Their beliefs can bring capital punishment in Afghanistan, Iran, Maldives, Mauritania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Sudan.
It isn’t just about religion either. Most of these countries are headed and built on religion so policies are created to accommodate that.
Policies in some European countries and the U.S. favour religious and their organizations over atheists and humanists. The non-believers are essentially treated as outsiders.
The report, “Freedom of Thought 2012,” revealed that “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.”
Some of the laws, “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.”
Many atheists and humanists are forced to lie just to get official documents in order to go to university, receive medical treatment, and travel abroad or drive.
Countries in favour of the religious and their organizations may seem to happen only in developing countries. However, European countries like Greece and England have been known to favour the religious. In Greece and Russia, the Orthodox Church is given a place on state occasions. In England, Britain Bishops of the Church of England automatically get seats in the upper house of parliament.
In the U.S., freedom of religion and speech is protected. However, the report said that “atheists and the non-religious are made to feel like lesser Americans, or non-Americans.”
Seven U.S. states have constitutional provisions in place that bar atheists from public office. Arkansas, for example, has a law that bans an atheist from testifying as a witness in a trial, according to the report.
What do you think of this report? Do you feel that it is true that atheists are made to feel like outsiders?