A new study has found that people of various faiths in Britain are experiencing unfair treatment based on their religion in the country.
The study commissioned by the University of Derby surveyed different religious bodies in England and Wales and questioned them about the impact of the equality legislation introduced more than a decade ago.
The preliminary results showed "substantial reporting of unfair treatment on the basis of religion or belief continuing across key areas of people’s lives".
A team of prominent scholars from Derby and the Universities of Oxford and Manchester are led by Paul Weller, Professor of Inter-Religious Relations at the University of Derby, in the research project.
“A decade ago it was not illegal in England and Wales to discriminate on grounds of religion or belief, so at that time those who reported unfair treatment on the basis of religion or belief had little scope for remedy”, said Paul Weller.
“Since then we have had the 2003 Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations, Incitement to Racial and Racial Hatred Act, 2006, and the 2006 and 2010 Equalities Acts”, he added.
"Although unfair treatment on the basis of religion or belief continues, evidence from our field research suggests that, particularly in the public sector, these legal changes have contributed to policy development and institutional change, resulting in some improvements in both inclusive consultation and practice”, said the professor.
“The progress facilitated by new law has also highlighted unresolved tensions. We are still awaiting outcomes of key cases now before the European Court of Human Rights. The uncertainties mean that individuals and groups continue to feel unfairly treated on different grounds”, added Professor Weller.