One in four kids is bullied at school because of their religious belief, according to a new study. The study, conducted on more than 1,000 pupils by the anti-bullying charity BeatBullying, has shown that 23 per cent of the pupils were bullied as a result of their faith.
Also, 9 per cent of those with a faith were bullied as a result of wearing religious symbols to school.
"These two girls knew we were fasting, they got me in the toilets and tried to force crisps down my throat; they were all laughing their heads off," the Independent quoted one 13-year-old Muslim girl, as saying.
The study shows lack of cohesion between different communities at school, with 20 per cent of young people saying their friendships largely comprised people from the same religious or faith background.
Significantly, a minority (about 6 per cent) said their parents frowned on them mixing with people from different faith backgrounds.
The findings have encouraged anti-bullying campaigners to urge ministers to make it compulsory for schools to record all incidents of faith-based bullying, as they have to do in cases of racism and homophobia.