Atheists face death in 13 countries, global discrimination: study

19

In 13 countries around the world, all of them Muslim, people who openly espouse atheism or reject the official state religion of Islam face execution under the law, according to a detailed study issued on Tuesday.

And beyond the Islamic nations, even some of the West's apparently most democratic governments at best discriminate against citizens who have no belief in a god and at worst can jail them for offences dubbed blasphemy, it said.

The study, The Freethought Report 2013, was issued by the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), a global body uniting atheists, agnostics and other religious skeptics, to mark United Nations' Human Rights Day on Tuesday.

"This report shows that the overwhelming majority of countries fail to respect the rights of atheists and freethinkers although they have signed U.N agreements to treat all citizens equally," said IHEU President Sonja Eggerickx.

Written By: Robert Evans
continue to source article at reuters.com

19 COMMENTS

  1. The statement for the report can be found here. Look for the pdf link at the bottom of the page to read the four-page written statement.

    EDIT: Apologies: I found the report from the wrong year, 2012, not the one detailed in the article above. Ignore my previous link. This is the 2013 report.

    Here’s the main finding:

    The report found that:

    You can be put to death for expressing atheism in 13 countries

    In 39 countries the law mandates a prison sentence for blasphemy, including six western countries

    The non-religious are discriminated against, or outright persecuted, in most countries of the world

    A new report launching today, Tuesday, examines every country in the world for legal discrimination and human rights violations which specifically affect atheists, humanists and the non-religious.

    The “Freedom of Thought” report by the International Humanist and Ethical Union, IHEU, found widespread discrimination by governments in every region.

    Issues from children forced to pray in school classrooms, to the most “Grave Violations”.such as death for breaking “blasphemy” laws, are considered in the report’s comprehensive rating system.

    Needless to say, it’s not a pleasant read.

  2. OP:

    In 13 countries around the world, all of them Muslim, people who openly espouse atheism or reject the official state religion of Islam face execution under the law, according to a detailed study issued on Tuesday.

    Ah, but it don’t ‘arf keep them workers in their place ! Bloody infidels, string ‘em up.

  3. Thought it was ONLY seven. Anyway, I expect nothing less from those barren cesspools of uncivilisation.

    Anyway, Iceland, Denmark, New Zealand, Poland, Germany and Greece should be ashamed of themselves.
    And why isn’t “blasphemy” banned in the EU?

  4. So happy and proud that Uruguay is one of only 15 countries in the world to have the highest rating! More than a century ago we had our first staunch atheist President. And today not only our current President José Mujica is also a confessed atheist but also someone with a much more important position: the coach of the soccer national team. By the way, December 25th in Uruguay is a holiday. But it is not Christmas. Officially it’s the “Day of the Family”. Happy Family Day!

    • In reply to #7 by Eduardo Sibils:

      Go Uruguay… a country I really want to visit some time.

      In a wholly unrelated bit of news, Uruguay has just comprehensively legalised the growing, purchase and consumption of cannabis, believing the “war on drugs” just gets too many people killed.

      This European is finally starting to believe there really is a beacon state representing genuine human rights and liberal values across the Atlantic!

      • In reply to #14 by Stevehill:
        A year ago Uruguay became one of the very few countries in Latin America to legalize abortion. A few months gay marriage was legalized. Yesterday it was news that we are one of the 15 atheist-friendliest countries in the world. Today we legalize marihuana. How long before the wrath of the invisible man with magic powers on the sky starts coming down on us…?
        In reply to #14 by Stevehill:

        In reply to #7 by Eduardo Sibils:

        Go Uruguay… a country I really want to visit some time.

        In a wholly unrelated bit of news, Uruguay has just comprehensively legalised the growing, purchase and consumption of cannabis, believing the “war on drugs” just gets too many people killed.

        This European…

    • In reply to #7 by Eduardo Sibils:

      So happy and proud that Uruguay is one of only 15 countries in the world to have the highest rating! More than a century ago we had our first staunch atheist President. And today not only our current President José Mujica is also a confessed atheist but also someone with a much more important positi…

      Maybe José should have been given Time’s award instead of Bergoglio.

  5. I wonder how many Muslims there would be if membership wasn’t enforced by a threat of the death penalty. And how many atheists if they were not targeted for persecution in so many countries. Those of us who are free to speak our mind on religion can forget the risks that others take.

    This is an important report from the IHEU. Congratulations to lead author Matt Cherry and editor Bob Churchill for their efforts.

  6. I never knew New Zealand had a blasphemy law. Seems it’s one of those “left-over” old laws that no-one’s bothered to abolish. There have been no prosecutions from it for a very long time.

    • Same thing here in Finland.

      . In reply to #9 by ShadowMind:

      I never knew New Zealand had a blasphemy law. Seems it’s one of those “left-over” old laws that no-one’s bothered to abolish. There have been no prosecutions from it for a very long time.

  7. As I have said here before, a prerequisite for joining the E.U should always be the removal of any blasphemy law from the statute book. As for the Muslim countries, this only enforces what we think of Islam.

  8. Sometimes, just sometimes, I feel like living in a broke, backwards country stuck in a quasi-tyrannical, extremelly ineffective international institution is bad. Then I remember that the sharia law actually exists and is taken seriously, and feel that the people who run both Portugal and the European Union aren’t just that stupid, and we that live in it are actually the fortunate ones.

  9. So if I express the idea that your god doesn’t exist because my god is the only one true god, that’s ok because I’m not atheist. But if I dare suggest that I don’t believe in any god, then off with my head?

    Seems logical I suppose to a believer who thinks there is an invisible “thing” that is everywhere and nowhere all at the same time and has exactly the same likes and dislikes as the believer.

  10. Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water.

    If, like me, you are in Western Europe this report shows you why there is much for which you have to be grateful.
    How difficult life must be for atheists in so many countries.

    In the UK we dislike the way sharia can to an extent be enforced here but its effect is thankfully limited. My heart goes out to people who live in countries where Islam predominates but who are too honest to have faith. I can only guess what kind of psychological strain that must put on them.

    Not that the situation is necessarily better just because a country is a democracy. How disturbing that the police in India should avoid the investigation of murders of atheists there. But then firsthand experience of travelling there has shown me how its police are really no more than thieves in uniform. Or how about the USA, where, in certain parts, not being one of the faithful means you can suffer societal rejection, just because you don’t believe.

  11. Very sad. And just think, hardline Muslims want to convert the entire world to their religion.

    Afghanistan is one of the countries listed; so what exactly did the “war on terror” achieve?

Leave a Reply