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Newsline 16 December 2016

Welcome to this week's Newsline. This will be the last full edition before Christmas, and it's larger than usual, packed with campaigning news and opinion – including success with our fundraising on Lewis to ensure families can go swimming on Sundays – despite objections of Sabbatarians on the local council.

On a less positive note, with the Government planning to extend religious discrimination in admissions, it is also resisting calls to review the alarming extent to which faith schools can discriminate against teachers who don't share the faith of the school. With your support we'll continue to hold the Government to account and keep pushing for a truly inclusive and secular education system, free from any religious discrimination.

We can also announce an event in Parliament early in the New Year on the future of free speech to mark the second anniversary of the attack on Charlie Hebdo. See below for details. Nominations are also now open for Secularist of the Year 2017. Who do you think has made a significant contribution to the secularist cause and deserves recognition? Let us know!

We'll be back next week with a message from our President, reflecting on our 150th anniversary year and looking forward to the challenges ahead for the secular movement. In the meantime, if you aren't a member of the NSS, please put your principles into action and sign up today!

Sister Sarah Kuteh: up steps the next so called victim of ‘Christian persecution’

Sister Sarah Kuteh: up steps the next so called victim of ‘Christian persecution’

Opinion | Wed, 14 Dec 2016

It has been another week in which we've seen Christians in the Middle East losing their lives to violence and persecution, but much media attention in the UK has instead focussed around the plight of a nurse, supposedly sacked for "offering to pray with her patients".

Event marking the 2nd anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo attack: 'The Future of Free Speech'

Event marking the 2nd anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo attack: 'The Future of Free Speech'

Join us in Parliament to mark the 2nd anniversary of the attack on Charlie Hebdo. Speakers include Nick Cohen, Caroline Fourest, Jim Fiztpatrick MP, Martin Rowson, and Jodie Ginsberg of Index on Censorship. Please RSVP to events@secularism.org.uk. Space is limited.

NSS Speaks Out

The successful fundraiser to help islanders on Lewis was reported by the BBC, the National, Hebrides News and the Stornoway Gazette.

We've been on several BBC radio stations this week talking about the nurse 'sacked for praying' (see the real story above). Our campaigns director Stephen Evans has a piece in the Huffington Post on so-called persecution of Christians in the UK. We also had a letter in the Church Times on this.

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