“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.

A blow to the New Atheism? Britain is losing its religion - and becoming "spiritual" instead
By Nelson Jones - 19 October 9:33

A study by Theos shows the apparently limited appeal of scientific materialism. But is it evidence that hardline atheism of the Richard Dawkins variety has little popular appeal?

New Statesman
Why would anyone believe in the "Islamophobia industry"?
By Samira Shackle - 03 October 15:37

Two years ago, Sayeeda Warsi warned that anti-Muslim prejudice had “passed the dinner table test” and become socially acceptable. Yet we still debate whether Islamophobia exists at all.

New Statesman
Did I betray my religion by falling in love with a Gentile?
By Dina Rickman - 27 September 13:48

I've been called worse than Hitler for being with the man I'm in love with. But to me, my boyfriend's religion is even more arbitrary than his fashion sense.

Pope Francis.
Pope Francis's comments on homosexuality and abortion do not go far enough
By Damon Linker - 20 September 13:35

The Pope has said the Church has become far too obsessed with policing homosexuality, infidelity and abortion - but bear in mind everything he did not say. Progressive Catholics should take a deep breath before they rejoice.

Atheism is maturing, and it will leave Richard Dawkins behind
By Martin Robbins - 09 August 12:02

Increasingly, Richard Dawkins' public output resembles that of a man desperately grasping for attention and relevance in a maturing community.

Why do so many Nobel laureates look like Richard Dawkins?
By Nelson Jones - 09 August 9:54

Richard Dawkins' statement that "All the world's Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge" has attracted a lot of attention. Was he just being a troll? Or is there a wider point to be made about where science happens in the world?

Is it harder to "come out" as an atheist if you're black?
By Liam McLaughlin - 07 August 12:24

Liam McLaughlin speaks to members of the London Black Atheists group about the consequences of their decision to turn their backs on religion.

A game of miracles: how saints are made
By John Cornwell - 25 July 8:58

Pope John Paul II, the charismatic anti-communist who became a religious autocrat, is being fast-tracked to sainthood by the Catholic Church. So what is going on inside the Vatican under the new leadership of Francis?

Muslim women arrive at the Regent's Park Mosque in London
Let us speak for ourselves: five women's experiences of Islamophobic attacks
By Huma Qureshi - 24 July 11:56

Muslim women and their clothes, their relationships with men and their place in British society are written and talked about and discussed and debated to death - but rarely are Muslim women included in those discussions themselves. In an attempt to correc

Depressing but not surprising: how the Magdalene Laundries got away with it
By Anna Carey - 17 July 10:52

As a child, Anna Carey saw the dead-eyed women who had been forced to work for free in the laundries sit among the congregation at Mass, seen and yet ignored. Now, as the religious orders responsible refuse to contribute towards financial compensation, it

Channel 4 are right to broadcast the Muslim call to prayer
By Imran Awan - 02 July 14:49

It will be a refreshing treat to listen to the call for prayer via a mainstream British media channel for the first time, says Imran Awan.

Does it matter that young people in Britain aren't religious?
By Nelson Jones - 26 June 15:08

A recent poll of young people found that 41 per cent thought that religion was the cause of more harm than good in the world.

A protester's shirt displays an embroidery of the Virgin Mary
The Virgin Birth and other myths
By John Gray - 22 June 9:21

Sins of omission and myths of the Enlightenment.

Guilt, prayer, love and worship
By Rt Rev James Jones - 20 June 8:44

Continuing our What Makes Us Human series, the Right Reverend James Jones, Anglican Bishop of Liverpool, explores our moral and spiritual instincts, our need to love and our spontaneous expressions of reverence.

Inside Alpha: An atheist’s foray into Christianity
By Tabatha Leggett - 20 June 8:38

Tabatha Leggett signs up to Christianity’s most successful recruitment programme.

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