As the year opened Sabbatarians in Lewis were again claiming a right to impose their beliefs on others, including by banning screenings of Star Wars
on Sundays. Megan Manson asked if they would make these demands if Jediism was a recognised religion.
As lawmakers in Iceland considered a bill to end the ritual cutting of boys' genitals, Dr Marika McAdam said children should be protected from being
irreversibly marked according to their parents' religious whims.
Stephen Evans welcomed a government U-turn on allowing more faith-based admissions to new free schools in England. But he added that the expansion of faith
schools was the wrong response to Britain's growing religious diversity.
In June a brewery decided to take the Saudi Arabian flag down from its World Cup displays, on the apparent basis that an Islamic symbol shouldn't be in a
place which served alcohol. Chris Sloggett responded.
As clerics demanded exemptions from reporting requirements on abuse which is revealed in the confessional, Richard Scorer said accommodating their demands
would undermine efforts to tackle child abuse.
Megan Manson said a revelation that Amazon funded extremist religious charities was just the tip of the iceberg, and the presumption that religion is a
public good had created deep problems in the charity system.
In October the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Austria hadn't breached a woman's right to freedom of speech by convicting her for criticising the
Islamic prophet Muhammad. Stephen Evans said the court had fundamentally undermined the right to free expression.
As we launched our report on faith-based impositions on school choice in England, Alastair Lichten said choice centred narratives mischaracterised the
challenges facing families and public education's role in a diverse society.
Looking ahead to 2019: reclaiming religious freedom
Our centrepiece event of next year will be the Secularism 2019 conference in central London on Saturday 18 May. At the conference we'll discuss how to reclaim
religious freedom, a qualified right that belongs to everybody, from those who commonly misuse the term.
There is an urgent case for resisting those who claim the mantle of 'religious freedom' without regard for others' rights and freedoms. Here's why our
Secularism 2019 conference will be held under the tagline 'reclaiming religious freedom'.
NSS annual report 2018
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