Global Report on Discrimination Against Humanists, Atheists and the Nonreligious

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by Neil Godfrey

IHEU-freedom-report-cover_0From the International Humanist and Ethical Union website: New global report on discrimination against the nonreligious

From the site:

The International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) has produced the first report focusing on how countries around the world discriminate against non-religious people. Freedom of Thought 2012: A Global Report on Discrimination Against Humanists, Atheists and the Non-religious has been published to mark Human Rights Day, Monday 10 December.

Freedom of Thought 2012 covers laws affecting freedom of conscience in 60 countries and lists numerous individual cases where atheists have been prosecuted for their beliefs in 2012. It reports on laws that deny atheists’ right to exist, curtail their freedom of belief and expression, revoke their right to citizenship, restrict their right to marry, 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.

From InformationClearingHouse, citing RT,

The publication of atheist or humanist views is strictly prohibited under blasphemy laws in countries like Bangladesh, Egypt and Indonesia, the report said. . . . . 

The report emphasizes that non-believers are discriminated against even in North American and European nations. In the US, “atheists and the non-religious are made to feel like lesser Americans, or non-Americans.”

And in at least seven US 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 [PDF file, 1.85 MB]



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Neil Godfrey

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  • 2012-12-14 08:33:11 UTC - 08:33 | Permalink

    Arkansas, has a law that bars an atheist from testifying as a witness at a trial.

    True…but that also allows an out for Arkansans who don’t wish to serve on a jury.

    • 2012-12-14 12:33:17 UTC - 12:33 | Permalink

      I only learned recently that it’s possible in parts of the U.S. to be pressured out of a (non-religious) job because of a public stance as an atheist. I have taken our Anti-Discrimination Act in Australia as something of a natural part of the western world. Clearly it’s not.

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