A UK report calling into question religious charities that promote beliefs that don’t align with British values and opinion, has sparked discussion among Australian charity experts over the role and position of such organisations.
The report, due to be released on Monday by the National Secular Society, found that over 12,000 British charities exist with the sole purpose of promoting religion.
It claimed some were using their charity status to push controversial views, such as Christian ministries that promoted “gay conversion therapy”.
In an Australian context, CEO of Community Council Australia David Crosbie, told Pro Bono News, there was no changing the fact that the “promotion of religion” was seen as a charitable purpose.
“And therefore is a public benefit in Australia – whether we agree with the religion and what it is promoting or not,” Crosbie said.
“Allowing the promotion of religion as a charitable purpose does create a few dilemmas around what is religion, what is promoting religion, and what happens if the religion promotes activities that are illegal or considered highly inappropriate within Australia,” he said.
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