious extremism are themes. Some dangerous rituals.


Virginity, sex occasionally discussed.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking, drugs briefly discussed.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Oprah Winfrey Presents: Belief, a documentary series about faith and spirituality, addresses topics such as tragic accidents, death, and religious extremism. Sex-related themes, drinking, and drugs are also discussed within this context. It shows some potentially life-threatening rituals that should never be tried at home. Outside of this, it offers very positive and nonjudgmental messages about spiritual pursuits, peace, and being connected with oneself and one another. 

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What's the story?

Produced and narrated by Oprah Winfrey, OPRAH WINFREY PRESENTS: BELIEF is a seven-part documentary series that explores the different beliefs and spiritual values of individuals from across the country. From an Islamic convert who goes on hajj (the annual pilgrimage to Mecca) to a young couple who relies on their Christian values to stay together despite tragedy, it attempts to show how faith connects people. It also offers some background on a variety of religions, rituals, and other events.

Is it any good?

This engaging series offers viewers an opportunity to hear from a diverse cross-section of people who live according to different spiritual belief systems. While some of them are guided by established Judeo-Christian-based religions, others discuss how the tenants of Hinduism, Sufism, Buddhism, Islam, and other religions influence their lives. It also shows how participating in athletic activities, playing music, performing dangerous rituals such as land jumping, and even attending events such as Burning Man offer meaning, comfort, and peace to people around the world.  

It's nonjudgmental, despite the fact that the overall series is produced to reflect Oprah's view on spirituality. Meanwhile, the pilgrimages to international locales and discussions about world beliefs are interesting. But it's the focus on the individual choices people make to follow their spiritual callings that makes it compelling. The messages presented here are positive and powerful and remind us that, despite our differences, we are all connected.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the difference between religion and spirituality. What are some of the similarities among some of the religions and belief systems featured here? 

  • What is the purpose of a documentary? Is it to inform? Educate? Influence? Why do you think Oprah made this one?

TV details

  • Premiere date: October 18, 2015
  • Cast: Oprah Winfrey
  • Network: OWN
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: NR
  • Available on: DVD
  • Last updated: September 20, 2019

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