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SHAFAQNA Exclusive: What is an atheist church?

SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – The first so called atheist church in Britain held its inaugural meeting in January 2013 at a former church in North London. The new atheist church called “The Sunday Assembly” is a godless gathering founded by the comedians Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans targeting disillusioned former believers, atheists and those who just want to meet others. Their slogan is “live better, help often, wonder more” and the gatherings are a mixture of singing, dancing, mediating and speech. The atheist church has come under attack from both atheists and the religious.

The comedian founders are accused of merely publicity seeking and some have criticised the concept of an “atheist church” in itself. Critics say by holding the meeting in an old church and by following a format of songs interspersed by reading and addresses, the comedians are turning atheism into its own sort of religion. Most critics ask “How can you be an atheist and worship in a church? Surely it’s a contradiction of terms. Who will they be singing to?” According to the latest census in Britain those identifying themselves as having no religion has increased from 7.7 million in 2001 to14.1 million last year.

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