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Civil religion in the UK, Canada, Australia and the Commonwealth

By Norman Bonney,
Manchester University Press, October 2013

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Thursday, 16 February 2012

Which religions get the royal favour?

At a reception on 15 February in Lambeth Palace marking the Queen's Diamond Jubilee the monarch gave royal recognition to Christianity and  nine 'historic faith communities' and inspected some 'sacred' objects of each 'faith'. 

Why some religions are favoured over others remains a mystery. Why should the Baha'i faith with 5.000 adherents recorded in the 2001 census, Jains with 15,000 and Zoroastrians with 4,000 get recognition but Spiritualists with 32,000 and Pagans with 31,000 did not?

Are some religions regarded by the monarch and the Archbishop of Canterbury as being more virtuous and worthy of official recognition by the state church and the monarchy? 

Is it not time for all religions to be placed on an equal and free basis and for the the state to cease giving official recognition or official role to any religion?