A Labor-run London council has become the first in Britain to allow state schools to provide multi-belief assemblies, The Mirror reports.

All state-funded non-faith schools in Britain are required by law to offer a daily act of worship which must be “wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character.” The only exception is when a local authority grants special dispensation to provide another form of daily worship.

The Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) of Brent Council decided to use this exception to promote multi-faith assemblies.

“The whole point about a Christian assembly is that it’s rooted in a shared culture and heritage,” said Andrea Williams of Christian Concern. “It’s a mark of the cultural chaos that we’re in that we no longer know how to conduct assemblies.”

According to The Telegraph, these assemblies could include readings from the Bible, Qur’an and other holy books as well as secular poetry.

Brent is one of the most ethnically-diverse communities in the country. Its population is divided among Christians, Muslims, and Hindus.

Accord Coalition, an alliance of religious groups, humanists, trade unions, and human rights campaigners, recently honored Brent Council in its Inclusivity Awards 2017, Breitbart reports.

“Society may be Christian-based but is multi-faith with many also of no belief-system, and so uniform worship should no longer be compulsory for our educational system,” said Rabbi Dr. Jonathan Romain MBE, Chair of the judging panel.

However, Christian campaigners expressed dismay over the Council’s move.

“The whole point about a Christian assembly is that it’s rooted in a shared culture and heritage,” said Andrea Williams of Christian Concern. “It’s a mark of the cultural chaos that we’re in that we no longer know how to conduct assemblies.”

Sources:
Mark ellis. (2017). Mirror. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/christian-school-assemblies-could-dumped-9928425

Breitbartcom. (2017). Breitbart. http://www.breitbart.com/london/2017/02/28/christian-worship-replaced-multi-faith-assemblies-london-schools/

Telegraphcouk. (2017). The Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/2017/02/28/state-schools-could-scrap-christian-assemblies-london-council/

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