The Union of Rationalist Atheists and Agnostics (Unione degli Atei e degli Agnostici Razionalisti, UAAR), is the main secular humanist association in Italy, defending the interests of atheist and agnostic citizens and separation of Church &State. It is completely independent of political parties and operates all over the Italian territory through its local circles and representatives.
The values inspiring UAAR’s activities include eudaimonism, rationality, secularism, self-determination, respect for human rights, democracy, pluralism, equality, the enhancement of individuality, freedom of conscience, expression, and research, the acquisition of knowledge through the scientific method, and the principle of equal opportunities for all citizens regardless of their philosophical or religious beliefs, political opinions, personal and social conditions, sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
- Protect the civil rights of atheists and agnostics, both nationally and locally, by opposing all forms of discrimination against them, both legal and de facto, through legal initiatives and awareness campaigns.
- Help concretely affirm the supreme constitutional principle of secularism in the State, in public schools and in other public institutions, and obtain recognition of the full legal equality of all citizens regardless of their philosophical and religious convictions. This includes demanding the abolition of any privileges granted, by law or in practice, to any religion, in pursuit of the legal equality of religions and non-confessional philosophical associations.
- Assert, within a secular, rational, and non-religious lifestance, the right of individuals to make autonomous choices regarding sexuality and reproduction, including those related to voluntary termination of pregnancy; to enter legally recognized family unions without distinction of gender or sexual orientation; to decide freely about the end of their own lives; to support freedom of scientific, philosophical, and artistic research; and to ensure that these rights and freedoms receive full legal sanction and effective protection.
- Promote the social and cultural valorization of rational and non-religious worldviews, with particular attention to atheist and agnostic philosophies.
UAAR has initiated numerous legal actions on various topics, including secularism in schools, religious symbols in public buildings, the right to recognition of non-religious identity, and the influence of the Catholic Church in RAI (the Italian public State-owned and tax-funded broadcaster). Some of these initiatives have reached the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, and the European Court, with several successful outcomes. UAAR also participates in various parliamentary hearings and provides free legal advice to citizens through its “email@example.com” service.
To achieve its social objectives, UAAR has launched information and awareness campaigns on various topics, including de-baptism, the costs of the Church, the right to a real alternative to religious teaching in schools, the availability of spaces dedicated to secular humanist ceremonies, access to pharmacological abortion, and the financial burdens of religious denominations. One of its notable campaigns was the “ateobus” campaign in 2009.
UAAR’s website is visited daily by thousands of users and provides articles, reviews, information, and dossiers on secularism and non-belief. It also offers online spaces for meetings and discussions within its communities and blog.
UAAR publishes a magazine called “Nessun Dogma – Acting secular for a more humane world,” which contains interviews, in-depth articles, columns, and reviews to keep readers updated on progress and setbacks in the field of civil secular rights. It also aims to educate readers about the association’s commitment and activities.
UAAR owns and runs a publishing house, “Nessun Dogma – Books for Free Minds,” which specializes in translating important books and addressing lesser-known or controversial topics from a secular and rationalist perspective.
Additionally, UAAR organizes Darwin Day events in numerous Italian cities, awards the Brian Prize at the Venice Film Festival, offers scholarships to deserving students, and supports research projects. It also holds conferences and cultural events across Italy, and its national headquarters in Rome houses the first Italian secular-rationalist library.
While supporting social solidarity projects both in Italy and abroad is not among its primary objectives, UAAR periodically lends its support to such initiatives. In order to help individuals celebrate important moments in their lives in a secular and personalized way, UAAR offers free training to humanist celebrants through the “Cerimonie Uniche” (Unique Ceremonies) project. UAAR is not limited to Italy but is part of Humanists International, a global humanist organization that serves as a consultant to the UN, UNESCO, UNICEF, and the Council of Europe. Through its European advocacy office, Humanists International also engages with the European Commission, monitors the work of the European Parliament, and participates in the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe). UAAR is also a member of the European Secularist Network