Humanists UK tells Government to end religious discrimination in response to Faith Engagement Review

16 December, 2020

Humanists UK has responded to the Government’s Faith Engagement Review, calling for an end to religious discrimination and offering a number of recommendations to guarantee freedom of religion or belief in the UK.

In a wide-ranging consultation response Humanists UK urged the Government to ensure the review and its recommendations are fully inclusive of the non-religious in language and content, to ensure fair provision of non-religious pastoral care in hospitals, prisons, and the military, to open school admissions to all regardless of religion or belief, and to legally recognise humanist marriages – amongst many other recommendations.

Humanists UK also expressed concerns about the survey questions in the call to evidence, which were overwhelmingly faith-focused and not inclusive of humanists. That led to confusion regarding how humanists should respond to them, and put some off from responding entirely.

The call for evidence forms part of the Independent Faith Engagement Review which is led by Colin Bloom, Faith Engagement Advisor, at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. Humanists UK met with Colin to discuss its response.

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

‘This landmark consultation represented an important opportunity for us to have our say on how the Government treats humanists and religious people, in the future.

‘It is vital that the Government listens to our recommendations, including that it ensures that humanists are fully considered throughout the review, provides for non-religious care in prisons, hospitals, and the military, recognises children’s rights to inclusive education, and legally recognises humanist marriages.’


For further comment or information, please contact Humanists UK Director of Public Affairs and Policy Richy Thompson at or phone 020 7324 3072 or 020 3675 0959.

Read our full consultation response.

Read more about our work on Government and ‘faith’ communities.

Read more about our work on pastoral support.

Read more about our work on schools and education.

Humanists UK is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people. Powered by 100,000 members and supporters, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. We provide ceremonies, pastoral care, education, and support services benefitting over a million people every year and our campaigns advance humanist thinking on ethical issues, human rights, and equal treatment for all.