Secularists in the United Kingdom say religious programmes put out by the national broadcaster, the BBC, are not popular or valued.
The comment from the National Secular Society comes as the Church of England’s General Synod – its rule-making body, meeting this week – is discussing a claim by some members that the BBC has reduced religious broadcasting.
The BBC is denying the allegation.
“Some members of the synod believe that, despite the presence of long-running programmes such as Songs of Praise on BBC1 [television], there has been a reduction in the scope of broadcasting about religion,” says the corporation’s own news website.
The BBC insists that religious broadcasting has actually increased in recent years.
The National Secular Society says research suggests that religious programmes are not popular or valued. “It is important the BBC is not bullied into becoming an evangelical tool for the Church of England while ignoring the clearly expressed wishes of the licence payer,” said its president, Terry Sanderson.