1 million workers face hostility for their religion, study finds

Up to one million British workers may have faced bullying, harassment or discrimination because of their religious beliefs, a study has found.

A ComRes survey, conducted earlier this year, discovered that three per cent of workers have been personally discriminated against because of their religion or beliefs.

As a proportion of the total British workforce, this is equivalent to around one million people.


Katie Harrison, Director of the ComRes Faith Research Centre, said: “Some people told us they felt uncomfortable about mentioning that they pray.

“Or we heard of people feeling upset that religion was the butt of jokes”.

She added that many religious people also feel unable to tell colleagues they had been to a church or a mosque at the weekend.


One respondent to the survey said: “In our office, everyone is very respectful of minorities and would never be disparaging about women or people with disabilities, but when it comes to religion it’s fair game.

“People can be very insulting, especially when they express it through humour.”

In 2015, the largest ever consultation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) revealed widespread discrimination against Christians.


Of the nearly 2,500 responses, Christians comprised by far the highest number (1,030), followed by atheists at just 188.

The results prompted calls for the law to provide greater protection for those with religious beliefs.

Spokesman for The Christian Institute Simon Calvert said: “Clearly many Christians up and down the country are being marginalised in the workplace because of their faith. Equality legislation is often part of the problem rather than the solution.

“The EHRC should not fall into the trap of seeing secularism as neutral, and using equality law to enforce it.

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