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Are the spiritual needs of the Armed Forces adequately met?

Baroness_warsiBaroness Warsi, Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion and Social Action, has asked a noteworthy question of the Government:

"To ask Her Majesty's Government what religions and faiths are recognised by the British Armed Forces. [HL1352]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): The Armed Forces encourage people from all faiths to practise their religious observances as far as operational and health and safety considerations allow. While religion and belief is treated as a private matter, the services place a great deal of importance on the spiritual development of their personnel. Commissioned Armed Forces chaplains are drawn from the main Christian denominations practised in the UK. The first MoD civilian chaplains to the Armed Forces from the Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and Sikh faith communities were appointed in October 2005. The services have had an honorary officiating chaplain from the Jewish faith under long-standing arrangements, and action is underway to recruit a Jewish civilian chaplain."

It would be good to hear from readers, especially those who have served, as to whether the spiriutal needs of believers and non-believers alike get they attention they need in the Forces.


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