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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

Tags: Europe

Secularists protest Pope’s planned address to the European Parliament

Secularists protest Pope’s planned address to the European Parliament

Posted: Fri, 31 Oct 2014 08:45

Over a dozen secularist organisations have written to the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, objecting to his invitation to Pope Francis to address the Parliament.

European Commission dismisses NSS complaint over employment discrimination in faith schools

European Commission dismisses NSS complaint over employment discrimination in faith schools

Posted: Thu, 23 Oct 2014 14:03

The European Commission has announced it will take no further action after investigating complaints, submitted by the National Secular Society, regarding UK state funded 'faith schools' legislation and European employment laws.

EU publishes guidelines on protecting free expression abroad

EU publishes guidelines on protecting free expression abroad

Posted: Tue, 20 May 2014 13:44

The Council of the European Union has adopted human rights guidelines on Freedom of Expression Online and Offline.

Council of Europe under pressure to reconsider its resolution condemning male circumcision

Council of Europe under pressure to reconsider its resolution condemning male circumcision

Posted: Wed, 18 Dec 2013 13:02

According to a report in the Times of Israel, the Council of Europe is to revisit last October's resolution which stated that the ritual circumcision of young boys violates their basic human rights.

Croatia: MEPs regret Church-led referendum on marriage

Croatia: MEPs regret Church-led referendum on marriage

Posted: Mon, 18 Nov 2013 16:31

On 1 December, Croatian citizens will be called to vote on whether to alter the constitution to define marriage as 'matrimony between a man and a woman'.

NSS tells EU presidents that secularism should be “at the heart of the European project”

NSS tells EU presidents that secularism should be “at the heart of the European project”

Posted: Thu, 14 Nov 2013 16:24

The National Secular Society was represented again at the annual luncheon designed to consult "non-confessional" organisations given by the three presidents of the EU .

Suggestion that France replace Christian holidays with Jewish and Muslim ones doesn’t go down well

Suggestion that France replace Christian holidays with Jewish and Muslim ones doesn’t go down well

Posted: Fri, 27 Sep 2013 16:00

An appointee to the French Government's National Observatory on Secularism has sparked controversy by suggesting that two Christian holidays should be replaced on the calendar by the Jewish Yom Kippur and the Muslim festival of Eid.

Swiss canton to vote on banning face coverings

Swiss canton to vote on banning face coverings

Posted: Fri, 20 Sep 2013 14:43

The people of the Swiss canton of Ticino, which lies in the South on the Italian border, are to vote in a referendum on Sunday on whether to ban face coverings.

Belgium: State funding to be withdrawn from religious schools that fail to teach mandatory curriculum

Belgium: State funding to be withdrawn from religious schools that fail to teach mandatory curriculum

Posted: Thu, 15 Aug 2013 15:31

New Belgian regulations that compel religious schools to teach the country's mandatory curriculum in full have been criticised by ultra-Orthodox Charedi Jews.

Switzerland wants a secular national anthem

Switzerland wants a secular national anthem

Posted: Thu, 08 Aug 2013 14:02

Switzerland wants to get rid of its old-fashioned "hymn-like" national anthem and replace it with a modern, secular version.

Catalonia plans to ban the burka

Catalonia plans to ban the burka

Posted: Tue, 09 Jul 2013 13:19

The Catalan Government has announced that it will control the wearing of burkas and other face-coverings such as helmets and masks in public spaces "for reasons of public safety".

EU adopts guidelines on freedom of religion or belief

EU adopts guidelines on freedom of religion or belief

Posted: Thu, 27 Jun 2013 16:53

This week, the EU Council of Foreign Affairs adopted a report offering guidelines on the promotion and protection of freedom of religion or belief, with the aim of promoting the fundamental human right to freedom of religion or belief in countries beyond EU borders.

Protestors in the Czech Republic ask Pope to practise what he preaches

Protestors in the Czech Republic ask Pope to practise what he preaches

Posted: Wed, 29 May 2013 11:39

Top writers, film-makers and artists in the Czech Republic are asking the Pope to practise what he preaches and to prevent the Czech Government from returning state-owned property to the country's Catholic Church.

Majority of Europeans favour separation of church and state, but Islam has an uphill battle for acceptance in Germany

Majority of Europeans favour separation of church and state, but Islam has an uphill battle for acceptance in Germany

Posted: Thu, 02 May 2013 11:11

A major new study of attitudes towards religion around the world has been conducted by the Bertelsmann Foundation – and finds that the majority of people in all the 13 nations surveyed favour a clear separation between religion and the state.

Launch of student essay competition! Sharia: what’s going on?

Launch of student essay competition! Sharia: what’s going on?

Posted: Tue, 30 Apr 2013 14:24

One Law for All and the Lawyers' Secular Society (LSS) have announced a student research competition on the subject of sharia law, sponsored by the National Secular Society.

Secularist attempt to strip Austrian churches of financial privileges fails

Secularist attempt to strip Austrian churches of financial privileges fails

Posted: Fri, 26 Apr 2013 13:34

The Catholic Church in Austria has reacted "with satisfaction" at the failure of a referendum that sought to strip churches of their many privileges.

Romania considers introducing church tax

Romania considers introducing church tax

Posted: Wed, 17 Apr 2013 10:33

New legislation, inspired by the German "church tax" model, will soon allow all Romanian citizens to direct a part of their income tax to the churches or other organisations of their choosing.

European Commission failed to implement properly Article 17 in EHF case says EU Ombudsman

European Commission failed to implement properly Article 17 in EHF case says EU Ombudsman

Posted: Tue, 29 Jan 2013 13:54

The EU ombudsman has upheld complaint by the European Humanist Federation that the European Commission has failed to comply with an EU Treaty which requires the EU to conduct a "regular, open and transparent dialogue with churches, religious communities as well as philosophical and non-confessional organisations."

EU Commissioner says blasphemy laws are undesirable in the EU, but it’s up to individual states to decide whether they implement them

EU Commissioner says blasphemy laws are undesirable in the EU, but it’s up to individual states to decide whether they implement them

Posted: Thu, 17 Jan 2013 12:37

The EU Commissioner responsible for justice, fundamental rights and citizenship, Vivianne Reding, has said that blasphemy laws and other such restrictions are not acceptable and pose a threat to free speech.

European Commission to investigate complaints concerning employment discrimination in ‘faith’ schools

European Commission to investigate complaints concerning employment discrimination in ‘faith’ schools

Posted: Thu, 17 Jan 2013 06:43

The European Commission is to investigate complaints submitted by the National Secular Society concerning whether UK legislation relating to state funded 'faith' schools breaches European employment laws in relation to discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief.