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Government’s ‘Faith in Communities’ report should have been equally inclusive of the non-religious

A new report on the role of faith in Britain’s communities has failed to adequately recognise the hugely valuable contributions of the non-religious population to their communities, according to Humanists UK.

Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, UK Minister for Faith, published Faith in Communities: Bridging the Divide, which narrowly reports how faith communities help to make strong neighbourhoods, but fails to equally recognise the hugely valuable contribution made by the 52% of the UK’s population that are non-religious.

Humanists UK is calling for the UK Government to equally recognise, and accordingly focus on making the most of, the contribution of those of all religions and beliefs which would be more inclusive and better represent modern Britain.

Research shows that non-religious people take part in volunteering and give to charity as much as the religious, but often do not do it under the umbrella of being non-religious. To suggest that the religious contribute more would be wrong.

Humanists UK has long called for the Government and others to recognise the value of communities as a whole, and the contributions that humanists, as well as religious people, make locally. It wants the Government to work towards achieving communities where people of all different religions and beliefs engage and work with each other for the benefit of the whole community.

Humanists UK Director of Public Affairs and Policy Richy Thompson said:

‘It’s becoming increasingly important for the Government to harness and respond to the potential of the non-religious who now comprise more than half of the UK’s population.

‘The non-religious contribute greatly to building stronger and supportive communities, alongside their religious counterparts, and it is only right that society as a whole, with its vibrant mixture of religions and beliefs, is equally recognised by the Government when it is seeking to recommend ways to grow more inclusive and cohesive communities’.

Notes:

For more information, contact Humanists UK press manager Casey-Ann Seaniger at casey@humanism.org.uk or phone 020 7324 3078 or 07 393344293.

At Humanists UK, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. Our work brings non-religious people together to develop their own views, helping people be happier and more fulfilled in the one life we have. Through our ceremonies, education services, and community and campaigning work, we strive to create a fair and equal society for all.

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