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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

Tags: Council Prayers

US Supreme Court backs prayers during government meetings

US Supreme Court backs prayers during government meetings

Posted: Tue, 06 May 2014 12:55

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that opening public meetings with prayer does not automatically violate the Constitution's ban on government endorsement of religion.

US Supreme Court to hear council prayers case

US Supreme Court to hear council prayers case

Posted: Tue, 05 Nov 2013 12:04

Tomorrow (6 November) the United States Supreme Court will consider whether opening council meetings with prayers is legal.

Traditionalists furious as Plymouth council shifts prayers

Traditionalists furious as Plymouth council shifts prayers

Posted: Fri, 19 Jul 2013 14:17

Conservative councillors in Plymouth have reacted furiously to a new timetable for council meetings that moves prayers to 15 minutes before the meeting begins.

MP attempts to reintroduce prayers during council meetings

MP attempts to reintroduce prayers during council meetings

Posted: Fri, 21 Jun 2013 08:56

Conservative MP Matthew Offord has introduced a parliamentary bill to reintroduce prayers to local council meetings. Religious observance at council meetings was outlawed by the High Court in 2012 after a successful challenge by the National Secular Society.

Council prayers challenged in the United States

Council prayers challenged in the United States

Posted: Mon, 20 May 2013 17:25

The US Supreme Court is to consider whether prayers can be offered as part of government meetings.

Cromer Council agrees to take prayers off the agenda

Cromer Council agrees to take prayers off the agenda

Posted: Wed, 29 Aug 2012 15:31

Councillors at Cromer Town Council in Norfolk voted by 12 votes to one that in future those who wished to join in a short period of prayer or reflection would gather at 6.45pm, ahead of the usual 7pm start to council meetings.

Secular group in Canada seeks to end prayers at local authority meetings

Secular group in Canada seeks to end prayers at local authority meetings

Posted: Fri, 03 Aug 2012 08:53

In a campaign that echoes the National Secular Society's successful challenge to council prayers in England and Wales, a group in Canada called Secular Ontario is taking legal action to stop politicians praying before their meetings.

St Albans Council ditches prayers

St Albans Council ditches prayers

Posted: Thu, 19 Jul 2012 12:05

St Albans district council has voted 34-13 to discontinue prayers as part of the agenda for full council meetings, but to have a separate voluntary prayer session beforehand.

Prayers removed from Edinburgh council meetings

Prayers removed from Edinburgh council meetings

Posted: Tue, 26 Jun 2012 15:59

The National Secular Society has welcomed an announcement from Edinburgh City Council that new ten minute "Pause for Reflection" sessions will be held before council meetings in place of prayers during them.

Council prayers – the ripples spread to Lincolnshire

Council prayers – the ripples spread to Lincolnshire

Posted: Thu, 07 Jun 2012 15:23

The leader of West Lindsey District Council in Lincolnshire has come under heavy fire from the religious establishment in the town – and some of his fellow councillors – for saying that he would "heartily cheer" when council prayers were outlawed.

Council prayers – the ripples are still spreading: Brighton and Hove

Council prayers – the ripples are still spreading: Brighton and Hove

Posted: Thu, 07 Jun 2012 15:18

The leader of Brighton and Hove has announced that he intends to significantly increase the amount of religious participation before council meetings. As well as Christian Ministers, rabbis, Buddhists and Muslim imams will be invited to lead prayers in the council chamber.

Scottish council drops prayers at council meetings

Scottish council drops prayers at council meetings

Posted: Tue, 22 May 2012 13:44

A Scottish council has dropped prayers at its meetings in order to eliminate discrimination. Dumfries and Galloway Council has decided to dump the formal prayers – which were the first item on the agenda – and replace them with a "time for reflection", 10 minutes before the meeting starts.

Councils abandon prayers following NSS High Court victory

Councils abandon prayers following NSS High Court victory

Posted: Fri, 04 May 2012 13:39

A survey by The Sunday Telegraph has found that 40 councils have recently decided to drop, or "water down" the practice of saying prayers, with more considering doing so.

Eric Pickles is behaving like a dictator over council prayers

Eric Pickles is behaving like a dictator over council prayers

Posted: Fri, 06 Apr 2012 08:45

The National Secular Society has accused Communities Secretary Eric Pickles of behaving like a dictator by unilaterally declaring that a High Court judgment no longer applies.

Council prayers decision continues to provoke controversy

Council prayers decision continues to provoke controversy

Posted: Mon, 02 Apr 2012 11:00

A Muslim councillor claims he was deselected by the local Conservative Party after he objected to the saying of Christian prayers as part of the Council meeting - plus an update on what councils around the country are doing

Bideford Council drops appeal over council prayers

Bideford Council drops appeal over council prayers

Posted: Thu, 15 Mar 2012 11:19

Bideford Town Council has decided not to appeal the High Court's decision that putting prayers on agendas is unlawful. It was at the centre of the NSS's challenge to prayers as part of council business.

Challenge to council prayers in Scotland

Challenge to council prayers in Scotland

Posted: Tue, 13 Mar 2012 10:49

The practice of council prayers held by some local authorities in Scotland has now been challenged by the National Secular Society.

Eric Pickles is allowing his evangelical Christianity to cloud his judgment

Eric Pickles is allowing his evangelical Christianity to cloud his judgment

Posted: Thu, 01 Mar 2012 16:20

The National Secular Society has accused the Minister for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, of allowing his evangelical Christian views to cloud his judgment and risk a damaging split in society.

Councillor heckled for walking out of prayers during council meeting

Councillor heckled for walking out of prayers during council meeting

Posted: Fri, 24 Feb 2012 14:52

A Cheshire town councillor who walked out of a meeting before prayers was heckled and told 'he should be ashamed of himself'.

Poll shows majority think councils shouldn’t pray

Poll shows majority think councils shouldn’t pray

Posted: Sun, 19 Feb 2012 14:04

Two new polls about religion, which specifically asked a question about the Bideford case, illustrate an ambivalent reaction among the public.

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