We 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.