Equality, freedom, human rights: ideals beloved by the modern West. But history shows that these truths are by no means self-evident. Where did they come from?

Judaism and Christianity introduced to the world the counter-intuitive idea that every person matters – every person is made “in the image of God”.

From infanticide in the ancient world to the slave plantations of “Christian” America to the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, we trace the story of how this idea of human value took hold in the West … and some of the church’s dramatic failures to live up to it.