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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

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Vatican tells new bishops they don’t “necessarily” need to report sex abuse of children

Vatican tells new bishops they don’t “necessarily” need to report sex abuse of children

Posted: Thu, 11 Feb 2016 13:40

The National Secular Society has expressed its concern over guidelines for newly appointed bishops published by the Vatican which state that bishops do not always need to report clerical sex abuse to the authorities.

Religious ceremonies exclude non-Christians and the non-religious, says councillor

Religious ceremonies exclude non-Christians and the non-religious, says councillor

Posted: Wed, 10 Feb 2016 12:20

A local councillor has called on Ross-on-Wye town council to move away from religious events and to embrace inclusive, secular ceremonies – warning that current arrangements alienate non-Christians.

Government praises “spiritual insight” of bishops in response to petition calling for their removal from the Lords

Government praises “spiritual insight” of bishops in response to petition calling for their removal from the Lords

Posted: Tue, 09 Feb 2016 11:55

The Government has said that changes to the Lords are "important" but that the position of the bishops in the Upper House is not a "priority", in response to a petition calling for the removal of 26 bishops from the House of Lords.

Georgian blasphemy law to impose fines for insulting religion

Georgian blasphemy law to impose fines for insulting religion

Posted: Mon, 08 Feb 2016 14:58

Plans in Georgia to pass an anti-blasphemy measure with punitive fines for 'offences' have drawn criticism from a non-Orthodox bishop, and from an MP of the ruling coalition.

Birmingham Central Mosque leaders accused of downplaying domestic violence, forced marriage and extremism

Birmingham Central Mosque leaders accused of downplaying domestic violence, forced marriage and extremism

Posted: Fri, 05 Feb 2016 12:43

Labour MP Khalid Mahmood has called on the embattled trustees of Birmingham Central Mosque to "consider their positions" after the mosque chairman was accused of dismissing concerns about domestic violence.

Christian Concern back parents over accusations adopted son was “held down” at prayer meeting for an exorcism

Christian Concern back parents over accusations adopted son was “held down” at prayer meeting for an exorcism

Posted: Fri, 05 Feb 2016 10:55

Christian Concern and the Christian Legal Centre are assisting a couple whose adopted sons were removed, after accusations one had been held down at a prayer meeting while people talked in tongues to exorcise a demon.

UN calls on Ireland to recognise needs of non-Christian children in the education system

UN calls on Ireland to recognise needs of non-Christian children in the education system

Posted: Thu, 04 Feb 2016 14:25

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has criticised Ireland in its periodic review, urging the country to protect the rights of non-religious and non-Christian children and families.

More than half of Americans still “less likely” to support a non-religious presidential candidate

More than half of Americans still “less likely” to support a non-religious presidential candidate

Posted: Wed, 03 Feb 2016 16:43

A Pew survey conducted in January 2016 has found that most Americans are still put-off by an atheist presidential candidate, with 51% saying they would be less likely to support a non-religious aspirant.

‘Catholics-only’ school bus policy to be reviewed

‘Catholics-only’ school bus policy to be reviewed

Posted: Tue, 02 Feb 2016 12:27

The National Secular Society has welcomed news that a 'discriminatory' school bus policy, which gives Catholic pupils free travel but makes non-Catholics pay, is to be reviewed by Flintshire Council.

Schools where face veils are a “barrier” to learning and social interaction to be marked down by Ofsted

Schools where face veils are a “barrier” to learning and social interaction to be marked down by Ofsted

Posted: Tue, 26 Jan 2016 15:09

The head of Ofsted Sir Michael Wilshaw has announced that he is giving his "full support" to schools that "take a stand against the inappropriate wearing of the veil."

Government announces clampdown on complaints about faith school admissions code violations

Government announces clampdown on complaints about faith school admissions code violations

Posted: Mon, 25 Jan 2016 16:07

The NSS has warned that Government plans to stop secularist campaign groups from challenging the admissions processes of faith schools will enable faith schools to break the admissions code with impunity.

French school pupils to be taught that secularism protects them

French school pupils to be taught that secularism protects them

Posted: Mon, 25 Jan 2016 12:49

The French education minister has said that the meaning of secularism has been twisted and that teaching must be overhauled to show that Laïcité protects pupils.

Petition to remove bishops from the House of Lords gains over 10,000 signatures

Petition to remove bishops from the House of Lords gains over 10,000 signatures

Posted: Fri, 22 Jan 2016 22:19

A petition to remove Church of England bishops from the House of Lords has gained over 10,000 signatures in the space of a week – meaning it will now receive a response from the government.

A new secular settlement is necessary for a country where “no religion is the new norm”

A new secular settlement is necessary for a country where “no religion is the new norm”

Posted: Wed, 20 Jan 2016 11:11

The NSS has stressed the need for a new secular settlement after a YouGov survey found that 46% of UK adults consider themselves to have "no religion", compared to just 42% who say they are Christian.

Arbitration Bill on religious tribunals and sharia ‘courts’ clears House of Lords

Arbitration Bill on religious tribunals and sharia ‘courts’ clears House of Lords

Posted: Wed, 20 Jan 2016 10:56

Legislation to tackle gender inequality and discrimination promoted by religious tribunals like sharia 'courts' has cleared the House of Lords.

NSS welcomes moves by Church of England to fix the date of Easter

NSS welcomes moves by Church of England to fix the date of Easter

Posted: Tue, 19 Jan 2016 15:25

The National Secular Society has welcomed efforts by the Church of England to fix the date of Easter, something the NSS called for in 2015 in light of the disruption the changeable date causes to schools and business.

Ultra-Orthodox schools still use corporal punishment, say campaigners

Ultra-Orthodox schools still use corporal punishment, say campaigners

Posted: Wed, 13 Jan 2016 16:28

A charity and support group for former Ultra-Orthodox Jews has warned the Government that corporal punishment is widely used in unregistered Orthodox schools.

Church of England collapse strengthens the case for a secular UK

Church of England collapse strengthens the case for a secular UK

Posted: Tue, 12 Jan 2016 16:33

Weekly attendance at Church of England services has fallen below 1 million for the first time – bolstering the argument for a secular state.

‘Driving ban’ Charedi school criticised by Ofsted after emergency inspection

‘Driving ban’ Charedi school criticised by Ofsted after emergency inspection

Posted: Tue, 12 Jan 2016 14:58

A school which threatened a 'ban' on mothers driving their children to school has been criticised by Ofsted for failing to sufficiently promote "pupils' safety and well-being."

NSS backs plans for better safeguarding in supplementary schools

NSS backs plans for better safeguarding in supplementary schools

Posted: Mon, 11 Jan 2016 15:08

The NSS has expressed broad support for Government plans to safeguard children and young people who attend "out-of-school education settings", including madrassas, with a system of registration and inspection.