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Religion or Belief

Religion and belief is a protected characteristic that refers to a:

  1. Religion (e.g. Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Rastafarianism, Zoroastrianism, Jainism, Buddhism).
  2. Denomination of a religion (e.g. Anglicanism, Catholicism, Sunni, Lamaism).
  3. Religious or philosophical belief (e.g. Humanism, Spiritualism, Atheism and Climate Change).

Protection also applies to those who do not have a religion or belief.

Not all philosophical beliefs qualify for protection under the Equality Act 2010. Beliefs that do not substantially affect human life, are transitory or do not conform to democratic society, for example by conflicting with the fundamental rights of others, are not protected. So, for example, any cult involved in illegal activities would not satisfy these criteria nor, according to case law, do political beliefs.

The University supports Faith and Belief in Practice, an initiative that provides information and guidance and romotes awareness of issues related to religion or belief in the workplace.

More policy-related advice can be obtained through the University's Equality & Diversity section.

Additional support can be obtained from the Chaplain to the University Staff, Rev. Peter Hayler (tel. 01223 741718, email pjh89@cam.ac.uk).

The University has published Guidance for on Religion or Belief for Staff, which contains useful information and advice on religious practice and how this may impact the workplace.

Calendar of key faith festivals, seasons and diversity days

The University's Chaplaincy Development Group produces a calendar of significant dates, developed in partnership between the collegiate University, the Equality & Diversity section and the Chaplain to University staff. These dates are highlighted in order to help with the planning of University activities and functions.

Merton Hall Farmhouse

Merton Hall Farmhouse is the Multi-Faith Chaplaincy Centre for the University. It includes prayer rooms and is a space available to all, staff and students, of all faiths and none.