Report: Atheists and Religious Critics Persecuted Around The World

stoningWe have been following the increased attacks by political (here and here) and religious figures (here and here) against atheists and agnostics in recent years. A new report is out from the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) detailing this trend globally.

The report includes policies favoring religious persons and organizations in the United States and Europe. The range of laws around the world include those that “obstruct [nonbelievers’] access to public education, prohibit them from holding public office, prevent them from working for the state, criminalize their criticism of religion, and execute them for leaving the religion of their parents.”

In seven countries, expression of atheist views or defection from the official religion can bring capital punishment: Afghanistan, Iran, Maldives, Mauritania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Sudan. Yes, that includes our erstwhile allies in Afghanistan where U.S. troops continue die and the Obama Administration has spent billions to prop up the corrupt Karzai government.

We have previously discussed the rise of blasphemy prosecutions not just in Muslim countries but the West as well as an attack generally on free speech. For recent columns, click here and here and here.

Greece and Russia are also singled out for their governmental entanglement with their respective orthodox churches.

The demonization of nonbelievers is clearly linked to political interests in many countries with faith-based governments or politics. It is distressing to see how even in the United States both Republicans and Democrats have embraced faith-based politics (here and here). This chilling report shows the dangers of such entanglement not just in countries like Saudi Arabia but the West.

Source: Reuters

33 thoughts on “Report: Atheists and Religious Critics Persecuted Around The World

  1. HOW ABOUT THE WAR ON CHRISTMAS? You are forgetting how awful it is that decent Christan people have to put up with “Happy Holidays” and share this time of year with those of different belief!

  2. Rick Warren doesn’t like Obama now: “Obama is “absolutely” unfriendly to religion and his administration’s policies have “intentionally infringed upon religious liberties,” Warren said in an interview Wednesday. The evangelical pastor, whose 20,000-member church in suburban Los Angeles is one of the largest in the nation, was on tour in New York City to promote to the 10th anniversary edition of his popular book, “The Purpose Driven Life.” He spoke in a wide-ranging conversation that touched upon his stance against same-sex marriage, his disappointment with the presidential campaigns, and the role of faith in an increasingly secular society.” Huffington Post

  3. “The demonization of nonbelievers is clearly linked to political interests in many countries with faith-based governments or politics.”


    Further proof (as if any more was needed) of Seneca’s the Younger’s ancient observation that “[r]eligion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful.”

  4. Mespo,

    You are right…. Then there are those that will throw you under the bus just for disagreeing with them.

  5. I’ve got several choice words for the ‘Religiously Affiliated….. and they are not Merry Xmas……… You’re time is quickly coming to an end, get used to it!

  6. I guess they can’t take up genealogy as a hobby since they don’t like the X as an abbreviation for Christ if someone writes Xmas. I do genealogy research in church records going back 100, 200, 300++ years in three foreign countries and run into Xoffer, Xopher, Xian, Xine, Xina etc. X for Christ has been an acceptable abbreviation in church records for many centuries. It’s only the modern uneducated religico-reichwingnut fanatics who have hissy fits about it.

  7. NonnyO – when I was a kid it was almost a point of pride that early Xians had to hide their worshiping of X by using the Greek letter ‘X’, short for Χριστός (anointed) instead of his title, ‘Christ’.

    So to us little kids in Sunday school Xmas was almost a secret code! It helped carry the tales of persecution and todays Xianist extremists display their ignorance when they rail against Xmas

  8. Blouise,

    I knew you and Tex were unusual, but I had no idea you were cruel.

    I should warn you. I have access to large aircraft landing lights. The kind that can burn retinas and cook reindeer. :mrgreen:

    And if necessary, I could build an EMP device.

    I was kind of saving that for New Years though.

  9. EastBroadwayLong Beach 1, December 10, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    I’ve got several choice words for the ‘Religiously Affiliated….. and they are not Merry Xmas……… You’re time is quickly coming to an end, get used to it!
    So you gonna take on the U.S. Military and kick they butt?

  10. Gene,

    What do ya’ have against Seger and art?! Did you notice the response to the sax … too cool.

    Now I was always an enthusiastic house – Christmas lights- decorator … I’d spend 6 months laying out the design and gathering the material and Tex would have to spend a couple days putting it all up. One year he spent two weeks in Nov. in his shop working on a surprise “lighting feature”. Thanksgiving weekend came and he spent the obligatory two days following my schematic and installing the lights. Sunday evening we went outside to look at the finished product and I asked him where his surprise feature was.

    He whipped a remote control out of his pocket, pressed a button and then looked up towards the peak where the usually dark attic window is placed. A large lit sign, white bulbs, two words … BAH HUMBUG.

    It was the hit of the neighborhood.

  11. One year I got a holiday card. It was green, without a picture, with black print.

    On the front it said: “People ask who took the Christ out of XMas.”

    Inside it said: “I ask who took the X out of Malcolm.”

  12. Theists have no choice but to demean and demonize atheist. If they didn’t
    “catapult the propaganda”, people would stop looking at atheists and start looking at themselves and their own religions.

    Religions tolerate other religions (for the most part) because all are engaged in the same activity, controlling the masses for power and profit. They’re all in on the same con game, so opposing atheists gives them a common “enemy”. If they ever did succeed in eliminating atheists, they’d start eliminating each other.

    Atheists don’t have a leader, don’t have an organization which makes individuals an easy target for discrimination and violence. Atheists don’t have dogma built on unsubstantiated nonsense, and that inability to be controlled – as well as atheists’ penchant for pointing out the gaping holes in religion – absolutely terrifies the leeches who live off the backs of others.

    One of the biggest lies that religion tells is “atheists want to ban religion”. Atheists no more want to ban religion than people with taste want to ban Justin Bieber or banning bell bottom pants. Nobody objects to immature people having their nonsense just as long they don’t try dictating it to and forcing it upon those who don’t want it.

    A secular society is not an atheist society. Secular societies and governments actually protect religion because they prevent a majority from attacking or discriminating against a minority. But then, that’s the religious majority are trying to do, isn’t it? The most anti-religious people in the world ARE religious people. They want to ban the competition.

    The religious have to repeat the lie that “atheists are bad” because if they didn’t, people would realize that atheists and theists are equally capable of acting morally…and, they would have to admit that religion can cause people to act immorally (*). When believers realize that is true, when they realize that religion doesn’t make people any better, religion will become superfluous. Why would people want to obey silly rules when they don’t gain anything from it?

    (*) “With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”
    – Steven Weinberg, NY Times, April 20, 1999

  13. Blouise,

    I do appreciate a good light display, but unfortunately Bob Seger is in the same category with me as “Stairway to Heaven” and Boston. Just heard him so much I don’t need to hear him anymore. I blame Chevrolet. Although the holiday is not from a religion I follow, I don’t object to winter festivities. I think it’s mostly for kids, but what part isn’t? I’ll let Frank Cross explain to you what I think about Christmas . . .

  14. The USA is in the process of joining the fine company of Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan as being among those who will throw the first stone.

  15. “Religions tolerate other religions (for the most part) because all are engaged in the same activity, controlling the masses for power and profit.”
    If only that were true…
    You could substitute “governments”, “unions”, “ideologies”, “political parties”, whatever, and it would be no more true than “religion”.

  16. Ariel –

    What do you think religions are? In the absence of any proof of “gods”, religions ARE ideologies, just a bunch of words. In the hands of extremist religion, the buybull is no different than “mein kampf” to the Nazis, or Karl Marx’s books to communists. Extremists religion and fascism usually go hand in hand, lockstep in goosestep.

    Religions are only ever peaceful when they are in the minority, when they don’t have the physical force to threaten, intimidate, assault and murder those they dislike. But even then, minorities are willing to be violent and commit terrorism (e.g. aum shin rikyo, operation rescue, etc.).

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