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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

193 chaplains for Olympic Village

London’s Olympic Village will reportedly recruit 193 chaplains from various religions. A Multi-Faith Reference Group advises the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) in policies in areas of volunteering, food, chaplaincy, etc., and has developed a “Faith pin badge”.

Rajan Zed, a Hindu politician, said that like faith representatives, leaders of non-believers (atheists, etc.) should also be given some role in the Reference Group and other areas of the Games, so that they, representing a considerable chunk of the populace, would also feel included.

Sebastian Coe, Sir Keith Mills and Paul Deighton are Chair, Deputy Chair and CEO respectively of LOCOG, which is responsible for preparing and staging the 2012 Games with a £2bn budget.

Terry Sanderson, President of theNational Secular Society, said: “This over-emphasis on religion is not appropriate for an event that seeks to bring people of all nationalities and races together. If there is one thing likely to get them arguing and falling out, it’s religion. A secular Olympic Games, where religion is kept out of the events and restricted to private practice, would be safer and more congenial for all.”

Published Fri, 18 Nov 2011