Author: Stephen Evans

Bishop Rachel’s prejudiced thinking highlights the problem of state-sponsored religion

Posted: Wed, 13 Jun 2018 by Stephen Evans

The bishop of Gloucester is entitled to question whether atheists can truly have deep love or hope, writes Stephen Evans. But the state shouldn't indulge the view that the religious are morally superior to others. Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Church of England, Disestablishment, Christianity

The government's U-turn shows the tide is turning against faith schools

Posted: Fri, 18 May 2018 by Stephen Evans

The decision not to allow more faith-based admissions to new free schools in England is a big win, says Stephen Evans. But the expansion of faith schools is the wrong response to Britain's growing religious diversity. Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, Fifty percent cap

The row over right of withdrawal highlights the need to reform RE

Posted: Fri, 13 Apr 2018 by Stephen Evans

Teachers from the ATL union have voted to demand a clampdown on parents selectively withdrawing their children from RE. But Stephen Evans says the right to withdraw should only be scrapped once the subject is reformed. Read More »

Tags: Education, Religious education

Religious freedom isn't a licence to violate others’ rights

Posted: Thu, 01 Mar 2018 by Stephen Evans

NSS CEO Stephen Evans explains why religious liberty is too important to leave to zealots to defend. Read More »

Tags: Circumcision, Healthcare

We can’t allow faith groups to hamper efforts to regulate supplementary schools

Posted: Mon, 12 Feb 2018 by Stephen Evans

As a trial reveals the brainwashing of boys during evening classes at a mosque in Barking, Stephen Evans says the Government should defy faith groups which resist the regulation of out-of-school educational settings. Read More »

Tags: Education, unregistered schools, supplementary schools

Religious bullies are on a roll. It’s time we all stood up to them

Posted: Thu, 25 Jan 2018 by Stephen Evans

Amid a series of concessions to religious hardliners, Stephen Evans says those brave enough to resist their demands need much more support. Read More »

Tags: Islamism, Orthodox Judaism, Religious privilege

Will Anglicanism reign supreme at the next coronation?

Posted: Fri, 12 Jan 2018 by Stephen Evans

As the BBC focuses on the Queen's coronation, Stephen Evans says the next initiation of the UK's head of state will be a major test of the monarchy's ability to evolve and reflect the nation it serves. Read More »

Tags: Monarchy, Church & State, Church of England

The Minister for Faith went on a tour of Anglican cathedrals and all we got was a lousy report

Posted: Thu, 04 Jan 2018 by Stephen Evans

Stephen Evans questions the point of a Minister for Faith and says his recent tour of all of England's Anglican cathedrals was a waste of ministerial time and taxpayers' money. Read More »

Tags: Religious privilege, Church repairs

Secularism is a challenge to religion’s political power and privilege, not people of faith

Posted: Fri, 22 Dec 2017 by Stephen Evans

Some Christians use the Christmas period to attack secularism for its challenge to their sense of entitlement. But Stephen Evans says the faithful have far more to fear from religious fanatics than secularists. Read More »

Tags: Christmas, Christianity, Secularism

Who controls religious education?

Posted: Thu, 16 Nov 2017 by Stephen Evans

Necessary reforms of religious education are being frustrated by religion's lingering influence. It's time to liberate RE from the vested interests, argues Stephen Evans. Read More »

Tags: Education, Religious education

Beware the drip drip of religious exemptions

Posted: Sat, 02 Sep 2017 by Stephen Evans

As a theme park lifts its ban on Sikh ceremonial swords, NSS campaigns director Stephen Evans questions the wisdom behind religious exemptions from generally applicable rules. Read More »

Tags: Multiculturalism, Secularism, One law for all

Intolerant religion mustn’t dictate England’s education policy

Posted: Wed, 26 Jul 2017 by Stephen Evans

The government is under fire over proposals to lift the cap on faith-based admissions in faith schools. Stephen Evans says the plans should be abandoned - and religious groups' role in education rolled back. Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, Church & State, Fifty percent cap, admissions

Separate is not equal ­– not in this ‘faith’ school

Posted: Tue, 11 Jul 2017 by Stephen Evans

Turning a blind eye to discriminatory gender discrimination in Islamic schools would be disaster for future generations of British girls growing up in Muslim communities, argues Stephen Evans.

I was in court this week for Ofsted's appeal of a ruling that gender... Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, Gender Equality

Anti-Muslim hate must be challenged. Silencing criticism of Islam won’t help

Posted: Fri, 23 Jun 2017 by Stephen Evans

Both the Government and civil-society have a role to play in challenging anti-Muslim hate, but efforts to silence criticisms of Islam will only be counterproductive, argues Stephen Evans. Read More »

Tags: Anti-Muslim Bigotry, sectarianism

Scottish care provider’s decision to drop faith test should prompt a rethink over equality exceptions

Posted: Tue, 13 Jun 2017 by Stephen Evans

When religious organisations are delivering state-funded public services they should neither discriminate nor proselytize – argues Stephen Evans, looking at the case of CrossReach and its implications.

The decision of The Church of Scotland this week... Read More »

Tags: Public Services, Discrimination

We need to defend both our lives and our way of life

Posted: Thu, 08 Jun 2017 by Stephen Evans

Terrorist atrocities have a way of bringing the nation together, albeit temporarily. We need a glue to keep us together, to protect our lives and our way of life, writes Stephen Evans. Read More »

Tags: Community Cohesion, Terrorism, Islam

Why we need a 21st century RE for all

Posted: Wed, 17 May 2017 by Stephen Evans

2018 marks the 30th anniversary of the Education Reform Act 1988 which saw the introduction of a national curricular entitlement for all pupils. One subject alone remains set apart from this - religious education. Read More »

Tags: Education, Religious education

Caste discrimination: Fear of upsetting religious groups must not impede social justice

Posted: Fri, 31 Mar 2017 by Stephen Evans

Caste discrimination is the latest area where misplaced sensitivity could allow deference to religion to trump social justice, argues Stephen Evans. Read More »

Tags: Caste, Equality & Human Rights

Why are we still allowing religion to retard young people’s education and health rights?

Posted: Thu, 09 Mar 2017 by Stephen Evans

The Government's proposals on Relationships and Sex Education are a welcome step in the right direction – but religious opt outs mean many children will continue to be left behind, writes Stephen Evans.

The Government's move to make Relationships and... Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, Sex Education

Faith schools mustn’t be allowed to stymie young people’s sexual health and well-being

Posted: Thu, 12 Jan 2017 by Stephen Evans

Political sensitivity about faith schools is getting in the way of providing evidence-based, age-appropriate sex and relationships education (SRE) to all children. We can't wait forever for the Government's proposals on SRE, writes Stephen Evans.

The latest... Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, Sex Education

Sister Sarah Kuteh: up steps the next so called victim of ‘Christian persecution’

Posted: Wed, 14 Dec 2016 by Stephen Evans

It has been another week in which we've seen Christians in the Middle East losing their lives to violence and persecution, but much media attention in the UK has instead focussed around the plight of a nurse, supposedly sacked for "offering to pray with her... Read More »

Tags: Healthcare, Christianity, Workplace

Clerics shouldn’t be the gatekeepers to publicly funded schools

Posted: Fri, 25 Nov 2016 by Stephen Evans

A progressive education policy would seek to break down barriers between people of different faiths and beliefs, not erect them, writes NSS campaigns director Stephen Evans.

The schools adjudicator recently ruled against a new policy across all Catholic schools... Read More »

Tags: Education, admissions, Faith Schools, Fifty percent cap

Why the Ashers Bakery 'gay cake' ruling was reasonable

Posted: Tue, 01 Nov 2016 by Stephen Evans

Despite the hyperbole, the decision in the Ashers Baker case is both reasonable and straightforward, opening the door neither to a denigration of religious freedom or equality laws. Had the case gone the other way it would have undermined both, argues Stephen Evans. Read More »

Tags: Northern Ireland, LGBTQ rights, Equality & Human Rights

The demonisation of Louis Smith: This is how a de facto blasphemy law works

Posted: Tue, 11 Oct 2016 by Stephen Evans

The castigation of a British gymnast for 'mocking Islam' is illustrative of a troubling return of blasphemy, argues Stephen Evans.

If you've been following the hounding of British Olympic gymnast Louis Smith this week, you'd be forgiven for forgetting that... Read More »

Tags: Stephen Evans, Freedom of Expression

Inclusive education: divisive faith schools are the elephant in the room

Posted: Fri, 30 Sep 2016 by Stephen Evans

NSS campaigns director on why progressives of all political and religious stripes should unite in opposing Theresa May's plan to open a new wave of divisive 'faith schools'

As an advocate for secular education, my hopes were raised momentarily this week when... Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, Fifty percent cap, admissions