Happy new year. At Christmas religious voices tend to get particular attention in the public sphere, but on Christmas Day a significant poll found broad support
for secular principles among the British public. We're on the side of the comfortable majority who say religious beliefs should be separate from political decision
making and religious clerics should have no automatic right to seats in our legislature.
And we have much to do in 2018, starting this month when we send copies of our report on disestablishment to every MP. The secular voice will be important during
the EU withdrawal process – in the year of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, some MPs are eyeing up the chance to
increase religious discrimination.
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse and the Commission on Religious Education will produce major reports. Religion looks set to play an unjustifiably
central role in events to mark the 100th anniversary of the first world war armistice. And as always we'll be keeping a close eye on developments in the
UK's public services, particularly our schools. Thank you for your support as we get ready for the year ahead.
A reminder to our supporters that nominations are open for the 13th Secularist of the Year prize, and tickets for the awards luncheon are on
Quotes of the week
"It's a conservative religious mentality that is losing the argument, that is losing ground as ideas and information find their way to every smartphone and
campus." Bob Churchill, IHEU communications
director, describes the resurgence in anti-atheist rhetoric and violence around the world
"The threat and infliction of violence was constant. You couldn't escape it – it was completely normalised."
'Peter', a survivor of Andrew Soper's abuse, describes life at the Catholic school in London where Soper was headmaster
The education system must champion the interests of children rather than deferring to religion.
NSS speaks out
Our president Keith Porteous Wood appeared on Sky News on
New Year's Day to discuss the Archbishop of Canterbury's new year message. On Christmas Eve our chief executive Stephen Evans discussed Britain's drift away from
Christianity, and the need to reform religion's public role, on LBC.
In case you missed it
At the end of 2017 we ran a Newsline special, featuring our top 10 blogs of 2017.
Keep on top of secularist issues with our daily collection of news and commentary from across the media, now available in your inbox. Click here to subscribe.
Click the link if you'd rather read Newsline as a PDF.
Support our work
Please support our work so we can make the case for a fairer secular democracy for all.