Nonbelievers in religion persecuted, executed worldwide under barbaric blasphemy laws

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“Nearly half (47%) of the countries and territories in the world have laws or policies that penalize blasphemy, apostasy (abandoning one’s faith) or defamation.”

47% – Laws Against Blasphemy, Apostasy and Defamation of Religion Are Widespread

…Laws against defamation of religion were far more common worldwide than laws against blasphemy and apostasy. They were most prevalent in Europe, where 36 of the region’s 45 countries (80%) had such laws or policies in 2011. In most of these countries, these laws tended to penalize religious hate speech rather than defamation of religion.

Anti-blasphemy laws are particularly common in the Middle East and North Africa; 13 of the 20 countries in that region (65%) make blasphemy a crime. In the Asia-Pacific region, nine of the 50 countries (18%) had anti-blasphemy laws in 2011, while in Europe such laws were found in eight out of 45 countries (18%).

Measures against apostasy were in effect in more than half the countries in the Middle East-North Africa region (11 of 20, or 55%) as well as in five of the 50 countries in the Asia-Pacific region (10%) and four of the 48 countries in sub-Saharan Africa (8%).

“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.'”

Atheists around world suffer persecution, discrimination

GENEVA (Reuters) – Atheists and other religious skeptics suffer persecution or discrimination in many parts of the world and in at least seven nations can be executed if their beliefs become known, according to a report issued on 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 which 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.'”

The report was welcomed by Heiner Bielefeldt, United Nations 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 over 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.

The 70-page report lists no recent cases of actual execution for “atheism” — but researchers say the offence is often subsumed into other charges.

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 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.

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

“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 an atheist from testifying as a witness at a trial, the report said.”

Further Reading

IHEU report highlights discrimination against atheists
Study: Atheists Most Discriminated Minority
Proper Definition & Meaning of ‘Atheist’
Why I Am a Mythicist
The Mythicist Challenge Petition

11 Comments

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  1. Do you want make equality between Believers & Atheists?
    So See this, in China, were Jewish communism is the actual belief”:

    Human Fetus Eating in China,
    For those who don’t believe the Chinese eat aborted fetus:
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    Chinese dispose of live baby in a toilet
    101 East: China’s dirty secrets
    Husband of Forced Abortion Victim Possibly Detained
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    Baby Soup
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    Abortion Clinics Sell Your Dead Baby; pregnant mother beware. The abortion clinic sells your babies body organs for cold hard cash. The parts are used for cosmetics vaccines & research
    http://www.neocutis.com/modules.php?modid=2

    Abortion – THE EASY WAY OUT (ISLAM FORBIDS ABORTION)
    Knowledge about “Islam and Muslim people” can change your life to better way and will help you to learn more about Allah! (GOD)
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    All these “thanks” to “Jews” who circulate all that harms non-Jewish communities, here: communism

  2. Blasphemy / Obedience
    Those who support blasphemy laws demand to be obeyed.

    They live in the Biblical God’s image as they are authority-worshipping tyrants.

  3. It’s rather shocking that so many people worldwide continue defending religion and spouting nonsense about how “beautiful” and “fair” and “necessary” religion supposedly is, when religion is in fact the major justification for bigotry of all kinds.

    I can only hope that one day the world one day manages to grow up and cast aside religion. Sadly, it does not seem that such a day is gonna be coming in my lifetime.

    1. I would disagree with the statement that religion is unnecessary.
      Religion gives us something to fall back against in hard time. Of course disscrimination for not believing is bad but i feel that religion should still exist but where all religions can live side by side.

  4. Yep …
    Blasphemy, right up there with bleeding with leeches, trepanning, exorcism, dousing witches, casting spells, bloodletting, hot irons, ice water showers/baths, large doses of Mercury, etc.

    Designed for nothing but to keep clergy in business.

  5. However, this is a very serious issue …
    Islamists worldwide, primarily the OIC, are incessantly whining and screeching for criminalization of “blasphemy” through the UN. How would you like for Federal Marshalls, the FBI, Interpol, whatever, to show up on your doorstep and arrest you because some scumbag imam in some Islamic hell hole read something you wrote on the Internet and convinced one of his rich Saudi buddies to use his influence to prosecute you: arrest you here in the US, extradite you to the Islamic hell hole to be prosecuted by a sharia court? It could happen if we don’t wake up. Yes, Virginia, there is a bogey man and his name is Mohammed.

  6. Here is information that is a bit off-topic but has to do with the Koran’s verses:

    Great article,it has information I never knew.A strange religion where money is used to produce to entice people to a religion.Here is information of a different sort:

    “The Claim that Sundiata(circa 1217-died circa 1255),Founder of the Mali Empire in West Africa,was a Muslim,is False”

    http://www.antisharia.com/2012/12/21/the-claim-that-sundiatacirca-1217-died-circa-1255founder-of-the-mali-empire-in-west-africawas-a-muslimis-false/ ([url]http://www.antisharia.com/2012/12/21/the-claim-that-sundiatacirca-1217-died-circa-1255founder-of-the-mali-empire-in-west-africawas-a-muslimis-false/[/url])

    AND ALSO

    “Great Blunder by Muslim Intellectual Fareed Zakaria in an Interview with Sharukh Khan”

    http://www.antisharia.com/2011/08/06/great-blunder-by-muslim-intellectual-fareed-zakaria-in-an-interview-with-sharukh-khan/ ([url]http://www.antisharia.com/2011/08/06/great-blunder-by-muslim-intellectual-fareed-zakaria-in-an-interview-with-sharukh-khan/[/url])

  7. U.N. told atheists face discrimination around globe ([url]http://in.reuters.com/article/2013/02/25/us-rights-atheists-idINBRE91O0Z920130225[/url])

    GENEVA | Tue Feb 26, 2013

    “(Reuters) – Atheists, humanists and freethinkers face widespread discrimination around the world with expression of their views criminalized and subject in some countries to capital punishment, the United Nations was told on Monday.

    In a document for consideration by the world body’s Human Rights Council, a global organization linking people who reject religion said atheism was banned by law in a number of states where people were forced to officially adopt a faith.

    “Extensive discrimination by governments against atheists, humanists and the non-religious occurs worldwide,” declared the grouping, the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) which has some 120 member bodies in 45 countries.

    In Afghanistan, Iran, Maldives, Mauritania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Sudan “atheists can face the death penalty on the grounds of their belief” although this was in violation of U.N. human rights accords, the IHEU said.

    Further, in several others legal measures “effectively criminalize atheism (and) the expression and manifestation of atheist beliefs” or lead to systematic discrimination against freethinkers, the document declared.

    It was submitted to the rights council as it opened its annual Spring session against a background of new efforts in the U.N. by Muslim countries to obtain a world ban on denigration of religion, especially what they call “Islamophobia”.

    Three of the states with legislation providing for death for blasphemy against Islam, a charge which can be applied to atheists who publicly reveal their ideas, are on the council – Pakistan, Mauritania and Maldives.

    Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told the council on Monday there was a “rising trend” of Islamophobia, adding: “We condemn all sorts of incitement to hatred and religious discrimination against Muslims and people of other faiths.”

    OIC WANTS ACTION

    And earlier this month a top official of the 57-nation Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) said the body would be focusing on getting agreement on criminalizing denigration of religion in coming talks with Western countries.

    In November last year, the head of the 21-country Arab League told the U.N. Security Council in New York his organisation wanted a binding international framework to ensure “that religious faith and its symbols are respected”.

    The IHEU, and other non-governmental rights groupings, argue that many Muslim governments use this terminology and the concept of “religious blasphemy” within their own countries to cow both atheists and followers of other religions.

    A number of these governments “prosecute people who express their religious doubt or dissent, regardless of whether those dissenters identify as atheist”, the IHEU document submitted to the rights council said.

    Islamic countries – including Bangladesh, Bahrain, Egypt, Indonesia, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Turkey – had also stepped up prosecution of “blasphemous” expression of criticism of religion in social media like Facebook and Twitter.

    OIC countries have 15 seats on the council, all from Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and make up just less than one third of the rights body.”

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