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A new non-profit atheist advocacy group has been set up in order to represent the growing number of non-believers and skeptics in Northern Ireland. Campaigning for a country free of “dangerous and unscientific supernatural beliefs”, the group has a number of aims – including tackling ‘religious segregation and indoctrination’ in schools and providing a “secular, counter narrative” in the media.

We contacted the group – Atheist NI – to ask why they formed and what they hope to achieve.

“Northern Ireland is a country synonymous with religious division, backwardness and bigotry, and in an increasingly secular world, a movement such as Atheist NI has been a long time coming”

“We seek to represent the views of atheists, to promote our world-view and to campaign for a Northern Ireland free of the dangerous and unscientific supernatural beliefs that have divided our country and continue to negatively affect government policy and public opinion”

On the topic of future campaigns, they told us that the group already has several events and campaigns in the pipeline. These include:

– Tackling religious segregation and indoctrination in our schools,

– The atrocious treatment of the LGBT community motivated by religion,

– Providing a secular counter-narrative any time a religious representative is giving an opinion in the media,

– Information days and social events for people who have left religion behind and want to learn more about the atheist world-view and meet fellow atheists.

“We advocate an ethical and secular country where religion is not given privilege, support or endorsement. We seek a rational and evidence based society without superstition and supernatural belief systems. We seek to erase the negative global image of Northern Ireland by combating religious fundamentalism and all its nonsensical ideas and dangerous effects.”

“If the religious organisations try to impose their doctrines on others, espouse sectarian views or seek undue influence in state affairs they will face our strongest criticism. We are here, we are here to stay and we will not shy away from speaking our minds.”

You can find out more over at their Twitter page –

Jason Murdock | @jason_a_murdock | @offtherecordni

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