Government and Faith Communities
We want the Government to recognise the value of communities as a whole and the contributions that humanists, as well as religious people, make to their communities. We want communities where people of all different backgrounds and beliefs engage and work with each other for the benefit of the whole community. By contrast, the Government sees society as divided into separate “communities” defined by religion or belief.
Increasingly, the Government is offering strong encouragement to religious groups to take on a role in the 'Big Society' and to local government to welcome such religious groups as "partners". Insofar as these arrangements are no more than what would be offered to any local group with strong links with the local community, such moves may be acceptable. Often, however, it goes beyond that.
In terms of social cohesion initiatives, religious groups and communities have been singled out by Government as having a special importance and being in need of special attention and assistance, mostly in isolation from the rest of the community and almost always to the exclusion of the non-religious – normally under the remit of ‘faith’ or ‘interfaith’ strategies.
Please click on the link at the left hand side of this page to email your MP and ask them to act on our concerns.