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Newsline 27 May 2016

This week the Government announced the launch of its long-awaited review into sharia law in England and Wales. Meanwhile changing demographics have shown (again) the need to rethink the role of religion in public life. A separate poll found widespread public scepticism about religion influencing politics – and most people, including most religious believers, thought the two should remain separate.

The National Secular Society campaigns for a state where all can live free from religious compulsion, a principle that desperately needs protecting.

We'll be discussing all of that, and more, at our conference this September. For now, you can see all of our news and commentary on the past week below.

In modern Britain, tradition is no excuse for retaining religious privilege

In modern Britain, tradition is no excuse for retaining religious privilege

Opinion | Fri, 27 May 2016

News that those declaring themselves to have no religion have exceeded the number of Christians in England and Wales has again prompted questions about Christianity's privileged role in public life, writes Stephen Evans.

62% say there is “no place in UK politics for religious influence of any kind”

62% say there is “no place in UK politics for religious influence of any kind”

Opinion | Mon, 23 May 2016

The overwhelming majority of Britons believe religion should not "influence" politics in the UK, and majorities of all religious believers except Muslims agree.

Invisible power: how the Catholic Church influences Italian politics

Invisible power: how the Catholic Church influences Italian politics

Opinion | Thu, 26 May 2016

Italy's bill on civil unions is an important landmark in the history of successful and unsuccessful attempts by the Vatican to influence Italian politics, writes Stefano Bonino.

Britain really is ceasing to be a Christian country

Britain really is ceasing to be a Christian country

For the first time in recorded history, those declaring themselves to have no religion have exceeded the number of Christians in Britain. The Spectator asks whether deference to tradition will protect Christianity's privileged position in the UK.

NSS Speaks Out

Our Executive Director Keith Porteous Wood spoke on Sky News and BBC Radio London this week to discuss news that there are more non-religious people now in the UK than Christians. Our President Terry Sanderson discussed this on Talk Radio.

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