Religious Charities Denied State Funds

Article excerpt

Byline: Simon Johnson

RELIGIOUS charities that are refusing to employ people of differentfaiths are being denied state funding.

Ministers last night confirmed they are no longer g i v i n g money t o groupsdeemed to be acting in a discriminatory way.

The politically correct move has been accepted by a state-funded group whichprovides Scots charities with young volunteers.

However, religious leaders condemned the policy as nonsense and argued that itwas damaging efforts to help the needy.

The Executive claims to use similar guidelines as English councils, whichrefuse to fund projects that promote one faith.

But Westminster regulations give religious bodies exemptions when recruitingstaff. Critics claim the Executives policy for religious charities is much lesssensitive.

They also complain that the policy has been adopted by ProjectScotland, anonreligious charity that has received millions of pounds of Executive funding.

This group places young volunteers in roles with more than 130 charities acrossScotland. However, to qualify for help, charities are forced to agree to accepta candidate no matter what his or her religion.

Charity Christian Action Research and Education (CARE) called on ministers tourgently review the guidelines.

Spokesman Dr Gordon Macdonald said: The effect of the policy is to underminethe ethos o f many r e l i g i o u s organisations which a r e running veryeffective social action projects.

He said the ruling would stop faith groups from running projects aimed athelping people of all religions. …