10 December 2012, 15:55

Atheists do not feel safe anywhere in the world – report

Atheists do not feel safe anywhere in the world – report

Freedom of conscience is being violated in many countries all over the globe, from the Christian West to the Islamic Middle East. Numerous cases of discrimination and persecution are reported in the just released 69-page study “Freedom of Thought 2012: A Global Report on Discrimination Against Humanists, Atheists and the Nonreligious”.

According to the report prepared by the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), Islamic countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan are the places where atheists face some of the worst discrimination, including capital punishment.

In many countries people have to be registered members of some officially recognized religion if they want to receive medical services, drive, attend university or travel abroad. Non-believers are forced to lie.

Non-believers won’t feel much safer in North America or Europe, the report claims.

In seven US states atheists are barred from public office by constitutional provisions. In Arkansas there is “a law that bars an atheist from testifying as a witness at a trial.”

In Canada Catholic schools receive funding from the state, while other religious schools do not.

In Britain children are turned away from local state-funded schools because of their parents’ religious beliefs.

In Poland Dorota Rabczewska, a musician, was fined $1,450 for ‘offending religious feelings’ when she said in a 2012 interview that the Bible is full of “unbelievable tales.”

The report was praised by Heiner Bielefedt, the UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Religion or Belief, who reminded that international human rights protections apply as much to atheists and religious skeptics, as they do to other groups.

Voice of Russia, RT

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