The two-year report found a decline in church goers – but a rise in Islam and other faiths – was the reason for a steep decline in Christianity.
The findings have provoked fury among Cabinet ministers who say it is “seriously misguided, while the Church of England said it had been “hijacked” by humanists.
Compiled by the Commission on Religion and Believe in British Public Life, the report suggested faith schools should be stripped of powers to select their own pupils because they are “socially divisive”.
The report read: “It is in our view not clear that segregation of young people into faith schools has promoted greater cohesion or that it has not been socially divisive, leading to greater misunderstanding and tension.
“Selection by religion segregates children not only according to different religious heritage but also… by ethnicity and socio-economic background. This undermines equality of opportunity.”
The report also called for religious studies in the classroom to teach how faith was used by extremists as a justification for terrorism.
The teaching of religion in schools should be radically changed to make it more realistic and relevant Britain becomes an increasingly secular country, the report said.
A recruitment drive was needed for those teaching religion and belief so the subject can be treated “seriously and deeply in these unprecedented times of religious confusion and tension”.
Controversially, it said there should be a re-think over Britain’s anti-terror policy including ensuring students can voice radical views at achoo without fear of being reported to the security services. Read More