World’s most dangerous religion: Atheists face worldwide persecution – report
Published: 10 December, 2012, 15:03
From the Christian West to the Islamic Middle East, atheists face discrimination and persecution including execution, life in prison, the revocation of citizenship and the denial of education and medical services, a new report has revealed.
A 69-page study titled ‘Freedom of Thought 2012: A Global Report on Discrimination Against... has been released by the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU).
The report covers laws affecting freedom of conscience in 60 countries, and lists numerous individual cases where atheists were persecuted for their beliefs.
The report cited discriminatory laws that deny atheists the “right to exist, curtail their freedom of belief and expression, revoke their right to citizenship [and] restrict their right to marry.”
Other laws include “obstructing access to public education, prohibiting them from holding public office, preventing them from working for the state, criminalizing their criticism of religion, and executing them for leaving the religion of their parents.”
The report argues that atheists in Islamic countries – such as Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan – face some of the worst discrimination, including capital punishment. The study did not list specific recent executions, but claimed that capital punishment was often shifted into life imprisonment sentences, as in Afghanistan.