Atheists and other religious skeptics suffer persecution or discrimination in many parts of the world and in at least seven nations can be executed if their beliefs become known, according to a report issued on Monday. The concern is for atheists, not for the faithful Christians, Jews, etc. around the world? Does anyone want to guess which countries are guilty of persecuting 'non-believers'??? Do you want to guess who conducted the study???
The study, from the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU). Yes the Humanists are concerned about the Atheists. Would that they show some concern for the faithful in these countries. These countries being Muslim countries. I'm shocked, shocked I tell you!
... "unbelievers" in Islamic countries face the most severe - sometimes brutal - treatment at the hands of the state and adherents of the official religion. Oh yes, they are Muslim countries, the official religion is Islam.
But don't feel too comfortable, the report also includes the United States:
But it also points to policies in some European countries and the United States which favor the religious and their organizations and treat atheists and humanists as outsiders.
The report, "Freedom of Thought 2012", said "there are laws that deny atheists' right to exist, curtail their freedom of belief and expression, revoke their right to citizenship, restrict their right to marry."
Other laws "obstruct their 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."
The report was welcomed by Heiner Bielefeldt, United Nations special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, who said in a brief introduction there was little awareness that atheists were covered by global human rights agreements.
The IHEU - which links over 120 humanist, atheist and secular organizations in more than 40 countries - said it was issuing the report to mark the U.N.'s Human Rights Day on Monday.
According to its survey of some 60 countries, the seven where expression of atheist views or defection from the official religion can bring capital punishment are Afghanistan, Iran, Maldives, Mauritania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Sudan.
The 70-page report lists no recent cases of actual execution for "atheism" -- but researchers say the offence is often subsumed into other charges.
In a range of other countries - such as Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Kuwait and Jordan - publication of atheist or humanist views on religion are totally banned or strictly limited under laws prohibiting "blasphemy". [snip]
While freedom of religion and speech is protected in the United States, the report said, a social and political climate prevails "in which atheists and the non-religious are made to feel like lesser Americans, or non-Americans."
In at least seven U.S. states, constitutional provisions are in place that bar atheists from public office and one state, Arkansas, has a law that bars an atheist from testifying as a witness at a trial, the report said. (Reuters)
There are no statistics a to how many atheists there are in the world, or in the United States.
In June I posted an article, 54% of Americans Would Vote for an Atheist for President. Doesn't sound like they are persecuted to me.
According to the Gallup survey, Democrats (58 percent) and Independents (56 percent) would be more likely to vote for an atheist if their party nominated one than Republicans (48%) would.
Also, younger people are far more likely than older people to say they would vote for an atheist nominated by their party. Among 18 to 29 year olds, 70 percent say they would vote for an atheist. That falls to 56 percent among 30 to 49 year olds, 48 percent among 50 to 64 year olds, and 40 percent among those 65 or older. (continue reading)