Religion and faith communities

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on religion and faith communities. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs. Information about the relations between the State and the Church of England can be found on the Church and state page, and related information on religious discrimination is available.

Commons Briefing Papers

16.11.2015Social Indicators 2015
This Research Paper summarises a wide range of social statistics. Subjects covered include agriculture, crime, defence, education, elections, environment and energy, health, housing, local government, population and migration, social security and transport.
13.11.2015Ethnicity and religion: Social Indicators page
Ethnicity and religion: Social Indicators page providing summary statistics on the ethnic and religious composition of the population.
18.02.2015Religious Slaughter of Animals
Religious slaughter of animals for food without pre-stunning is currently permitted in the UK for Muslim (Halal) and Jewish (Shechita) methods in line with permitted exemptions to EU slaughter regulations which require pre-stunning. In practice, around 80% of halal meat in the UK is from animals that have been pre-stunned. The UK Government has said that it would prefer all animals to be pre-stunned before slaughter on welfare grounds but it observes the rights of religious communities. However, animal welfare groups, including the British Veterinary Association and RSPCA are calling for an end to non-stun slaughter. All parties in the debate would like to see labelling of meat which provides more consumer information on the slaughter methods used.
13.03.2013Preventing violent extremism
This note gives information on the Government's review of the Prevent strategy, a collection of initiatives aimed at tackling religious extremism, which was inherited from the previous Government. It outlines the new strategy and includes information on the integration work led by the Department for Communities and Local Government.
11.06.2012Religious slaughter
This note deals with the concession allowing religious slaughter of animals without pre-stunning
19.01.2012Social Indicators
A compendium of the latest social statistics. This edition includes articles: Religion in Great Britain, and Focus on road casualties
19.01.2012Religion in Great Britain: Social Indicators article
Trends in religious identity in Great Britain over recent years.
30.11.2011Surface water drainage charge (rain tax)
This note introduces the debate surrounding the surface water drainage charge, or 'rain tax'. Following a change in legislation, water companies are now permitted to introduce surface water drainage charge concessionary rates for community groups.
21.06.2010The Church Commissioners
This note sets out the background to the creation of the Church Commissioners in 1948, their main functions, their composition, and their relationship with the House of Commons.
09.02.2010Equality Bill 2008-09: sexual orientation and religious employment
Changes proposed in the Equality Bill regarding the circumstamces under which religious organisations are allowed to discriminate on grounds of sexual orientation in employment.

Lords Library Notes

12.06.2014Membership of the House of Lords: Ethnicity, Religion and Disability
Members of the House of Lords are not required to provide information about their ethnicity, religious beliefs or any disabilities they may have. However, there is continued interest in the representativeness of the House, as currently composed. This Library Note provides background information on this subject: it summarises existing research on the representation in the House of Lords of minority ethnic groups, religions and disability, and sets out some of the challenges in collecting and interpreting this information.
25.11.2011House of Lords: Religious Representation
This Library Note considers the current role of the Bishops in the House of Lords, and religious representation in the House generally in the context of the Government's proposals for reform.

Early Day Motions

That this House notes with concern the sketch on the NBC Jay Leno Show where the most sacred Sikh shrine, the Golden Temple, was disrespected by Jay Leno when it was referred to as ...
That this House notes the continued frenzied attacks onChristians in Nigeria; condemns those who are choosing to attack people based on their religion; calls on the Government to apply ...
That this House recognises the 350th anniversary of the first written declaration of a Quaker commitment to peace; notes the adherence of countless Quakers to this commitment over the ...
That this House is greatly saddened by the disturbing news of 10 incidents of self-immolation in eastern Tibet by young Tibetan monks, former monks and a nun, five tragically losing ...
26.10.2011DIWALI 2011
That this House joins with the rest of the UK in celebrating Diwali, the festival of lights; notes that in Leicester 40,000 attended the switching on of Diwalilights ceremony; congratulates ...


  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses