15th September 2012 The “Secular Europe Campaign” is an annual effort that sees many diverse groups united in demanding an end to religious privileges and asking that the European Institutions must remain secular. Starting in 2008, this Campaign has a special focus on the Vatican, given the enormous political and economical power it holds, but aims at representing all the issues around secularism and human rights, including opposition to state-funded faith schools, rejection of religious… read more »
A lawyer representing the Pakistani Christian girl accused of desecrating the Qur’an who was granted bail on Friday said he will not push for her to be released from jail until her security can be guaranteed. He claimed that Rimsha Masih, the 14-year-old accused by a neighbour of committing an act of blasphemy last month, will require an armoured vehicle and a substantial number of bodyguards to protect her. (Read more) (Sonia Eggerickx, President of… read more »
Polish women don’t have access to abortion rights. The existing law allows for termination of pregnancy only in cases of a serious threat to woman’s health, severe damage of the fetus or rape. Its implementation proved to be complete fiction. Non-governmental organizations estimate the number of abortions in the underground at 150 000 a year. In late August or September the Polish parliament will consider the new bill on conscious parenthood. This progressive law would… read more »
The WIN-Gallup International ‘Religiosity and Atheism Index’ measures global self-perceptions on beliefs and is based on interviews with more than 50,000 men and women selected from 57 countries across the globe in five continents. This new poll provides data for great shifts in attitudes since 2005. Among others, it reveals that atheists are a small minority but that religiosity is declining in the early years of the 21st century. Read the full report here.
Read here what humanists think about the place of religion in society Read here how religious exemptions from laws should be limited Read here how freedom of religion can be reconciled with equality and non-discrimination
Mr. Antonis Roupakiotis Minister of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights July 23, 2012 Dear Mr. Minister, The European Humanist Federation (EHF) and the Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM) wish to draw your attention to the case of three actors charged for blasphemy after taking part in a play in Athens on the 9th of June 2012. This worrying situation shows the urgency to adapt the Greek legislation to modern European standards in order to protect… read more »
At the General Assembly of 24 May 2012 in Utrecht, Pierre Galand, President of the Centre d’Action Laïque (Belgium), was elected as the head of the EHF for a three-years term. He succeeds to David Pollock who spared no efforts in taking over the presidency of the EHF for six years. The EHF warmly welcomes its new President and expresses its deep gratitude to David Pollock for his important contribution for humanism in Europe.
Changes to Bylaws Apart from the regular business of the General Assembly (approving the annual report and accounts, budgets and plans), this year we also approved some significant changes to our bylaws. These will be included in the Bylaws on this website once they have received official approval by the Belgian authorities. (a) Membership categories The General Assembly agreed to abolish the category of Consultative Member: all organisations that pay the minimum membership fee of… read more »
The EHF has launched a major campaign towards EU institutions to remove religious restrictions from EU policy on research Why now? European institutions are currently negotiating the Commission’s new proposal “Horizon 2020” which will set the rules for European Union (EU) funding for research in Europe for the rest of the decade. Like previous programmes, “Horizon 2020” raises ethical issues (article 16), one of which is the European funding for human embryonic stem cell (hESC)… read more »
The EHF has written to the Ombudsman with firm comments on the EU Commission’s response to our complaint about their approach to the Article 17 dialogue with us and in particular their treatment of our request for a dialogue seminar. Our covering letter is here. It attaches our detailed comments, which have three enclosures: a letter from BEPA to the EHF dated 16 November 2011; an email from BEPA to the EHFdated 5 May 2011 and a letter… read more »