A Palestinian man wearing a Santa Claus costume is confronted by an Israeli soldier during a demonstration in village near Bethlehem, 19 December. Photo: Getty
If Mary and Joseph tried to reach Bethlehem today, they would get stuck at an Israeli checkpoint
By Mehdi Hasan - 22 December 11:08

Why is it that the plight of persecuted Christians in the Middle East, or countries such as Sudan, has attracted the attention and anger of politicians in the west, yet the Christians of Palestine don’t get a look-in?

The Reverend Libby Lane, the new Bishop of Stockport.
Meet Libby Lane, the Church of England’s first woman bishop
By Caroline Crampton - 17 December 17:57

After decades of wrangling, the Church of England has finally appointed its first woman bishop. Caroline Crampton went to meet Reverend Libby Lane, the new Bishop of Stockport.

The feminist case for the veil
By Myriam Francois-Cerrah - 12 December 14:03

In Refusing the Veil, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown has written a socially conservative book that is dressed up as a liberal feminist manifesto. Rather than challenging the prejudice Muslim women face, Alibhai-Brown provides the ultimate insider’s reassurance that such emotions are warranted and legitimate.

Gone to ground: what makes a good grave? Photo: Andreas Heumann/Lensmodern
Six feet under: meeting Britain’s Gravedigger of the Year
By Xan Rice - 20 November 10:01

To his surprise, Jonny Yaxley, a former landscaper, found he enjoyed the craftsmanship involved in preparing a perfect grave. And he liked learning about the lives of the deceased.

Richard Dawkins. Photo: Getty
Richard Dawkins doesn’t deserve this fellow atheist’s smears
By Jerry A Coyne - 10 October 10:50

John Gray should attack his ideas, not his character.

A woman enjoys an ice-cream during an Eid celebration fun fair in Burgess Park, London. Photo: Getty
The Myth of the Moderate Muslim
By Bina Shah - 06 October 12:47

Everyone seems to know that the moderate Muslim exists, but nobody seems to really agree on what he or she looks like, how he or she acts, behaves, what she believes in, how he or she practises.

His atheism is its own kind of narrow religion.
The closed mind of Richard Dawkins
By John Gray - 04 October 16:01

His atheism is its own kind of narrow religion.

The outskirts of Sukkur in Pakistan in 2010. Photo: Getty
Inside jobs and Israeli stooges: why is the Muslim world in thrall to conspiracy theories?
By Mehdi Hasan - 05 September 12:29

The “We’ve been lied to” argument goes only so far. Scepticism may be evidence of a healthy and independent mindset; but conspiracism is a virus that feeds off insecurity and bitterness.

Audiences may no longer understand Monty Python’s Life of Brian because of the biblical references.
Why religious education is letting our children down
By Adam Dinham - 03 September 15:02

Religious illiteracy leads to an anxiety about the role of religion in the public sphere: from fear of terrorism to fear of exclusion and fear of litigation.

The cast of Chris Morris’s black comedy Four Lions. Photo: Magnolia Pictures
What the jihadists who bought “Islam for Dummies” on Amazon tell us about radicalisation
By Mehdi Hasan - 21 August 10:06

Pretending that the danger comes only from the devout could cost lives.

How do you do God? David Cameron and Ed Miliband
On a vote and a prayer: how evangelical groups could influence the election
By Oliver Bullough - 01 August 16:30

Labour does not “do God”, in the words of Alastair Campbell, but a group of believers from Luton do – and they won the party the seat. Could their success be replicated? 

Pointy bishop hats for everyone! Photo: Getty
I'm a big Jesus fan! Make me the first lesbian bishop, Church of England
By Eleanor Margolis - 17 July 11:51

All over the world, socially liberal Christians would be able to say that they’d lived to see a Jewish lesbian don the pointy hat of bishopdom

Nicky Morgan voted against same-sex marriage partly because of her Christian faith. Photo: Getty
Why does an MP’s moral code matter more than anyone else’s?
By Frances Ryan - 16 July 15:36

Faith doesn’t justify voting for inequality or taking the rights of minorities.

The London Oratory School has been found to have broken broken an unprecedented 105 aspects of the School Admissions Code. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The London Oratory is just the latest faith school to use religion to exclude poor pupils
By Richy Thompson - 16 July 14:08

The Roman Catholic state school – which was attended by two of Tony Blair’s children and where Nick Clegg’s son is currently a pupil – has been censured for using a faith-based entry system to cherrypick white, privileged pupils.

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, Justin Welby and John Sentamu, hold a press conference after the General Synod vote on women bishops. Photo: Getty
Women are humans too – and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be bishops
By Glosswitch - 15 July 10:28

For far too long, in too many spheres, women are told that their exclusion from positions of authority is simply a mark of their “difference”.

“We carry with us layers of previous generations, in manners, in language, in habits.” Photograph: Alexey Blagutin/Millennium Images
After God: how to fill the faith-shaped hole in modern life
By New Statesman - 08 July 10:31

Religion used to define our seasons and our days. But now that it’s in decline in the west, what rituals can take its place? Rowan Williams, Melvyn Bragg, Lucy Winkett, Robin Ince, Vicky Beeching and Julian Baggini try to answer that question.

Iraqi women at the Khazair displacement camp for those caught-up in the fighting in Mosul. Photo: Getty
The hand-choppers of Isis are deluded: there is nothing Islamic about their caliphate
By Mehdi Hasan - 04 July 16:32

Have we gone back in time? The era of Muslim caliphates came to a close in 1924, when the Ottomans were toppled in Turkey.

Michael Gove about to make a speech on education earlier this year.
Gove urges schools to teach British values. But what are they?
By Lucy Fisher - 10 June 11:54

Liberal or pluralist multiculturalism?

An inmate peers from behind a wall as a guard walks by in the infamous Evin jail. Photo: Getty
For the Bahá'ís imprisoned in Iran, freedom and human rights seem remote
By Nazila Ghanea - 06 June 10:09

Seven Bahá'ís – members of Iran’s largest non-Muslim religious minority, persecuted by the government for decades – have now spent six years in prison for practising their religion.

A partial lunar eclipse over a church in Damascus, Syria. Photo: Getty
Are Christians really the world’s most persecuted religious group?
By Nelson Jones - 10 April 16:27

David Cameron says Christians around the world suffer the most persecution for their religion. Is he right?

Stock figure: during Elizabeth I’s reign nearly 200 English Catholics were executed. Image: Stapleton Collection/Bridgeman
Gloriana’s underbelly: the terror of life as a Catholic in Elizabethan England
By Anna Whitelock - 08 April 9:51

Jessie Childs's God’s Traitors: Terror and Faith in Elizabethan England is a detailed and absorbing account of the difficulties of being Catholic in England in the 17th century.

This show is arguably the worst thing that the BBC airs.
Is the BBC’s “The Big Questions” the worst thing on television?
By Willard Foxton - 04 April 11:09

It’s one of the broadcaster’s flagship religious programmes, yet it makes religious people look unfairly crazy.

Atheist Afghan receives asylum in the UK – for fear of religious persecution
By Nelson Jones - 14 January 14:56

The Home Office has granted asylum to a man in fear of his life because he no longer believes in God and wishes to live his life without publicly practising Islam. How many others are there who will need protection because of their lack of religious faith

The furore over M&S's Muslim staff policy shows that Islamophobia is a problem
By Ian Leslie - 23 December 10:46

Our national news agenda is distorted by a deep suspicion of Muslims.

Liberals should stop eulogising this reactionary Pope
By James Bloodworth - 20 December 16:29

Francis's popularity among progressives suggests that women and gay people are still viewed as appendages in the struggle for a better society.

Can you be a Muslim and a feminist?
By Samira Shackle - 12 November 14:02

It is astonishing that “Muslims”, and Muslim women, are so frequently spoken about as a monolithic block. If you actually listen to what Muslim women have to say on the subject, you find that many of them have no difficulty reconciling their faith with th

New Statesman
Pope Francis’s mission to cleanse the Catholic Church of luxury
By Matthew Kneale - 24 October 14:30

This summer he told a group of young nuns and monks, “It hurts me when I see a priest or nun with the latest model car. You can’t do this.”

A Christmas present being wrapped.
Is Operation Christmas Child's shoebox campaign just a propaganda tool for Christianity?
By Glosswitch - 23 October 10:37

Operation Chrismas Child asks children to "experience God's love through the power of simple shoe box gifts". But they are to charity what Femen are to feminism: superior, islamophobic, and seemingly unresponsive to the needs of those they claim to help.

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