1. Skip to content

Trouble reading this email? View newsletter online.

Newsline 12 May 2017

From Ahok to Stephen Fry, to the 'Pokemon Go' blogger convicted of 'insulting the feelings of believers', there has been an avalanche of blasphemy cases this week, with prosecutions and investigations around the world.

Blasphemy laws in liberal democracies aren't quaint oddities, they undermine the ability of those countries to condemn human rights abuses like the ones we have seen this week.

For those otherwise liberal and democratic societies which still have blasphemy laws on their statute books, we say: abolish them now.

Blasphemy laws are one of our major human rights concerns, and though we were critical in abolishing blasphemy laws in England and Wales almost a decade ago, we cannot be complacent. So show your support for our cause today.

Calls for abolition of Irish blasphemy law following investigation of Stephen Fry

Calls for abolition of Irish blasphemy law following investigation of Stephen Fry

News | Mon, 08 May 2017

The National Secular Society has called for the repeal of Ireland's blasphemy law after Irish police dropped an investigation against Stephen Fry over a complaint of 'blasphemy' related to an interview aired in 2015.

Casework focus: community schools and religious takeovers

Casework focus: community schools and religious takeovers

Opinion | Thu, 11 May 2017

Parents and staff regularly contact the NSS over concerns related to religious influence in their schools. Campaigns officer Alastair Lichten looks at a typical example of the casework we receive and what lessons can be learned.

CofE talks to the electorate, but is anyone listening?

CofE talks to the electorate, but is anyone listening?

Opinion | Mon, 08 May 2017

Religious leaders are free to speak out on politics, but they shouldn't expect their views to be given any special weight, and politicians shouldn't assume that clerics speak for anyone but themselves, argues Terry Sanderson.

Murdered for the ‘crime’ of blasphemy

Murdered for the ‘crime’ of blasphemy

Opinion | Fri, 12 May 2017

There has been an onslaught against secularists, atheists, ex-Muslims and countless religious minorities for 'blasphemy'. It's important to remember the individuals, and honour their lives and heroism.

Belgium’s Walloon region to end slaughter of animals without pre-stunning

Belgium’s Walloon region to end slaughter of animals without pre-stunning

News | Thu, 11 May 2017

A committee of the Walloon Parliament has voted to ban the slaughter of animals without pre-stunning, a move welcomed by secularists and animal rights campaigners.

Atheists, secularists, and Ex-Muslims call upon Facebook to address campaigns to silence religious dissent

Atheists, secularists, and Ex-Muslims call upon Facebook to address campaigns to silence religious dissent

Atheist and ex-Muslim organizations and groups are finding themselves yet again the target of censorship campaigns by religious conservatives – this time with the aid of Facebook's reporting mechanism.

NSS Speaks Out

Executive director Keith Porteous Wood spoke to BBC Wales and BBC Stoke about the investigation into Stephen Fry. Campaigns officer Alastair Lichten spoke on 3FM about the Christian group teaching abstinence in Isle of Man sex education. Communications officer Benjamin Jones was quoted in Verdict, on the practice of instant Islamic divorce in India. Campaigns director Stephen Evans spoke to Talk Radio about our campaign to reform RE.

This email has been sent to you by National Secular Society in accordance with our Privacy Policy.
Address: 25 Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4RL, United Kingdom.
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7404 3126

Please Note: Newsline provides links to external websites for information and in the interests of free exchange. We do not accept any responsibility for the content of those sites, nor does a link indicate approval or imply endorsement of those sites.

Please feel free to use the material in this Newsline with appropriate acknowledgement of source. Neither Newsline nor the NSS is responsible for the content of websites to which it provides links. Nor does the NSS or Newsline necessarily endorse quotes and comments by contributors, they are brought to you in the interests of the free exchange of information and open debate.