Religion or belief and non-belief

The protected characteristic of religion or belief includes any religion and any religious or philosophical belief. It also includes a lack of any such religion or belief. Therefore, Christians are protected against discrimination because of their Christianity and non-Christians are protected against discrimination because they are not Christians, irrespective of any other religion or belief they may have or may lack.

The term 'religion' includes the more commonly recognised religions in the UK such as the Baha’i faith, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Rastafarianism, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism. It is for the courts to determine what constitutes a religion.

A religion need not be mainstream or well known to gain protection as a religion. However, it must have a clear structure and belief system. Denominations or sects within religions, such as Methodists within Christianity or Sunnis within Islam, may be considered a religion for the purposes of the Act.

Belief means any religious or philosophical belief and includes a lack of belief or non-belief.

Religious belief goes beyond beliefs about and adherence to a religion or its central articles of faith and may vary from person to person within the same religion.

A belief which is not a religious belief may be a philosophical belief. Examples of philosophical beliefs include Humanism and Atheism.

A belief need not include faith or worship of a God or Gods, but must affect how a person lives their life or perceives the world.

For a philosophical belief to be protected under the Act:

  • it must be genuinely held;
  • it must be a belief and not an opinion or viewpoint based on the present state of information available;
  • it must be a belief as to a weighty and substantial aspect of human life and behaviour;
  • it must attain a certain level of cogency, seriousness, cohesion and importance;
  • it must be worthy of respect in a democratic society, not incompatible with human dignity and not in conflict with the fundamental rights of others.

University activity

Places of worship on campus

The University works actively to support the religious needs and beliefs of its staff and student groups. It has on campus a mosque for Muslim worship located in Barnes Hall open to all students on and off campus. There is also an interdenominational chapel which welcomes all faiths, located at the heart of the campus.

Further information is available on student facilities available for other faiths.

Keele Unity

Led by our staff and students Keele Unity aims to bring people together through a series of events with a common aim of promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion, throughout the Keele community. For further information on the latest events visit the Keele Unity web pages. The Chapel also arrange a number of events throughout the year for staff and students.

Useful websites