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Newsline 5 June 2015

New research has again confirmed that around half of the UK's population don't identify with any religious belief: this strengthens the case for a secular state, but we still need your support to press our message home. If you are not already a member, please consider joining today.

This week, the NSS has responded to Tony Blair's ill-judged plans to 'entrench' religion in public life (more on that follows), and we have also covered developments with the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation- who have been warned by a human rights group against pushing once more for a global blasphemy law.

We also reported on the comments of a Christian MP who said that if you despise "Christian values" you should leave the UK. In the same speech Sir Gerald Howarth warned about people imposing "their medieval ways" on the UK.

Overseas, the French education minister has argued that sometimes French secularism is enforced too strongly, while back in the UK a number of secularist bills are set for attention in the House of Lords during the new parliament.

See our top news stories below, but you can also see all of our coverage from the past week on our website.

Don’t ban women drivers – ban faith schools

Don’t ban women drivers – ban faith schools

Opinion | Sat, 30 May 2015

In a pluralist and diverse society, it's an invitation to ignorance for children to be segregated by their parent's religious affiliation – so why, asks Oliver Kamm, is the state entrusting the education of huge numbers of children to religious bodies?

NSS Speaks Out

NSS executive director Keith Porteous Wood was quoted by the BBC on Tony Blair's draconian proposals - warning that they would have a chilling effect on free speech.

NSS campaigns manager Stephen Evans was quoted in Christian Today on the scandal of the Belz sect's 'ban' on women driving their children to school. He also had a letter published in London's Evening Standard calling for a philosophy and ethics based subject to replace RE after the Standard's columnist Melanie McDonagh argued that England needs to be 're-evangelised' and children instructed in Christian doctrine in order to understand concepts of the common good, altruism, virtue.

Additionally, our story on Sir Gerald Howarth MP's comments telling people to "leave and go somewhere else" if they despised "Christian values" was picked up by Premier Christian Radio, who quoted us in their report.

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