Britain's Atheist Bus Campaign spreads across Europe

Article published on Jan. 6, 2009
Article published on Jan. 6, 2009

In the June last year comedy writer Ariane Sherine wrote online about her frustration and insulted feelings that a Christian website were permitted to advertise their website on London buses with the slogan telling readers that non Christians would be subjected to "all eternity in torment in hell", burning in "a lake of fire".

From here a campaign was born to raise £5,500 to run a campaign on London buses with the slogan  "There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life." The slogan aimed to reassure people and was intended as a positive, rational and uplifting message.

The campaign, officially supported by the British Humanist Association and BHA Vice President Richard Dawkins, asked for supporters to donate just £5 to the cause. The fundraising campaign was an unprecedented success, earning just less than £48,000 in the first 24 hours of being launched. It has now raised an immense sum of £135,000.


The campaign has clearly been a great success, evidenced by the sheer amount of donations and the widespread coverage in national media. It is not just atheists that have welcomed it however. Director of the Public theology think tank Theos, Paul Woolley, issued a statement saying "We think that the campaign is a great way to get people thinking about God. The posters will encourage people to consider the most important question we will ever face in our lives”. The head of Church Army, Mark Russell,  has also indicated his support, writing on his blog "I love that the advert says 'probably' so it seems the atheists are not sure if there is a God or not!!"

National and international expansion

It is now possible to see these infamous adverts on many buses in London but the campaign is shortly to be spread nationwide with 600 buses being planned to carry the adverts across the UK. At the launch of the nation wide campaign this week Sherine announced ""You wait ages for an atheist bus and then 800 come along at once. I hope they'll brighten people's days and make them smile on their way to work." "

The campaign is being expanded not just across the UK but also across the world, including European countries. The American Humanist Association has already launched a similar campaign in Washington DC, running buses with the slogan ""Why believe in a God? Just be good for goodness' sake" . The Spanish Union of Atheists today launched their campaign in Barcelona and Italy's Union of Atheists is planning to shortly follow suit.