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Author: Stephen Evans

Operation Christmas Child: Christian fundamentalism, gift-wrapped

Operation Christmas Child: Christian fundamentalism, gift-wrapped

Posted: Thu, 12 Nov 2015 by Stephen Evans

The Operation Christmas Child 'shoebox' appeal is a front for a project to convert children in predominantly Muslim countries to literalist Christianity. Parents should give it a wide berth, writes Stephen Evans.

Tags: Girl Guides, Charity, Samaritans Purse, Christmas

Publicly funded services shouldn't be a platform to proselytise

Publicly funded services shouldn't be a platform to proselytise

Posted: Fri, 06 Nov 2015 by Stephen Evans

Any attempt to give faith-based organisations more room to discuss religion when running public services risks making their services less inclusive. Besides, public money shouldn't be funding evangelism, argues Stephen Evans.

Tags: Equality & Human Rights, Public Services

The unreasonableness of ‘reasonable accommodation’

The unreasonableness of ‘reasonable accommodation’

Posted: Fri, 16 Oct 2015 by Stephen Evans

Calls to introduce a new workplace duty of 'reasonable accommodation' for religion and belief are a flawed solution to a problem that doesn't really exist, argues Stephen Evans.

Tags: Equality & Human Rights

Let Ofsted inspect religious education in faith schools

Let Ofsted inspect religious education in faith schools

Posted: Wed, 09 Sep 2015 by Stephen Evans

Religious education should receive the same scrutiny as any other area of the curriculum – and be inspected by Ofsted, argues Stephen Evans.

Tags: Education, RE, Faith Schools

Christians shouldn’t put self-interest above Britain’s need to better integrate

Christians shouldn’t put self-interest above Britain’s need to better integrate

Posted: Fri, 31 Jul 2015 by Stephen Evans

The long history of Christian involvement in state education shouldn't stand in the way of a more integrated education system, argues Stephen Evans.

Tags: Education, Faith Schools

NHS pastoral care should be a non-discriminatory service for all

NHS pastoral care should be a non-discriminatory service for all

Posted: Thu, 16 Jul 2015 by Stephen Evans

If NHS Trusts want to provide pastoral care for all, then there is no rationale for restricting the role of chaplain to those of faith, argues Stephen Evans.

Tags: Healthcare, Chaplains

Tim Montgomerie need not worry, secularism and tolerance go hand in hand

Tim Montgomerie need not worry, secularism and tolerance go hand in hand

Posted: Thu, 02 Jul 2015 by Stephen Evans

There's nothing "anti-Christian" about a society that sets about dismantling historic religious privilege, argues Stephen Evans.

Tags: Religion & Belief, Christianity, Secularism

Faith schools: education’s sacred cow

Faith schools: education’s sacred cow

Posted: Fri, 19 Jun 2015 by Stephen Evans

Faith-based schools have been part of Britain's educational landscape for a long time. But as Britain's religious outlook changes, the time has come for some people to come to terms with their fear or unwillingness to question them, argues Stephen Evans.

Tags: Education, Faith Schools

Allowing children to languish in illegal religious 'schools' is the bigotry of low expectations

Allowing children to languish in illegal religious 'schools' is the bigotry of low expectations

Posted: Wed, 22 Apr 2015 by Stephen Evans

NSS campaigns manager Stephen Evans warns that growing numbers of unregulated religious 'schools' are badly letting children down, and argues that the rights of children to education should be prioritised.

Tags: Education, unregistered schools

Let’s stop confusing education with religious inculcation

Let’s stop confusing education with religious inculcation

Posted: Fri, 03 Apr 2015 by Stephen Evans

The blurring of the distinction between education and religious inculcation is getting in the way of young people receiving good quality objective education about religion and belief, argues Stephen Evans.

Tags: Education, RE, Faith Schools

Eric Pickles' 'evangelical charter' on its way to becoming law

Eric Pickles' 'evangelical charter' on its way to becoming law

Posted: Thu, 12 Mar 2015 by Stephen Evans

A small group of Christians in parliament are changing the law to give councils the power to introduce their meetings with prayers. Stephen Evans argues that the right to freedom of religion should always be balanced by the right to be free from religion.

Tags: Religious Freedom, Church & State, Secularism, Council Prayers

Government’s GCSE subject content review is another missed opportunity

Government’s GCSE subject content review is another missed opportunity

Posted: Tue, 23 Dec 2014 by Stephen Evans

The Government's proposal to reform the religious studies GCSE subject content falls far short of what's really needed, argues Stephen Evans.

Tags: Education, RE

The Christmas nativity: Let it go! Let it go!

The Christmas nativity: Let it go! Let it go!

Posted: Tue, 02 Dec 2014 by Stephen Evans

After it this week emerged that some school nativity plays are losing their religion, NSS campaigns manager, Stephen Evans, argues that schools should be free to innovate and have a bit of fun with their festive plays without po-faced nativity police telling them they can't.

Tags: Education, Christmas

Transport to faith schools: Local authorities shouldn't be subsidising religious segregation

Transport to faith schools: Local authorities shouldn't be subsidising religious segregation

Posted: Thu, 06 Nov 2014 by Stephen Evans

A "hideous form of discrimination" or the justifiable removal of a religious privilege? NSS campaigns manager Stephen Evans takes on Conservative MP Nigel Evans over the removal of transport subsidies to faith schools.

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, Transport

Sixth formers: You have the right to withdraw!

Sixth formers: You have the right to withdraw!

Posted: Fri, 26 Sep 2014 by Stephen Evans

Sixth form pupils can excuse themselves from acts of worship – but it appears some schools aren't so keen on recognising their students' rights to religious freedom.

Tags: Education, Collective Worship, sixth form

Teachers shouldn’t be the victims of religious discrimination

Teachers shouldn’t be the victims of religious discrimination

Posted: Tue, 16 Sep 2014 by Stephen Evans

A Catholic diocese has made clear its intention to replace a headteacher, drafted in to save a failing school, because he isn't Roman Catholic. Stephen Evans argues that such discrimination would be totally unacceptable in almost all other areas of public life.

Tags: Discrimination, Faith Schools

Principles of secularism and equality must be defended

Principles of secularism and equality must be defended

Posted: Fri, 22 Aug 2014 by Stephen Evans

Attempts to erode equality and undermine secularist principles must be challenged, argues Stephen Evans.

Tags: Church & State, Equality & Human Rights

Ministerial role that promotes religion should have gone, not just the Minister

Ministerial role that promotes religion should have gone, not just the Minister

Posted: Wed, 06 Aug 2014 by Stephen Evans

As Eric Pickles takes over Baroness Warsi's ministerial responsibilities for promoting faith, Stephen Evans argues that the job should have gone, not just the minister.

Tags: secularism

Why the time has come to end compulsory worship in schools

Why the time has come to end compulsory worship in schools

Posted: Fri, 11 Jul 2014 by Stephen Evans

With the launch of a new petition calling on political parties to make the removal of the collective worship requirement part of their education policy, NSS campaigns manager Stephen Evans explains why the time has come to relieve schools of the obligation to provide worship.

Tags: Collective Worship, Education, Religious Freedom

School chaplains: the Church of England's latest plan to evangelise in schools

School chaplains: the Church of England's latest plan to evangelise in schools

Posted: Tue, 03 Jun 2014 by Stephen Evans

With the majority church schools now employing Christian chaplains, Stephen Evans questions whether public money intended for education should be used to fund the Church of England's missionary work.

Tags: Education, Church of England

‘Halal hysteria’: Religious exemption from animal welfare law is the real issue

‘Halal hysteria’: Religious exemption from animal welfare law is the real issue

Posted: Thu, 08 May 2014 by Stephen Evans

Food retailers should be upfront about what they're serving up, but the main issue is one of animal welfare, and the religious exemption that allows animals to be slaughtered without being stunned, argues Stephen Evans.

Tags: Religious Slaughter

Faith schools: whose education is it anyway?

Faith schools: whose education is it anyway?

Posted: Thu, 06 Mar 2014 by Stephen Evans

Education policy and practice should focus more on children's independent interests and building a shared society rather than pandering to religious groups motivated by self-preservation, argues NSS campaigns manager, Stephen Evans.

Tags: Education, Faith Schools

The Church of England’s unrelenting exploitation of the nation’s schools

The Church of England’s unrelenting exploitation of the nation’s schools

Posted: Wed, 20 Nov 2013 by Stephen Evans

The Church of England's intention is clear. State funded schools will be regarded as churches – and serve as pulpits for evangelisation, argues Stephen Evans.

Tags: Church of England, Education, Faith Schools

Secularism seeks to balance everyone’s religious freedoms fairly. Why would anyone oppose that?

Secularism seeks to balance everyone’s religious freedoms fairly. Why would anyone oppose that?

Posted: Tue, 19 Nov 2013 by Stephen Evans

Despite the claims of its critics, secularism protects the freedom of conscience for all citizens, and welcomes believers and non-believers into the public square on equal terms, argues Stephen Evans.

Tags: Religion & Belief, Secularism, Equality & Human Rights

Evangelism in schools?

Evangelism in schools?

Posted: Fri, 11 Oct 2013 by Stephen Evans

A report published this week by the National Secular Society has shone a much needed spotlight on the activities of evangelical Christian organisations operating in our children's schools.

Tags: Education