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. 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.).

  2. “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”.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 . . .

  5. 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

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