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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

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Kentucky clerk acting under “God’s authority” in defying court over gay marriage

Kentucky clerk acting under “God’s authority” in defying court over gay marriage

Posted: Wed, 02 Sep 2015 12:58

A county clerk in Kentucky has persisted in denying same-sex couples marriage licenses, in open defiance of a federal court order.

Funding row sees Israel’s Christian schools close down in strike against cuts

Funding row sees Israel’s Christian schools close down in strike against cuts

Posted: Wed, 02 Sep 2015 11:01

All 45 Christian schools in Israel have closed in a strike to protest against funding cuts to their budget from the Israeli government.

Quebec ‘hate speech’ law will target “people who would write against … the Islamic religion”

Quebec ‘hate speech’ law will target “people who would write against … the Islamic religion”

Posted: Wed, 02 Sep 2015 10:38

The Quebec National Assembly is considering a bill that would be used to criminalise criticism of Islam under the aegis of banning "hate speech".

Church of ‘witch-slapping’ pastor withdraws application to open UK school

Church of ‘witch-slapping’ pastor withdraws application to open UK school

Posted: Tue, 25 Aug 2015 10:08

A Christian group that linked child disobedience with witchcraft has withdrawn its application to open an independent school after the NSS called on the DfE not to grant the school registered status.

Mexico blasted by UN Child Rights watchdog over child abuse in Catholic institutions

Mexico blasted by UN Child Rights watchdog over child abuse in Catholic institutions

Posted: Fri, 21 Aug 2015 10:52

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has strongly criticised Mexico over "corroborated reports that hundreds of children have been sexually abused for years by clerics of the Catholic Church and other religious faiths".

BBC Trust: Religious radio programmes are “least popular” and “least well received” – but we won’t change them

BBC Trust: Religious radio programmes are “least popular” and “least well received” – but we won’t change them

Posted: Thu, 20 Aug 2015 16:46

A consultation on speech radio by the BBC Trust has found that religious programmes are the least liked and least well received radio shows, but stated that the BBC has no plans to change them.

Government to investigate Islamic school which banned socialising with ‘outsiders’

Government to investigate Islamic school which banned socialising with ‘outsiders’

Posted: Thu, 20 Aug 2015 13:58

The DfE has written to the National Secular Society confirming that it will be "looking into" the NSS' concerns over why an Islamic school that banned its pupils from socialising with 'outsiders' was rated "good".

NSS welcomes Welsh Government plans to reform RE

NSS welcomes Welsh Government plans to reform RE

Posted: Wed, 19 Aug 2015 12:36

The National Secular Society has written to Huw Lewis, the Welsh Education Minister, in support of his plans to reform RE and rename the subject "religion, philosophy and ethics".

Petition calls for Bangladeshi police chief to resign after he warned secularists not to insult religion

Petition calls for Bangladeshi police chief to resign after he warned secularists not to insult religion

Posted: Tue, 18 Aug 2015 13:53

A petition has been started calling for the head of Bangladesh's police to resign after he told secularists not to 'cross the line' by insulting religious feelings, days after Niloy Neel was killed.

Free speech campaigners demand to know why play on Islamic extremism was cancelled

Free speech campaigners demand to know why play on Islamic extremism was cancelled

Posted: Tue, 18 Aug 2015 13:39

Index on Censorship and English PEN have called for answers after 'Homegrown', a play about radicalisation, was cancelled by the National Youth Theatre shortly before its first performance.

Muslim-majority school to integrate genders, despite protests from parents

Muslim-majority school to integrate genders, despite protests from parents

Posted: Mon, 17 Aug 2015 15:35

A Muslim-majority, non-faith school is to integrate boys' and girls' classes for the first time, after being placed in special measures by Ofsted.

Sikh Federation UK refuses to condemn “thugs” who forcibly stopped an interfaith marriage

Sikh Federation UK refuses to condemn “thugs” who forcibly stopped an interfaith marriage

Posted: Wed, 12 Aug 2015 11:55

Sikh Federation UK, the "leading" Sikh lobbying organisation, has refused to condemn the actions of a group of men who disrupted an interfaith wedding.

NSS asks Government to clarify religious influence on exhumations from public cemeteries

NSS asks Government to clarify religious influence on exhumations from public cemeteries

Posted: Tue, 11 Aug 2015 11:32

The National Secular Society has written to the Government to clarify whether the Church of England is seeking to block the exhumation of remains not buried on Church land.

Minister for Faith role officially abolished

Minister for Faith role officially abolished

Posted: Mon, 10 Aug 2015 16:38

Premier Christian Radio has revealed that the Minister for Faith role has officially been scrapped, and the duties transferred to a junior ministerial post at the DCLG.

McConnell vows to “preach the same message” after first court appearance for anti-Islam sermon

McConnell vows to “preach the same message” after first court appearance for anti-Islam sermon

Posted: Fri, 07 Aug 2015 07:49

Pastor James McConnell has said he will carry on preaching his message about Islam, after his first day in court over an allegedly 'offensive' sermon.

UAE makes ‘offending God’ illegal

UAE makes ‘offending God’ illegal

Posted: Wed, 05 Aug 2015 12:02

The United Arab Emirates has passed an 'anti-hatred' law which it has claimed will help tackle discrimination, but which outlaws 'insulting' religion.

Saudi ministry: 'Free expression is an abuse of religious rights'

Saudi ministry: 'Free expression is an abuse of religious rights'

Posted: Mon, 03 Aug 2015 16:28

Saudi Arabia has reiterated its call for a global blasphemy law, claiming that free speech leads to violations of "religious and ideological rights."

Secular groups write to Nigerian President over blasphemy death sentences

Secular groups write to Nigerian President over blasphemy death sentences

Posted: Sun, 02 Aug 2015 07:00

The National Secular Society has joined other secularist organisations in calling for a full pardon and civil protection for nine people recently sentenced to death by a Sharia court in Nigeria.

Prosecution of anti-Islam preacher is “in the public interest”, claims Public Prosecution Service

Prosecution of anti-Islam preacher is “in the public interest”, claims Public Prosecution Service

Posted: Fri, 31 Jul 2015 15:17

The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) of Northern Ireland have defended their prosecution of James McConnell, the Christian preacher who called Islam "Satanic."

Nepalese Christians defend secularism, amid fears of persecution

Nepalese Christians defend secularism, amid fears of persecution

Posted: Thu, 30 Jul 2015 11:06

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has warned that dropping explicit reference to secularism from Nepal's constitution could leave Christians at risk of persecution.