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Author: Stephen Evans

Intolerant religion mustn’t dictate England’s education policy

Intolerant religion mustn’t dictate England’s education policy

Posted: Wed, 26 Jul 2017 by Stephen Evans

The government is under fire over proposals to lift the cap on faith-based admissions in faith schools. Stephen Evans says the plans should be abandoned - and religious groups' role in education rolled back.

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, Church & State

Separate is not equal ­– not in this ‘faith’ school

Separate is not equal ­– not in this ‘faith’ school

Posted: Tue, 11 Jul 2017 by Stephen Evans

Turning a blind eye to discriminatory gender segregation in Islamic schools would be a disaster for future generations of British girls growing up in Muslim communities, argues Stephen Evans.

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, Gender Equality

Anti-Muslim hate must be challenged. Silencing criticism of Islam won’t help

Anti-Muslim hate must be challenged. Silencing criticism of Islam won’t help

Posted: Fri, 23 Jun 2017 by Stephen Evans

Both the Government and civil-society have a role to play in challenging anti-Muslim hate, but efforts to silence criticisms of Islam will only be counterproductive, argues Stephen Evans.

Tags: Anti-Muslim Bigotry, sectarianism

Scottish care provider’s decision to drop faith test should prompt a rethink over equality exceptions

Scottish care provider’s decision to drop faith test should prompt a rethink over equality exceptions

Posted: Tue, 13 Jun 2017 by Stephen Evans

When religious organisations are delivering state-funded public services they should neither discriminate nor proselytize – argues Stephen Evans, looking at the case of CrossReach and its implications.

Tags: Public Services, Discrimination

We need to defend both our lives and our way of life

We need to defend both our lives and our way of life

Posted: Thu, 08 Jun 2017 by Stephen Evans

Terrorist atrocities have a way of bringing the nation together, albeit temporarily. We need a glue to keep us together, to protect our lives and our way of life, writes Stephen Evans.

Tags: Community Cohesion, Terrorism, Islam

Why we need a 21st century RE for all

Why we need a 21st century RE for all

Posted: Wed, 17 May 2017 by Stephen Evans

Next year marks the 30th anniversary of the Education Reform Act 1988 which saw the introduction of a national curricular entitlement for all pupils. One subject alone remains set apart from this - religious education.

Tags: Education, RE

Caste discrimination: Fear of upsetting religious groups must not impede social justice

Caste discrimination: Fear of upsetting religious groups must not impede social justice

Posted: Fri, 31 Mar 2017 by Stephen Evans

Caste discrimination is the latest area where misplaced sensitivity could allow deference to religion to trump social justice, argues Stephen Evans.

Tags: Caste, Equality & Human Rights

Why are we still allowing religion to retard young people’s education and health rights?

Why are we still allowing religion to retard young people’s education and health rights?

Posted: Thu, 09 Mar 2017 by Stephen Evans

The Government's proposals on Relationships and Sex Education are a step in the right direction – but religious opt outs mean many children will continue to be left behind, writes Stephen Evans.

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, Sex Education

Faith schools mustn’t be allowed to stymie young people’s sexual health and well-being

Faith schools mustn’t be allowed to stymie young people’s sexual health and well-being

Posted: Thu, 12 Jan 2017 by Stephen Evans

Political sensitivity about faith schools is getting in the way of providing evidence-based, age-appropriate sex and relationships education (SRE) to all children. We can't wait forever for the Government's proposals on SRE, writes Stephen Evans.

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, SRE

Sister Sarah Kuteh: up steps the next so called victim of ‘Christian persecution’

Sister Sarah Kuteh: up steps the next so called victim of ‘Christian persecution’

Posted: Wed, 14 Dec 2016 by Stephen Evans

It has been another week in which we've seen Christians in the Middle East losing their lives to violence and persecution, but much media attention in the UK has instead focussed around the plight of a nurse, supposedly sacked for "offering to pray with her patients".

Tags: Healthcare, Christianity, Workplace

Clerics shouldn’t be the gatekeepers to publicly funded schools

Clerics shouldn’t be the gatekeepers to publicly funded schools

Posted: Fri, 25 Nov 2016 by Stephen Evans

A progressive education policy would seek to break down barriers between people of different faiths and beliefs, not erect them, writes NSS campaigns director Stephen Evans.

Tags: Education, admissions, Faith Schools

The demonisation of Louis Smith: This is how a de facto blasphemy law works

The demonisation of Louis Smith: This is how a de facto blasphemy law works

Posted: Tue, 11 Oct 2016 by Stephen Evans

The castigation of a British gymnast for 'mocking Islam' is illustrative of a troubling return of blasphemy, argues Stephen Evans.

Tags: Stephen Evans, Freedom of Expression

Inclusive education: divisive faith schools are the elephant in the room

Inclusive education: divisive faith schools are the elephant in the room

Posted: Fri, 30 Sep 2016 by Stephen Evans

NSS campaigns director on why progressives of all political and religious stripes should unite in opposing Theresa May's plan to open a new wave of divisive 'faith schools'.

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, 50% cap, Stephen Evans

Facilitating more religious segregation in faith schools can only harm social cohesion

Facilitating more religious segregation in faith schools can only harm social cohesion

Posted: Mon, 12 Sep 2016 by Stephen Evans

In a move devoid of any common sense, Theresa May's government looks set to capitulate to the demands of religious groups by relaxing admissions rules for faith-based academies, allowing them to select all pupils along religious lines.

Tags: Education, 50% cap, admissions, Stephen Evans

What do pupils need to know about religion?

What do pupils need to know about religion?

Posted: Tue, 02 Aug 2016 by Stephen Evans

In recent years faith communities have amplified their demands for a better understanding of religion in the private and public sector. But what do pupils need to know about religion by the time they leave school?

Tags: Education, RE

Living better together: secularism and cohesion

Living better together: secularism and cohesion

Posted: Fri, 29 Jul 2016 by Stephen Evans

Later this year the NSS will mark its 150th anniversary with a special conference around the theme of 'living better together'. Campaigns director Stephen Evans explains why the time has come for people of all faiths to stand together in supporting secularist principles.

Tags: Events, Secularism, Community Cohesion

In modern Britain, tradition is no excuse for retaining religious privilege

In modern Britain, tradition is no excuse for retaining religious privilege

Posted: Fri, 27 May 2016 by Stephen Evans

News that those declaring themselves to have no religion have exceeded the number of Christians in England and Wales has again prompted questions about Christianity's privileged role in public life, writes Stephen Evans.

Tags: Church & State

Furore over Islamic bus adverts is nothing but disingenuous propaganda

Furore over Islamic bus adverts is nothing but disingenuous propaganda

Posted: Mon, 09 May 2016 by Stephen Evans

Christian groups are being disingenuous and divisive in claiming unfavourable treatment over the decision to allow Allah adverts on buses, argues Stephen Evans.

Tags: Freedom of Expression

Faith schools add to the angst of school offer day

Faith schools add to the angst of school offer day

Posted: Mon, 18 Apr 2016 by Stephen Evans

National Offer Day is when many parents fall victim to religious discrimination or discover they've been allocated a religious school against their wishes. Stephen Evans argues that a move towards a secular education system might make school offer day a little less fraught.

Tags: Education, Faith Schools

Religious worship shouldn’t be a requirement of public office

Religious worship shouldn’t be a requirement of public office

Posted: Fri, 18 Mar 2016 by Stephen Evans

With an atheist mayor facing criticism for opting not to attend church services, Stephen Evans argues that elected officials shouldn't have to worship or feign religiosity in order to represent the citizens they serve.

Tags: Secularism, Church & State

Classrooms should be free from an overbearing religious ethos

Classrooms should be free from an overbearing religious ethos

Posted: Mon, 15 Feb 2016 by Stephen Evans

With the Church seeking to extend its influence over the management of schools, Stephen Evans argues that religious groups' demands shouldn't outweigh parental rights and children's independent interests.

Tags: Faith Schools, Education

Secularism protects us all. Let's embrace it.

Secularism protects us all. Let's embrace it.

Posted: Wed, 27 Jan 2016 by Stephen Evans

Britain today is one of the most religiously diverse countries in the world, with more non-believers than ever before. With society at risk of fragmenting along religious lines, secularism could be our salvation, argues Stephen Evans.

Tags: Secularism

So called Lord’s Prayer ‘Ban’: It’s Winterval all over again

So called Lord’s Prayer ‘Ban’: It’s Winterval all over again

Posted: Mon, 23 Nov 2015 by Stephen Evans

The controversy over cinemas rejecting religious advertising appears to be another attempt to reignite the Christian victimisation narrative, argues Stephen Evans

Tags: Church of England

Operation Christmas Child: Christian fundamentalism, gift-wrapped

Operation Christmas Child: Christian fundamentalism, gift-wrapped

Posted: Thu, 12 Nov 2015 by Stephen Evans

The Operation Christmas Child 'shoebox' appeal is a front for a project to convert children in predominantly Muslim countries to literalist Christianity. Parents should give it a wide berth, writes Stephen Evans.

Tags: Girl Guides, Charity, Samaritans Purse

Publicly funded services shouldn't be a platform to proselytise

Publicly funded services shouldn't be a platform to proselytise

Posted: Fri, 06 Nov 2015 by Stephen Evans

Any attempt to give faith-based organisations more room to discuss religion when running public services risks making their services less inclusive. Besides, public money shouldn't be funding evangelism, argues Stephen Evans.

Tags: Equality & Human Rights, Public Services