‘Blasphemy law by the back door’: BHA and human rights campaigners condemn attempts to silence criticism of religion

March 27th, 2015

Human rights campaigners have reacted with concern to the news that Jordan is seeking to restrict freedom of expression on matters of religion. A new resolution tabled by Jordan at the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) calls for ‘respect for religions and religious symbols’ and would legitimise attempts from states to criminalise speech deemed ‘defamation of religion’ or which offends […]

Family celebrates life of Terry Pratchett with moving humanist funeral

March 26th, 2015

Terry Pratchett’s funeral ceremony was held yesterday, and it was an important opportunity for his family to remember him and celebrate the wonderful life he led. Our funeral celebrant Kenneth Greenway conducted the moving humanist ceremony. Over a distinguished career, Terry brought happiness to audiences of all ages and charmed readers through his many humorous explorations of the human experience. In […]

London Oratory School in High Court challenge to Schools Adjudicator’s ruling on discriminatory admissions policy

March 23rd, 2015

On Tuesday and Wednesday this week, the High Court will hear whether one of the country’s leading state secondary schools has been selecting its pupils on ethnic and socio-economic grounds in its admissions policy, the British Humanist Association (BHA) can reveal. After what is believed to be the only time a school has been found […]

BHA expresses concern at allegations that political lobbying influenced Charity Commission’s Exclusive Brethren decision

March 19th, 2015

On Tuesday The Times’ front page carried an investigation into the Exclusive Brethren, a separatist Christian group that last year won a case with the Charity Commission as to whether or not its associated organisations meet the public benefit test required of organisations wishing to register as charities. The Times essentially alleges that the decision […]

Humanists at the UN call on Kazakhstan to protect the rights of the non-religious

March 19th, 2015

The British Humanist Association (BHA) has called on Kazakhstan to review its domestic legislation regarding freedom of assembly, freedom of religion or belief, and freedom of expression, as part of the 28th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), an intergovernmental body composed of 47 states which is responsible for the promotion of […]

‘Hypocrisy of the highest order’: BHA calls on UN Human Rights Council members to end support for blasphemy laws

March 17th, 2015

The British Humanist Association (BHA) has called for the repeal of blasphemy laws to an audience of United Nations member states, as part of the 28th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). The UNHRC is the inter-governmental body for human rights issues around the world, and the 28th session, which began last week, has […]

MPs debate Ofsted’s inspection of ‘faith’ schools

March 13th, 2015

MPs in the House of Commons yesterday debated the motion ‘That this House believes that Ofsted should respect the ability of faith schools to teach their core beliefs in the context of respect and toleration for others’.

BHA mourns patron Terry Pratchett

March 12th, 2015

It was with great sorrow that we heard of the death of author and BHA patron Terry Pratchett. His fiction was loved by many, both children and adults, and he will be much missed.

Equality and Human Rights Commission publishes findings of call for evidence on religion, belief and discrimination

March 12th, 2015

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has today published the findings of the call for evidence it ran last year on the place of religion or belief in the workplace and in service delivery. The findings highlight routine and structural discrimination against the non-religious, but also see some evangelical Christian groups claiming that the […]

BHA calls on MEPs to vote in support of European Parliament report on gender equality

March 9th, 2015

The European Parliament is set to vote on Tuesday on a progressive report on gender equality in the European Union, but religious hardliners are mobilising to derail it.

Government approves 12 new religious Free Schools

March 9th, 2015

During a speech detailing Conservative plans to open 500 new free schools by 2020, David Cameron has today announced the approval of 49 new Free Schools due to open from September 2015 and beyond. This includes 12 new religious schools.

New NHS obligation to provide equal pastoral care to non-religious in England

March 6th, 2015

With the publication today of new national guidance, NHS bodies in England will be obliged for the first time to provide pastoral support and care to non-religious people on the same basis as chaplaincy is provided to the religious. Promoting Excellence in Pastoral, Spiritual & Religious Care marks a significant departure from previous guidance, which […]