Atheists in the World’s Most Religious Country Just Hosted an International Humanism Conference

Back in August, WIN-Gallup International released a global survey on religiosity and found that Ghana ranked as the most religious country in the world:

So you have to give a lot of credit to the Humanist Association of Ghana for fighting a *very* uphill battle.

Members of the Ghana Freethinkers

At least they’re getting some decent recognition for an international conference they held this past weekend:

Last weekend, the association hosted humanists from across the region for a conference in the capital Accra, where attendees listened as speakers discussed the impact humanists could make on West African society. Lecturers talked about how humanists can stand up for gay and lesbian rights and against traditional practices like witch hunts. One talk dealt with whether humanism is compatible with belief in God.

“The humanist movement isn’t really about converting anybody or forcing anyone to think a certain way,” says Monika Mould, a member of the group. “It’s just about giving people a way to say, ‘I can make my own decisions and I can think my own thoughts.’”

“We live in a country where unlike the western world, even financial institutions open business daily with prayer. Parliament opens daily with prayer,” Mr. [Kwabena] Asamoah-Gyadu says. “If you are a humanist and you are in such a society, it’s very difficult.”

Though Ghana has recently posted impressive growth rates based on exports of cocoa, gold, and oil, much of the country is still impoverished and underdeveloped.

“We pray for everything, and if there’s a god out there that’s listening to us, we should be the most developed,” [Amanor] Apenkro says. “The people who don’t pray at all, or pray the least… seem to be far ahead of us.”

Sometimes, you just need to plant that seed. It starts with a small group of rational thinkers and it spreads from there.

(Thanks to Rike for the link!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • 0xabad1dea

    Wait… where’s the Vatican on this list?

    • Raising_Rlyeh

      That’s what I thought as well. The title made me think “How the hell did they pull this off at Vatican City?”

      • HughInAz

        It’s kind of a scam that the vatican is considered a country. It only goes back to the Lateran Treaty which the pope signed with Mussolini in 1929.

        • Raising_Rlyeh

          I consider them more of a city state anyway as if they were an actual country they would have their own military. 

          • David

            Well, they do have the Swiss Guards, who are fully equipped.  

  • Greg Gay

    A group opened a church recently on the route I drive home from work. I just barely saw the sign the first time I went by and thought it said “Church of Gehenna”. The second time I looked sooner and saw it was “Church of Ghana.”

    I liked the black t-shirt in the middle.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

    brave! you’ve got my utmost respect, FoGers.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

    brave! you’ve got my utmost respect, FoGers.

  • bembol

    The Philippines, if it was included, would rank as number one religious country

  • Ebou Sohna (Mr.)

    Keep it up it is ideal and realistic to work on books like this now and in the future.
    From Ebou Sohna – Gambia , West Africa


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