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Religion and Belief

Religion and Belief Equality

From 2nd December 2003, when the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations came into force, it became unlawful to discriminate against others on the grounds of religion or belief.
‘Religion or Belief’ is defined as:
Any religion, religious belief or similar philosophical belief which has a clear structure or belief system. Denominations (or sects) within a religion are also considered a protected religion or religious belief.
A ‘philosophical belief’ must:
  • be genuinely held
  • be a belief and not an opinion or viewpoint, based on the present state of information available
  • be a belief as to a weighty and substantial aspect of human life and behaviour
  • attain a certain level of cogency, seriousness, cohesion and importance
  • be worthy of respect in a democratic society, compatible with human dignity and not conflict with the fundamental rights of others
Humanism, Pacifism and Atheism are regarded as examples of philosophical beliefs.
The Employment Equality Regulations also adopted a definition of ‘direct’ and ‘indirect’ discrimination.
Direct discrimination includes discriminating against a "person’s perception of another's religion or belief whether the perception is right or wrong". Harassment or victimization on grounds of religion or belief is also unlawful.
It is also unlawful to discriminate against a person for not holding a particular (or any) religious or philosophical belief as it is to discriminate against someone for holding a religious or philosophical belief.
Furthermore, discrimination can occur even where both the discriminator and the person being discriminated against hold the same religious or philosophical belief.
The Equality Act 2010 replaces these Regulations, and the main difference is that the Act will extend protection from third party harassment to cover religion and belief. This means that employers are potentially liable for harassment of their staff by people they do not employ.
Below is a list of the most commonly practiced religions in the UK:
Zoroastrianism (Parsi)
Other ancient religions, including: Druidry, Pagansim, Wicca, Astaru, Odinism and Shamanism.
For more information about different these and other religious beliefs, go to the
Leicestershire Together website

Other Useful Websites

The Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003
Racial and Religous Hatred Act 2006
Religion or Belief and the Workplace – ACAS guide for employers and employees
Equality Act 2010 – Equality & Human Rights Commission website

Statistics on Religion and Belief in Leicestershire

From the Census Data 2001, the following is a breakdown of the different faith communities in Leicestershire:
  • Christian 64.9%
  • Hindu 6%
  • Muslim 4%
  • Sikh 1.9%
  • Buddhist 0.2%
  • Jewish 0.1%
  • Other 0.3%
  • No Religion 15.9%
  • Not Stated 6.7%.
View Religion and Belief Statistics by District/Borough

Information about Local Organisations Promoting Inter-faith Relationships

For a list of local faith/belief communities, national and international faith-based organisations, and other useful websites, please go to the SACRE webpages

Community Cohesion and Religion and Belief

For information on Leicestershire's Framework for Community Cohesion, along with a series of factsheets about different religions, go to the Leicestershire Together website:

Community Cohesion in Schools

For information on how schools can implement and deliver the Community Cohesion, Equalities and Multiculturalism agenda, go to the Education section of the LCC website. This section includes resources, frameworks and toolkits for schools, as well as links to other websites and organisations who can provide support, advice and guidance to schools around the Community Cohesion agenda

Interfaith Forum For Leicestershire

The Interfaith Forum for Leicestershire was established in July 2008. The Forum brings together representatives from Faith communities (along with other interested individuals and professionals) from across the County and provides space for open and honest discussion and debate about a wide range of issues affecting the different faith communities in Leicestershire.
At the first meeting, each of the different faith representatives present signed up to a pledge of support for the Forum and its agreed aims of:
  1. Providing support for faith communities to build up their social capital.
  2. Encouraging faith communities to develop in ways which they are at ease with themselves and others.
  3. Opposing all forms of faith discrimination and religious hatred.
  4. Encouraging the building of social cohesion between faith communities.
  5. Providing a focus for dialogue and the development of mutual understanding across Leicestershire.
  6. Encouraging good quality relationships with the wider Leicestershire community.
  7. Providing a place where differences can be openly discussed.
  8. Building links with public bodies across the county including, but not limited to the local authorities, Police and the Primary Care and other NHS Trusts.
  9. Advocating on behalf of faith groups to M.P.s, councillors and other public figures.
  10. Providing a place where policy makers can consult with faith communities.
  11. In times of crisis, providing a voice for faith communities across the county.

Interfaith Forum For Leicestershire Meetings

The next meeting of the Inter Faith Forum for Leicestershire will be Monday 11th November, 2013. The meeting will take place from 6pm in the Council Chamber at County Hall and members of the Forum will be informed accordingly.
For more information, or if you would like to attend, please email:, or telephone (0116) 305 7018

SACRE (Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education)

In accordance with the Education Act 1996 and circular 1/94, Religious Education and Collective Worship, the Local Authority has a duty to set up a Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE”).
For information about the Leicestershire SACRE, please go to the SACRE Webpages

Multicultural, RE and Curriculum Resource Centre based at County Hall

The Multicultural, RE and Curriculum Resource Centre based at County Hall is part of Library Services for Education (LSE) and holds a wealth of books, teaching resources and artefact boxes to support the teaching of RE, PSHE, Citizenship and anti-racism in County schools.
Resources from the Centre are available to borrow during the following opening hours (please telephone or e-mail to make an appointment):
Monday to Wednesday: 8.30am - 5.30pm
Thursday: 8.30am - 5.30pm
Friday: 8.30am - 5.00pm
The address for the centre is:
Eastern Annex
County Hall
For more information, please contact Deb Siviter at LSE on 0116 305 3816 or email:

Interfaith and International Calendar

Diversity Calendar for 2016 (PDF 7mb)
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Page Last Updated: 1 December 2015