Archbishop warns of dangers of faith-based aid groups

The British Humanist Association (BHA) has welcomed the Archbishop of Canterbury’s warnings about faith-based groups working in overseas development, and has urged for similar caution about faith-based service provision in the UK.

Naomi Phillips, BHA Public Affairs Officer, ‘Much of what the Archbishop said regarding the dangers of working with faith-based groups in overseas development resonates with the situation we are increasingly concerned about in the UK. There is nothing to stop religious groups from proselytising or discriminating against people because they are of no religion or the ‘wrong’ religion, or in favour of those of the ‘right’ religion, even when those groups are working under contract to provide public services on behalf of the state.’

‘At the same time as it is actively seeking to include religious groups as public service providers, some which are particularly conservative in outlook and evangelical in approach, the Government is refusing to amend its Equality Bill to prevent religious organisations discriminating – discrimination which would be illegal if done by any other secular or public provider.’

Notes

For further comment or information, contact Naomi Phillips on 020 7079 3585.

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The British Humanist Association is the national charity representing and supporting the interests of ethically concerned, non-religious people in the UK. It is the largest organisation in the UK campaigning for an end to religious privilege and to discrimination based on religion or belief, and for a secular state