Conway Hall South Place Ethical Society night

Conway Hall Humanist Centre, home of the South Place Ethical Society, the oldest freethought community in the world. (Established 1793)

Secularist organizations promote the view that moral standards should be based solely on concern for the good of humanity in the present life, without reference to supernatural concepts, such as God or an afterlife. The term secularism, as coined and promulgated by George Jacob Holyoake, originally referred to such a view.[1] Secularism may also refer to the belief that government ought to be neutral on matters of religion, and that church and state ought to be separate. The term is here used in the first sense, though most organizations listed here also support secularism in the second sense.

Secularists, and their organizations, identify themselves by a variety of terms, including agnostic, atheist, bright, freethinker, humanist, nontheist, naturalist, rationalist, or skeptic.[2][3] Despite the use of these various terms, the organizations listed here have secularist goals in common. Note that, while most of these organizations and their members consider themselves irreligious, there are certain exceptions (Ethical Culture, for example).












New Zealand




United Kingdom

United States


Freedom From Religion Foundation billboard

See also


  1. "Secularism". Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition. Oxford University Press, 1989.
  2. The Secular Coalition for America, which has been identified by as representing the interests of "secularist organizations", describes its constituency as "nontheistic Americans", including those who go by the labels "atheist, humanist, freethinker, agnostic, skeptic, bright, ignostic, materialist, and naturalist, among others." Who does the Secular Coalition for America represent? at the Secular Coalition for America website (Accessed 5 April 2008)
  3. Some less common secularist labels include: apatheist, godless (in the non-pejorative, literal sense), ignostic, infidel (or unbeliever), heathen, materialist, or realist.
  4. Atheist Alliance International website, 2008 (Accessed 9 April 2008)
  5. The Movement, The Brights' Network, 2008 (Accessed 9 April 2008)
  6. Presentation, European Humanist Federation website, 2006 (Accessed 10 April 2008)
  7. Laïque (French): "secular"
  8. About IHEU, IHEU website (Accessed 5 April 2008)
  9. The Norwegian Humanist Association, Human-Etisk Forbund website (English version), 2004 (Accessed 9 April 2008)
  10. Membership, Human-Etisk Forbund website (English version), 2004 (Accessed 9 April 2008)
  11. Leicester Secular Society website (Accessed 5 April 2008)
  12. South Place Ethical Society website (Accessed 5 April 2008)
  13. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the American Humanist Association, American Humanist Association website, 2005 (Accessed 8 April 2005)
  14. Atheist Community of Austin website, 2009 (Accessed 16 August 2009)
  15. "Camp Quest is the first residential summer camp in the history of the United States for the children of Atheists, Freethinkers, Humanists, Brights, or whatever other terms might be applied to those who hold to a naturalistic, not supernatural world view." Camp Quest website (Accessed 5 April 2008)
  16. Council for Secular Humanism website, 2008 (Accessed 8 April 2008)
  17. Freedom From Religion Foundation website (Accessed 5 April 2008)
  18. About Us, Internet Infidels, 2008 (Accessed 9 April 2008)

External links

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