The Issue

The Issue

Jacob was taught that because he’s a Christian, all he can ever be is a cleaner. He was forced to give up on his dreams. José Gabriel missed out on vital years of school because his family were thrown out of their village and not permitted to register him at a local school. Across the world, children are denied a fair education simply because of their religion or belief.

Faith and a Future is a bold new campaign, tackling the discrimination and abuse that’s seen in schools from Pakistan to Mexico, from Nigeria to Burma. Together we want to ensure that no child is punished for their faith.

Will you join us?

We want to ensure that no child is punished for their faith

Schools have enormous power – to broaden young minds, to introduce them to new ideas, to show them the world’s endless possibilities. But all too often, that power is used to teach hate, to tell children that they’re worth nothing, and to tell other children that they should look down on them. That’s what Jacob endured at school in Pakistan.

Gurinder, a Sikh boy, was beaten by his teacher twice a week from age four to age six. Then, as he got older, the torture took a different form, as the constant pressure to convert became more than he could endure. He dropped out of school with no qualifications.

These injustices happen to children of all faiths, in many countries across the world. Christian children in northern Nigeria have to adopt Muslim names just to get into school. Rohingya Muslim children in Burma see their schools knocked down. Baha’i students in Iran are expelled from university if their religious beliefs are discovered. stop this tide of violence, we need to tackle hatred before it can take root.

Stopping hatred before it starts

“Education is our best hope for tackling fundamentalism.” These are the words of Michelle Chaudhry, one of our long-term partners in Pakistan. Michelle is devastated by the religious fundamentalism that has gripped her country, with terrorism and targeted attacks claiming hundreds of lives over the past few years alone. Yet she urges that to stop this tide of violence, we need to tackle hatred before it can take root.

So many of the injustices we see in our world today are rooted in hatred that’s learned in a child’s early years. As Nelson Mandela said, ‘No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.’

So what can I do?

Lend your voice! Together with supporters like you, we’re campaigning for biased textbooks to be rewritten, for discrimination in school admission to be removed, and for abuse to be dealt with effectively.