My best friend is a closet atheist posing as a faithful member of the LDS (Mormon) church. He even went on a two year mission to preach what he didn't believe. We live in Salt Lake City, Utah. For those of you that do not know, the church invades every aspect of life it can here. It is engrained in the community, culture, and laws. It has been said that it is social suicide to leave the church, let alone become a baby eating atheist.

He hates religion and god. He has been an atheist most of his life, yet never told anyone except for his extremely religious wife, and recently, me (recently, because up until a couple years ago, I was a devout Mormon myself).

I am trying to help him realize the benefits of being open about his beliefs and leaving the church, but without much luck.

I would appreciate it if you would post your reasons for coming out and/or any ideas, suggestions or thoughts you have.