Saudi Arabia is the Worst Country in the World for Atheists, Says Report

Oct 29, 2018

By Hemant Mehta

For the seventh straight year, the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) has released its annual “Freedom of Thought Report” describing serious cases of discrimination and persecution against atheists around the world.

This time, they actually ranked every country in the world in terms of discrimination against the non-religious. They looked at how the countries scored in four categories:

Constitution and Government: A bad score would represent “complete tyranny” against freedom of thought, legislation influenced by religion, and non-religious people barred from holding elected office.

Education and Children’s Rights: A bad score would mean religious indoctrination in schools, and religious instruction only coming in “coercive fundamentalist” form.

Family, Community, Society: A bad score means being openly non-religious is “severely persecuted” or met with violence, such violence is essentially permitted by the ruling class, government authorities openly harass or marginalize the non-religious, and non-religious organizations are barred from forming.

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6 comments on “Saudi Arabia is the Worst Country in the World for Atheists, Says Report

  • I tried to read the details, no success. I wonder why Canada placed 124th when the U.S. placed 8th when lots of areas prevent you from running for office when you are an atheist. Canada has no such rule, and atheists are not unwelcome here.



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  • I think this survey places too much emphasis on laws and not enough on the social and cultural reality of living in a country as an atheist. For the USA to be in the top ten when atheists there are reviled to the point that families split up and politicians have to lie about their religiosity to get elected seems unjust. The UK comes 133rd but being an atheist in the UK is a non issue for almost everybody.



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  • Atheism is a non issue for almost everybody in the US, too. Y’all really have to keep in mind the press here is in cahoots with those that seek to stoke divisiveness.
    The reality is that the separation of church and state is an enshrined foundational principle. )Politicians lie about all sorts of things to get elected, religiosity is just one of them).



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