The BBC is spending a minimum of £10 million a year on religious propaganda, it has been revealed.
The Religion and Ethics department that is spending the money has been accused of undermining the BBC's obligation to impartiality. The information was elicited through a Freedom of Information Act request by National Secular Society member Alan Rogers, who asked the Corporation how much it spent on its religious affairs department in Manchester.
In response, the BBC told him that the all-inclusive cost of the unit, programmes, staff and overheads in the financial year 2007/8 was £9.8 million.
This, of course, is only the tip of the religious iceberg at the BBC. Money taken from other budgets for religious programming is also substantial. For instance, the drama series telling the story of the last days of Jesus, The Passion, last year cost £4 million and that was from the Drama Department budget. The BBC launched accompanying literature with help from the Bible Society.
According to the BBC's latest annual report the amount of religion broadcast on BBC radio rose from 1,078 hours in 2006/7 period to 1,114 in the 2007/8 period.
To celebrate and support the “atheist” posters appearing on buses in Britain and the United States there is now a poster (A4 size) available on the Humanists website (see sidebar), which you can print and display.