List of secularist organizations

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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, any desire for doing good as a reward after death, or any fear of punishment for not believing after death. 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 should be neutral on matters of religion, and that church and state should 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).

In some jurisdictions, a provincial or national humanist society may confer upon Humanist officiants the ability to conduct memorial services, child naming ceremonies or officiate marriage — tasks which would be carried out by clergy in most organised religions.[4][5][6]









  • Sidmennt - Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association







New Zealand

Northern Ireland






United Kingdom

United States

American Atheist bench and "Ten Commandments" display (Bradford County, Florida).

See also

Notes and references

  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. Humanist Canada: Humanist Weddings
  5. American Humanist Association: Humanists Stand Ready to Perform Same-Sex Marriage Ceremonies
  6. The Humanist Society Listing of Humanist Celebrants
  7. Atheist Alliance International website, 2008 (Accessed 9 April 2008)
  8. The Movement, The Brights' Network, 2008 (Accessed 9 April 2008)
  9. Presentation, European Humanist Federation website, 2006 (Accessed 10 April 2008)
  10. Laïque (French): "secular"
  11. About IHEU, IHEU website (Accessed 5 April 2008)
  12. The Norwegian Humanist Association, Human-Etisk Forbund website (English version), 2011 (Accessed 5 February 2011)
  13. Membership, Human-Etisk Forbund website (English version), 2004 (Accessed 9 April 2008)
  14. South Place Ethical Society website (Accessed 5 April 2008)
  15. Leicester Secular Society website (Accessed 5 April 2008)

External links