HOUSTON (CBS Houston) — A new report has found that atheists are being discriminated against and executed worldwide for not believing in a god.
The International Humanist and Ethical Union conducted the 70-page report among 60 countries and found that “unbelievers” face brutal treatment, especially in Islamic countries, if they are skeptical of the country’s official religion, according to Reuters.
“This report shows that atheists, humanists and other nonreligious people are discriminated against by governments across the world,” “The Freedom of Thought 2012” report stated. “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, 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.”
According to the report, there are even laws in the United States that are discriminatory against atheists.
Arkansas, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas have constitutional provisions in place that bar atheists from holding public office. There is another law in Arkansas that bars atheists from testifying during a trial.
“The prevailing social prejudice against the non-religious reinforces, and is reinforced, by the political support for religious, especially Christian, privilege,” the report stated. “While there is some legal remedy for clear religious discrimination by the government, it can often go unchallenged in situations where it is personally disadvantageous or even hazardous to take a stand against authority.”
The report found that many Islamic countries will charge atheists and humanists with “blasphemy” if they share their views with the public. Execution was found to be used in Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Sudan.