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 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.