It has emerged that £25,000 from a special Government fund set aside for ‘building faith communities’ has been allocated to the anti-religious British Humanist Association (BHA).
The BHA was behind the atheist bus advertisements which claimed: “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”
It was also given £35,000 by the Equality and Human Rights Commission last year to run seminars on religious tolerance with prominent atheists giving keynote speeches.
MPs and campaigners have called the decision to fund the group with money from the Faith Communities Capacity Building Fund “scandalous”.
The Government department responsible for the fund is headed by communities secretary Hazel Blears, who was recently criticised for saying faith groups should only be funded to carry out social projects if they promise not to evangelise.
The figure was unearthed through a written parliamentary question from Conservative MP Caroline Spelman.
Commenting on the news, she said: “Britain has a long tradition of respecting freedom of religion. But English institutions like local church groups are being discriminated against just for being Christian.
“There is a clear agenda to twist so-called equality and human rights. It is wrong that taxpayers’ money is being used to bully town halls into axing funding for Christian faith groups.”
The BHA has produced recommendations on how public services should be delivered which state: “Religious pictures on the walls may seem inoffensive to those of the religion in question but can create a hostile or offensive environment for others.”
It also boasts to have helped activists within the City of London Police rename their ‘prayer rooms’ as ‘quiet rooms’.
Mrs Spelman continued: “It is scandalous that Government cash is being used to train ‘local authority equality officers’ and tear down the religious paintings and imagery which are part of the fabric of our nation.
“People of all faiths have a right to pursue that faith without taxpayers’ money being used to marginalise them.”