New Website Documents Anti-Atheist Discrimination Worldwide

Last year, the International Humanist and Ethical Union published “Freedom of Thought 2012: A Global Report on Discrimination Against Humanists, Atheists and the Non-religious” (PDF):

This report shows that atheists, humanists and other nonreligious people are discriminated against by governments across the world. 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, 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.

IHEU has now launched a support site for that report at and they’re also seeking information from people around the world who are subject to systematic, legal discrimination in their country — especially countries that aren’t included in their 2012 report. (If you want to submit something, there’s a secure way to do it.)

This report will become an annual tradition — one that would end soon in an ideal world.

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.

  • Rich Wilson

    Coming in after that report was published is Raif Badawi

    Sentenced in Saudi Arabia to 7 years and 600 lashes (not to be given all at once- that would kill a person).

    Petition here:

  • Keyra

    Compared to the persecution Christians and Jews have endured throughout human history, this is more like elementary school bullying. That’s not to say persecution towards anyone is right, because it isn’t, not ever. But I think it’s high time that New Atheists/Anti-theists (not atheists in general) come to realize they’re no better than the misrepresentative “Christians” who’ve done them (and the world, regardless of faiths & beliefs) wrong in most of their pasts

  • Rich Wilson

    When I first moved to Atlanta I didn’t have a car, so I had to call a cab to get me and my new computer home from the mall. The cabbie was very relieved at the color of my skin, and spent the entire 10 minute drive complaining about how African Americans were getting so full of themselves, and when he was young, they new their place. Of course, he didn’t use African American.

    Nearing our destination he seemed to sense that my silence was stunned, not any kind of agreement, and perhaps hoping to rescue a tip, he ended with “But there’s good and bad in all races”, as if that could erase the previous 10 minutes of racial venom.

    That’s not to say persecution towards anyone is right, because it isn’t, not ever

    You equate people being imprisoned, whipped, and killed for having the temerity to not believe in gods with ‘elementary school bullying’. No matter what any Christian or Jew or anyone else of any other religion has ever faced, it isn’t “elementary school bullying”. And to say that it is is to completely dehumanize the victims.

    How utterly and completely lacking in empathy and compassion can you be? And you claim to be a Christian? That statement is an utter disgrace to the people I know who actually take the sermon on the mount to heart.

  • JohnnieCanuck

    misrepresentative “Christians”

    That would be the ‘No True Christian’ fallacy, wouldn’t it?

    I see lots of high profile Christians complaining about being persecuted when they are criticised for their bigotry.

    Is being forced to live in a country where homosexuals are allowed to get married one of the ways in which you are being persecuted for your Christian ‘values’?

  • DougI

    The religious are much more likely to persecute the religious because they can feel self-righteous and correct about doing so (Atheists have no such luxury, not having a dogma and all). So there’s no reason to blame the Atheists for the persecutions done by the hand of the religious.

    Here’s what you don’t hear about, Atheists persecuting others in the name of Atheism. Given the history of the religious, I highly doubt Atheists, if they did persecute others because of Atheism, it would pale in comparison to what the religious have done.

  • allein

    So, “they did it to us so we get to do it to you”…are you just “paying it forward”?

    When I was in elementary school, other kids made fun of my name. I didn’t get sentenced to whippings and jail.

  • Spuddie

    That’s not to say persecution towards anyone is right, because it isn’t, not ever.

    Except you think those who are being persecuted for being atheists are just whiny in your eyes. Since Christians are among the ones doing the persecuting. That makes them worse.

  • Gary Troughton

    As a former Christian, now an atheist, I can say it is easier to fit in this country as a Christian. But it’s easier to sleep at night as an atheist. I don’t see the bigotry and racism in the atheist community that I observe in the Christian community. We are not waiting to be judged in an afterlife, we know that this is not a dress rehearsal and treat people, animals and the planet as if our life depended on it. You don’t hear of an atheist running for public office not because we are not interested in our government but because the religious people in this country can’t see past the fact that we don’t have faith in a deity. Time after time I have to vote for a person of faith and that’s hard to swallow.

  • phantomreader42

    When christians experience even the mildest criticism, you and your fellow cultists screech at the top of your lungs about how horribly persecuted you are, and whine that it’s yet MORE persecution when everyone else laughs in your face for being so thin-skinned. But when people outside your cult are denied legal rights, discriminated against, falsely imprisoned, and outright MURDERED, you dismiss it as irrelevant.

    YOU and your cult are the ones who need to learn that you’re no better than the people you treat like shit all the time. Until you do, fuck right off.

  • averydashwood

    You can be sentenced to death in at least seven countries for being an atheist. That’s some kind of elementary school bullying.

  • kol53 .

    Atheism as no place in society! They are irrational obviously there are some exceptions, but majority behave in such a manner has inconceivable. Their ideology is disrespect and no Moral grounding to be trusted in any position of authority. If so, discrimination of religion will be subject to extreme levels of intolerance then we face today

  • ProudAtheist

    I’m a senior manager of an international engineering company. I think I have some authority.

    Up yours.