This August will see delegates turning out in their hundreds for a national Apostasy Conference, organised by Faith to Faithless, the Humanists UK support programme for so-called ‘apostates’ (people who leave high-control religions and cults). The online conference will take place over four days, and will feature in-depth talks and roundtable discussions on the key issues faced by apostates.
The main event of the Apostasy Conference 2021 takes place on August 18, and will feature talks given by the UK’s leading experts on apostasy. Topics will include the rights of apostates to access services, an overview of the systemic barriers they face, and some of the latest data informing the work of Faith to Faithless. Delegates will also hear powerful testimonies and stories from apostates themselves on where they found their access to services was seriously lacking.
Leading up to the main event, Faith to Faithless will also be hosting interactive roundtables on 13, 14, and 17 August, where attendees will be encouraged to participate in breakout rooms to discuss different key issues. This includes the latest research into the kinds of abuse apostates suffer, how service providers can improve provision and awareness, and the needs of apostates when ‘coming out’.
Since 2017, Humanists UK and Faith to Faithless have provided direct support to over 1,000 apostates, trained 293 service providers, and supported over 30 humanists fleeing persecution abroad to secure asylum in the UK.
Announcing the conference, Imtiaz Shams, co-founder of Faith to Faithless, said:
‘When we set up Faith to Faithless, we wanted to give apostates a voice – and to strip away the barriers that prevent them from living free, full, and happy lives. Since 2017, we’ve supported over 1,000 apostates and chipped away at some of those systemic barriers.
‘Our Apostasy Conference is an important platform for us to connect many more people with the stories of apostates and the issues we face. We want everyone who is struggling with leaving a religion to know they’re not alone, to know where they can come for support, and ultimately, to find a safe path to the kind of life they want to lead.’
Registration for the Apostasy Conference and roundtable events is free. Book your place now.
For further comment or information, please contact Humanists UK Director of Community Services Teddy Prout at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
In 2021, Humanists UK is celebrating its 125th anniversary with a renewed focus on its history. The new website Humanist Heritage is a rich new web resource that uncovers the untold story of humanism in the UK – a story of people, groups, objects, places, movements, publications, and ideas.