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We campaign for the separation of Church and state and for the removal of the Bishops' Bench from Parliament.

In a secular democracy all citizens are equal before the law and parliament. No religious or political affiliation gives advantages or disadvantages and religious believers are citizens with the same rights and obligations as anyone else. In the 21st century no religion should be granted a privileged position.

Secularism is crucial to successful democratic governance across the world: this is just as true in the UK as it is in the Middle East. We campaign for a secular democracy with a separation of religion and state, where everyone's Human Rights are respected equally.

What is a secular democracy?

Politicians promote secular democracy as the ideal form of government and answer for troubled countries around the world. It protects the rights of all, and limits the public role of religion in the state – one factor which causes tremendous levels of conflict around the world today.

Many assume that the UK is already a secular state. The country is largely non-religious, but that isn't the same thing. Our democracy still has many traces of religious privilege and influence, from prayers at the start of each day in Parliament to the monarch's title 'Defender of the Faith' and role as Supreme Governor of the Church of England.

A secular democracy is one where religious identities or organisations do not have a disproportionate or privileged influence in the governance of the nation. The state is not overly entangled in individuals' religious concerns.

Secular democracy is a component of liberal democracy (a system where democracy is balanced with protections for human rights and individual freedom, rather than simple majority-rule). Just as democracies can be more or less liberal, they can be more or less secular - with most sitting on a scale.

A secular democracy is the opposite of a theocracy (a system where the state's official religious beliefs or identity dictates all areas of governance). Because many states have evolved over time, many contain elements of both theocracy and secular democracy.

While you're here

A secular state would protect the rights of everyone. Those arguing for continued establishment and religious privilege are increasingly out of touch, but they have vast resources. Please consider a donation to enable us campaign for the separation of religion and government. Together we can make a difference.