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Apostasy Conference 2021

Wednesday 18 August, 13:00–18:00.
Roundtables take place 13, 14, 17 August.

In a first of its kind event, the Faith to Faithless Apostasy Conference 2021 brings together apostates, academics, service providers, and those with a professional interest in apostasy from right across the UK.

Those wishing to register can choose to attend the day conference on Wednesday 18 August, but can also choose to contribute to any or all of the three roundtable discussions taking place in the days prior. Registration is essential, but free.

Through the sharing of testimonials and lived experience, and the presentation of quantitative data, and discussion, attendees will leave the event with greater understanding of the impact of discrimination on apostates – and what can be done to ameliorate the dangers they too often face, and to help those who have left high-control religions to live happy and fulfilled lives.

Faith to Faithless is Humanists UK’s support programme for so-called ‘apostates’ and those who leave high-control religions. The service is led by apostates themselves, who have knowledge and experiences of apostate communities facing serious and systemic issues.


Time Topic Facilitator
Wednesday 18 August
13:00 Welcome and introductions Terri O’Sullivan
Chair, Faith to Faithless
13:10 The rights of apostates and why we fight for them Andrew Copson
Chief Executive, Humanists UK
13:20 The barriers apostates face Dr Alexandra Stein
Family Survival Trust

Dr Alejandro Sanchez

George Askwith

Imtiaz Shams
Faith to Faithless

14:20 Break
14:30 The lived experience of apostates Terri O’Sullivan
Chair, Faith to Faithless

Jimmy Bangash

Emily Green

15:30 Break
15:40 The intersection of apostasy and mental health Dr Gillie Jenkinson
Hope Valley Counselling

Hari Parekh

Heather Ransom

Clare Elcombe Webber
Head of Humanist Care, Humanists UK

16:40 Break
16:50 The future of human rights for apostates Richy Thompson
Director of Public Affairs and Policy
17:50 Close Teddy Prout
Director of Community Services

The harm to apostates
Roundtable A

Friday 13 August, 11:30–13:00
This roundtable discussion will focus on the existing research into the harm and abuse apostates suffer. It will look at literature and studies that have been conducted in the past few years which focused on the apostate rather than apostasy.

Services for apostates
Roundtable B

Saturday 14 August, 11:00–12:30
This roundtable discussion will focus on systemic barriers to apostates accessing services and the issues apostates face once they have entered a service. This will inform the work of Faith to Faithless in supporting service providers to be more accessible and inclusive.

Coming out
Roundtable C

Tuesday 17 August, 11:00–12:30
This roundtable discussion will focus on better understanding the needs of apostates around the time they decide to come out. This will inform the work of Faith to Faithless and other apostate organisations in provide support at that critical time.

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