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Atheists Face Discrimination And Persecution According To Report

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http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/10/15814394-like-lesser-americans-atheists-face-discrimination-persecution-report-says

'Like lesser Americans': Atheists face discrimination, persecution, report says

GENEVA -- Atheists and other religious skeptics suffer persecution or discrimination in many parts of the world and in at least seven countries can be executed if their beliefs become known, according to a report issued Monday.

The study, from the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), showed that "unbelievers" in Islamic countries face the most severe -- sometimes brutal -- treatment at the hands of the state and adherents of the official religion.

But it also points to policies in some European countries and the United States that favor the religious and their organizations and treat atheists and humanists as outsiders.

The report, "Freedom of Thought 2012," said "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."


Other 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."

In the United States, for example, where freedom of religion and speech is protected, a social and political climate prevails "in which atheists and the non-religious are made to feel like lesser Americans, or non-Americans," the report said.

In at least seven U.S. states, constitutional provisions are in place that bar atheists from public office and one state, Arkansas, has a law that bars atheists from testifying as witnesses at trials, the report said.

Atheist billboard hits snag in Hasidic neighborhood

"It is often not the case that when people hear of freedom of religion they interpret that in terms of the non-religious too," Bob Churchill, a spokesperson for IHEU, told NBC News. "This report shows clearly how people who mildly criticize religion may go on to suffer months or years in jail, even awaiting a death sentence."

The report was welcomed by Heiner Bielefeldt, U.N. special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, who said in a brief introduction there was little awareness that atheists were covered by global human rights agreements.

The IHEU -- which links more than 120 humanist, atheist and secular organizations in more than 40 countries -- said it was issuing the report to mark the U.N.'s Human Rights Day on Monday.

According to its survey of some 60 countries, the seven where expression of atheist views or defection from the official religion can bring capital punishment are Afghanistan, Iran, Maldives, Mauritania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Sudan.

Forced to lie
The 70-page report lists no recent cases of actual execution for "atheism" -- but researchers say the offence is often subsumed into other charges.

Atheists bill big names for 'coming out' party in the capital

In a range of other countries -- such as Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Kuwait and Jordan -- publication of atheist or humanist views on religion are totally banned or strictly limited under laws prohibiting "blasphemy."

In many of these countries, and others like Malaysia, citizens have to register as adherents of a small number officially-recognized religions -- which normally include no more than Christianity and Judaism as well as Islam.

Atheists and humanists are thereby forced to lie to obtain their official documents without which it is impossible to go to university, receive medical treatment, travel abroad or drive.

In Europe, sub-Saharan Africa and Latin and North America, countries which identify themselves as secular give privileges to or favor Christian churches in providing education and other public services, the IHEU said.

In Greece and Russia, the Orthodox Church is fiercely protected from criticism and is given pride of place on state occasions, while in Britain bishops of the Church of England have automatic seats in the upper house of parliament.

by on Dec. 10, 2012 at 7:49 AM
Replies (41-50):
romalove
by Roma on Dec. 10, 2012 at 9:52 AM


Quoting catchup29:

Quoting romalove:




Funny, I am Jewish, baptistized Greek Orthodox from my father, and when I became an adult, I went to southern baptist. None of it made sense to me. I am spirt liyuan and tend to go the Pagan path. So we actually celebrate Xmas, haunaka, and Yule.

Well Happy Holidays to you!

All of them!  LOL

catchup29
by on Dec. 10, 2012 at 9:57 AM
1 mom liked this
Quoting romalove:




Thank you! You also!
Bookwormy
by Platinum Member on Dec. 10, 2012 at 10:34 AM
1 mom liked this
We'll never know. Is that how one excuses the Holocaust as well? And the Spanish Inquisition? SMH...

Meanwhile, here in the US, how many states don't allow Christians to hold office? I believe by percentage, more persecution against athiests than Christians in the US has & is occuring. In fact, I believe that this is true about every minority faith as well vs Christians in the US.


Quoting candlegal:

I wonder if as many athiests have been killed for their lack of religion as Christians have been for theirs?

Quoting romalove:

I thought I might put some perspective here for those who like to cry "persecution"....



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ashellbell
by shellbark on Dec. 10, 2012 at 11:01 AM
This is a very interesting article. It's not surprising. It's also not surprising that some just don't care.
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romalove
by Roma on Dec. 10, 2012 at 11:02 AM
2 moms liked this


Quoting ashellbell:

This is a very interesting article. It's not surprising. It's also not surprising that some just don't care.

Most don't care.

There are more important things than atheists being denied ability to serve in government in America.

After all, somewhere there is someone trying to remove a Nativity from the municipal complex, or saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas.

p1r4t3cr0pc1rcl
by on Dec. 10, 2012 at 11:08 AM
1 mom liked this
Roman Catholic Crusades...
Many were killed,because they did not believe.
When a non believer got away, villages would be killed based on the idea that'god knows his people'.
So yes, just as many have died.
Recently, there may not be reports but I am sure there have been cases.


Quoting candlegal:

I wonder if as many athiests have been killed for their lack of religion as Christians have been for theirs?

Quoting romalove:

I thought I might put some perspective here for those who like to cry "persecution"....


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tooptimistic
by Kelly on Dec. 10, 2012 at 11:14 AM

The billboards are a little offensive. 

If you are Muslim, you don't believe your religion is a myth, so telling them how they believe is a myth is setting out to offend.  The sign falls under free speech, and if you pay for the billboard they willl put whatever you want on it, but it looks like a more positive message would be better pr.  Not really the best way to gain acceptance and understanding.

Why a negative message, why not a more positive one.  I don't care what religion someone else is, my beliefs my business.. You beliefs your business.  I

ts hard to have a positive  image when everything you hear about a group  is negative.. the atheist group is suing again, the atheist group tried to stop a graduation speech, the atheist group is putting up negative billboard.  JMO, but maybe they would get more respect if they were a little more positive.  Its offensive to call others beliefs a myth or a fairy tale or a lie. They need a better PR campaign.

AlekD
by Gold Member on Dec. 10, 2012 at 11:16 AM
2 moms liked this

It is illegal in America to discriminate based on religion. So, the only persecution of atheists in the US is that they feel like people don't like them? Boohoo. 

Obviously, we can't control what other countries do, but for the record in most places where it is illegal to be an atheist it is also illegal to be a Christian.

Everyone is persecuted somewhere. Put your big girl panties on and deal with it.


edit: I mean, anecdotally I can tell you that, as an American who has been on both sides of the Christian/non-Christian issue, I have endured WAY more harrassment and harsh criticism as a Catholic. As an eclectic Witch for 8+ years I think I had a grand total of two rude comments. I have has easily 3 times as many harrasing and outright rude slurs thrown at me in the year I have been a baptized Catholic. Atheists and people in non abrahamic faiths are pretty much the "cool people" in America now and it's fair game to bully Christians.

romalove
by Roma on Dec. 10, 2012 at 11:18 AM


Quoting tooptimistic:

The billboards are a little offensive. 

If you are Muslim, you don't believe your religion is a myth.  So saying now you its a myth is trying to offend.

Why a negative message, why not a more positive one.  I don't care what religion someone else is, my beliefs my business.. You beliefs your business.  I

ts hard to have a positive  image when everything you hear about a group  is negative.. the atheist group is suing again, the atheist group tried to stop a graduation speech, the atheist group is putting up negative billboard.  JMO, but maybe they would get more respect if they were a little more positive.  Its offensive to call others beliefs a myth or a fairy tale or a lie. They need a better PR campaign.

Maybe the Christians need a better campaign, too.

In another "very popular" group on CM, there's a post asking about going to heaven or hell.

The OP, who states she is a Christian, starts off by announcing she isn't hateful and doesn't hate anyone.

Why would she do that if the Christians had good PR?

p.s.  This post isn't about the billboards but about the persecution atheists face all over the world, every day, including in America where in some states they can't testify or be part of government and be "out" atheists.

romalove
by Roma on Dec. 10, 2012 at 11:19 AM
1 mom liked this


Quoting AlekD:

It is illegal in America to discriminate based on religion. So, the only persecution of atheists in the US is that they feel like people don't like them? Boohoo. 

Obviously, we can't control what other countries do, but for the record in most places where it is illegal to be an atheist it is also illegal to be a Christian.

Everyone is persecuted somewhere. Put your big girl panties on and deal with it.

Maybe you missed the GIANT posts put up by ihartu in this thread indicating where in America you can't hold office and be atheist.


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