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Faith to Faithless

Watch Imtiaz Shams and Aliah Saleem describe their work with people leaving high control religions

Aliyah Saleem and Imtiaz Shams are the co-founders of Faith to Faithless, a programme of Humanists UK working to reduce the stigma faced by people leaving religion (apostates).

Apostasy is the disaffiliation from, or renunciation of, a religion or cult. It may be used to mean converting from one religion to another, or leaving religion entirely. It may also be used by religious groups as a derogatory label to identify someone perceived as no longer following the traditions of that religion to their expected standard. Faith to Faithless work with apostates from high-control religions (such as ex-Charedi Jews and ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses), as well as those from high-control sects within religions that are otherwise more progressive (such as some groups within Islam).

In 2018 the Faith to Faithless programme won a London Faith & Belief Community Award within the Health & Wellbeing category for its work providing support to vulnerable Londoners.

The diagram in the ‘The Stages of Apostasy’ download below shows some of the possible emotions expressed by apostates on the journey from one identity to another.

Question: How can we make it easier for people to feel confident to talk about their beliefs and their questions about them?

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