Secular Groups Issue Report on Anti-Atheist Discrimination Around the World

Back in August, five secular organizations — the American Humanist Association, Center for Inquiry, International Humanist and Ethical Union, Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, and Secular Coalition for America — met with the U.S. Department of State’s Office of International Religious Freedom.

At the meeting, they presented a report on instances of anti-atheist discrimination around the world — unfortunately, there are a hell of a lot to choose from — and that report is now available online:

This report will show that atheists, humanists and other freethinkers are discriminated against by governments across the world. Some governments outlaw the very existence of atheists, while others prosecute people who express their religious doubts or dissent regardless of whether those dissenters identify as atheist. More commonly, secular people experience discrimination when they manifest their conscience by acting against the dictates of the religion of their family, community or country.

The hope is that the IRF will include these examples in its Annual Report next year.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • C Peterson

    Discrimination against anti-atheists doesn’t seem like such a bad thing…

  • mints11

    Freedom of religion is supposedly to be protected by laws here in Mexico, however a new law it’s just about to be approved where schools are allowed to teach religion. 

    .Public.Schools. I’m bad at translating things, but basically it’s just a matter of the state congress to be approved as the federal government already gave its O.K.and I wonder if we’ll be in these kind of graphics some day… Is there anyway to attract worldwide attention to this before it happens?

    I have more than enough with our national anthem saying we are all God’s sons…

  • The Other Weirdo

     Discrimination against anti-atheists is not the same thing as anti-atheist discrimination.

    Or, this could have sarchasm and my mind is too blasted by the day’s work to tell the difference. My apologies in that case.

  • Coyotenose

    Queue complaints about how “Christians are persecuted MUCH worse” and “Aren’t they evil and petty to complain about this with all the REAL crimes in the world” in 3…2…1…

    The first of course is nothing but narcissistic penis-measuring. The second amounts to, “How dare you take time to condemn rape when murder still occurs?”

  • mints11

    If anyone is interested on this topic, this is one of the few links I could find in english. 

  • Baal

    Yes, it’s all about the penis.  Please find different metaphors.

  • C Peterson

    Just laughing at the ambiguity of the headline. (I probably would have called it atheist discrimination.)

  • Michael

    Which would sound like atheists were discriminating.

  • Coyotenose


  • C Peterson

     How about discrimination against atheists? No confusion there.

  • Richard Wade

    The report does not describe discrimination against atheists in the United States.  I presume this is because it is supposed to be an “international” report, which in government parlance usually means “everybody but us.”

    The report lists many countries with discriminatory laws, or the flouting of their laws and constitutions in public policy, and incidents of persecution of individual atheists.  Although the severity of many of those things in some of those countries is often far worse than in the U.S., the discrimination here is certainly widespread, and the lesser severity is no reason to ignore or dismiss it.

    I’d like to see a similar domestic report presented to the appropriate U.S. agency or department, but I wonder what department that would be, since I think the State Department deals with “everybody but us.”

  • Kaydenpat

    I hope the State Department pays attention to this report and condemns anti-atheist discrimination just as it condemns anti-religious discrimination.