AMG – 2016

Progressive Atheists Inc. Annual General Meeting

We started out Term 2016 focusing on End of Life choices with a workshop and a submission to the Victorian State parliament. Promoting freedom of choice in how we choose to end our lives. In September we met with the Hon. Bruce Atkinson, the President of the Legislative Council of the Victorian state parliament.

We made some efforts to counter Christian evangelism with awareness raised about evangelical preacher Ravi Zacharias in October 2015. In her book tour in November, Meg Wallace reminded us of the meaning of freedom from religion and what steps we should consider taking to ensure we retain our human rights. Although cancelled, the planned Religious Freedom Roundtable hosted by the Australian Human Rights Commission gave many freethinking groups from around Australia to meet and discuss priorities of secularism in Australia.

Term 2016 has been very much focused on assisting and promoting awareness of apostates and blasphemers in Muslim majority countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Indonesia. Combating Religious Persecution has been the major campaign theme for Term 2016.

August was our first reminder of the harms of theocracy with the International day against state religion. After a number of violent killings in Bangladesh of secular bloggers, we held a conference in Melbourne. The October conference, Secularism in the Modern World, featured guest speakers from Bangladesh and Pakistan.

January 2016 brought Sam Harris and Maajid Nawas to Australia via Think Inc. to again alert us to the perils for ex-Muslims, progressive Muslims, LGBTI Muslims, liberal Muslims, secular Muslims and all variety of people who are adversely affected by Islamist agendas. Again the 14th March allowed us to remind everyone to defend the human rights of apostates and blasphemers.

The month of May saw us bringing up our concerns about refugees in light of the upcoming federal election. Our election survey of candidates covered a range of concerns from freedom from religion in public schools, civil rights, the importance of a secular state to human rights and fairness in taxation.

Progressive Atheists hosted many events throughout the term, including the Progressive Atheists AGM in September 2015. In a multicultural tribute we celebrated the Persian celebration of Yaldā in a southern hemisphere Summer Solstice Party late December 2015. The new year started off with the 6th anniversary celebration of Progressive Atheists inception on the 10th of January 2015.

February 2016 gave us the chance to celebrate the Lunar New Year Festival and Darwin Day, paying homage to Charles Darwin and the scientific method. March allowed us to lend a helping hand in our local area during Clean Up Australia Day. We finished the term with our fellow travelers the Progressive Muslims at their Annual Interfaith Iftar dinner.

Progressive Atheists social media accounts, website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts are all doing well. Membership is at an all time high, we hope that this report highlights the valuable work done by Progressive Atheists, and we look forward to gaining new members in the year ahead.

See the full report: Progressive Atheists Inc. Annual Report Term 2016