List of secularist organizations

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Conway Hall, home of the Conway Hall Ethical Society, the oldest freethought community in the world. (Established 1793)

Secularist organizations promote the view that moral standards should be based solely on concern for the good of humanity in the present, without reference to supernatural concepts, such as God or an afterlife, any desire to do good for a reward after death, or any fear of punishment for not believing in life after death. The term secularism, as coined and promulgated by George Jacob Holyoake, originally referred to such a view.[1] Secularism may also refer to the belief that government should be neutral on matters of religion, and that church and state should be separate. The term here is used in the first sense, though most organizations listed here also support secularism in the second sense.


Secularists, and their organizations, identify themselves by a variety of terms, including, bright, freethinker, naturalist, rationalist, or skeptic.[2][3] Despite the use of these various terms, the organizations listed here have secularist goals in common. Note that, while most of these organizations and their members consider themselves irreligious, there are certain exceptions (Ethical Culture, for example).

In some jurisdictions, a provincial or national humanist society may confer upon Humanist officiants the ability to conduct memorial services, child naming ceremonies or officiate marriages — tasks which would be carried out by clergy in most organized religions.[4][5][6]










  • Sidmennt – Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association







New Zealand[edit]

Northern Ireland[edit]









United Kingdom[edit]

National organisations[edit]

Local groups[edit]

There are many local humanist groups around the United Kingdom, most being affiliates of Humanists UK and the National Secular Society. Of these, Leicester Secular Society has particular claim to fame in being the world's oldest secular society, founded in 1851.[16] Others include North East Humanists.

United States[edit]

American Atheist bench and "Ten Commandments" display (Bradford County, Florida).

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Secularism". Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition. Oxford University Press, 1989.
  2. ^ The Secular Coalition for America, which has been identified by as representing the interests of "secularist organizations", describes its constituency as "nontheistic Americans", including those who go by the labels "atheist, humanist, freethinker, agnostic, skeptic, bright, ignostic, materialist, and naturalist, among others." Who does the Secular Coalition for America represent? Archived 2008-04-16 at the Wayback Machine at the Secular Coalition for America website (Accessed 5 April 2008)
  3. ^ Some less common secularist labels include: apatheist, godless (in the non-pejorative, literal sense), ignostic, infidel (or unbeliever), heathen, materialist, or realist.
  4. ^ "Humanist Canada: Humanist Weddings". Archived from the original on 2012-12-28. Retrieved 2014-11-23.
  5. ^ American Humanist Association: Humanists Stand Ready to Perform Same-Sex Marriage Ceremonies
  6. ^ The Humanist Society Listing of Humanist Celebrants
  7. ^ The Movement, The Brights' Network, 2008 (Accessed 9 April 2008)
  8. ^ Presentation, European Humanist Federation website, 2006 (Accessed 10 April 2008)
  9. ^ Laïque (French): "secular"
  10. ^ About IHEU Archived 2008-07-05 at the Wayback Machine, IHEU website (Accessed 5 April 2008)
  11. ^ – Internet Deconstructing State Church in Finland
  12. ^ "Les non-religieux veulent aussi être consultés". L'essentiel (in French). Edita SA. 18 January 2015. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  13. ^ The Norwegian Humanist Association Archived 2008-04-12 at the Wayback Machine, Human-Etisk Forbund website (English version), 2011 (Accessed 5 February 2011)
  14. ^ Membership Archived 2007-10-30 at the Wayback Machine, Human-Etisk Forbund website (English version), 2004 (Accessed 9 April 2008)
  15. ^ South Place Ethical Society website (Accessed 5 April 2008)
  16. ^ Leicester Secular Society website (Accessed 5 April 2008)

External links[edit]