The Less Than 1%: How Uganda’s Atheists Are Fighting Back

In many countries around the world, religious groups are pushing for conservative social policies and retaining their grip on society by dominating the public discourse and provision of social services. In Uganda, an extraordinarily religious country, the small but vocal atheist movement is pushing back — hard.

Although Ugandan law guarantees religious freedom, the reality is more complex. A 2010 Pew survey found that 99% of survey respondents in Uganda identified as religious, with 86% of them identifying as Christian and 13% as Muslim. That leaves 1% of the population to represent minority faiths (including Hinduism, African traditional belief systems, Baha’i, etc) — and the non-religious. It’s worth noting that the religious population in Uganda is also, well, religious, with 86% of respondents indicating that religion is “very important” in their lives, 82% attending religious services weekly, and 71% of Christians and 74% of Muslims stating that their holy books are the literal word of God.

This is no mere Sunday Christianity: it infuses every aspect of people’s lives.

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