Mon, 03 Oct

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Unitarian Meeting Hall

Faith to Faithless; people leaving controlling religions. with Greg Leonard

Greg Leonard, Apostate Support Services Manager at Humanists UK, will be talking about his work as manager of Faith to Faithless.

Faith to Faithless; people leaving controlling religions. with Greg Leonard

Time & Location

03 Oct, 19:30

Unitarian Meeting Hall, Brunswick Square, St Paul's, Bristol BS2 8PE, UK

About the event

Belief in a religion is a fundamental human right and with it is the right not to believe. Unfortunately, this is not afforded to everyone, and for some people leaving their religion can be a complicated, challenging, and dangerous process.

Apostates (those who leave/reject their faith) can bring shame and dishonour to a family, and as a result apostates often experience emotional and physical abuse. Shunning, and sometimes complete disownment, from immediate family, relatives, and the community at large is common. Confusion, isolation, and loneliness often follow which can lead to anxiety, depression, and self-harm. For those who stay with their families there is a risk of physical abuse, commonly referred to as honour-based violence.

The event is FREE to all. Non-members of Bristol Humanists are encouraged to make a £3/£1 donation to cover costs.

Faith to Faithless was founded in 2015 by Imtiaz Shams, after he left his faith. The service offers practical and emotional support and closely involves people who have already gone through this experience. The service is now part of Humanists UK.

Greg Leonard, Apostate Support Services Manager at Humanists UK, will be talking about his work as manager of Faith to Faithless.

It is led by those with current or past experience of undergoing this process. Using their experience and knowledge, they design ways to raise society’s awareness of the struggle it is to leave religion as well as offering practical & emotional support to those who are doing so. Other problems are those common to anyone uprooted from their life & communities - homelessness, mental health problems, unemployment & poverty. Many may find the system of statutory services, which are meant to assist & support them hard to use, and sometimes systemically prejudiced. Faith to Faithless acts as a guide and mentor, both face-to-face and via social media, to those who want it during the process of settling into their new life without religion.

This event is taking place at The Unitarian Meeting Hall, Brunswick Square, St Paul's, Bristol BS2 8QS

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