An International Group representing atheists, humanists, and freethinkers told the United Nations yesterday that they face widespread discrimination around the world. In fact, according to them, when they express their views, they are treated as criminals in some countries, and even subject to to capital punishment.
The group presented a document to the UN’s human Rights Council that claims atheism has been banned by law in a number of countries where people were forced to officially adopt a faith.
According to Reuters News Service on Yahoo.com…
“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.”
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.
Notice that Christian countries are not mentioned by this group?
…there are currently 2.18 billion Christians in more than 200 countries around the world, representing nearly a third of the estimated 6.9 billion global population in 2010.
The study, conducted by the US-based Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, found Christians to be so geographically widespread that no single continent or region can indisputably claim to be the centre of global Christianity.
The study, Global Christianity: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World’s Christian Population, cites that 100 years ago, two-thirds of the world’s Christians lived in Europe but today only about a quarter of all Christians live there.
More than one-third of Christians live in the Americas; about a quarter live in sub-Saharan Africa and 13 percent live in Asia and the Pacific.
The data indicates that during the past 100 years, the number of Christians around the world has more than tripled from historical estimates of approximately 600 million in 1910 to more than 2 billion today.
But the world’s overall population has also risen rapidly, from an estimated 1.8 billion in 1910 to 6.9 billion in 2010. As a result, Christians make up about the same portion of the world’s population in 2010 (32 percent) as they did a century ago (35 percent).
The study also reveals that although Europe and the Americas are still home to a majority (63 percent) of the world’s Christians, that share is much lower than it was in 1910 when it was 93 percent. In the past 100 years, the number of Christians grew significantly in sub-Saharan Africa and the Asia-Pacific region.
In 2012, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (GCTS) reported that globally every day there are 800 less atheists per day, 1,100 less non-religious (agnostic) people per day and 83,000 more people professing to be Christians per day.
In 2011, the American Spectator declared concerning research published in the International Bulletin of Missionary Research:
“The report estimates about 80,000 new Christians every day, 79,000 new Muslims every day, and 300 fewer atheists every day. These atheists are presumably disproportionately represented in the West, while religion is thriving in the Global South, where charismatic Christianity is exploding.”
Christians are being martyred for their faith every day.
According to deseretnews.com, in an article posted 9/2/11,,
On average, a Christian is martyred every five minutes — killed because of their faith.
Zenit.org and CatholicCulture.org reported on a presentation by Massimo Introvigne of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe that he gave in this summer at the “International Conference on Inter-religious dialogue between Christians, Jews and Muslims.”
Introvigne told the conference gathered near Budapest the number of Christians killed every year for their faith is about 105,000. And these are only those who were put to death because they were Christians. It does not include those killed as victims of war.
“If these numbers are not cried out to the world, if this slaughter is not stopped, if it is not acknowledged that the persecution of Christians is the first worldwide emergency in the matter of violence and religious discrimination, the dialogue between religions will only produce beautiful conferences but no concrete results,” Introvigne said according to Zenit.org.
Introvigne wrote an article for the Center for Studies on New Religions website that explained more behind the numbers. The statistics came from the late David B. Barrett and the Center for Study of Global Christianity.
Barrett and Todd M. Johnson said from AD 30 to 2000, 70 million Christians died as martyrs. The majority of those martyrs were not in ancient times. There were 45 million Christian martyrs in the 20th century. Introvigne emphasized these figures “exclude those killed for national, ethnic or political reasons who just happened to be Christian but were not killed because of their being Christian.”
Barrett and Johnson’s figures attribute 31.6 million of those 70 million Christian martyrs to atheist persecutors. Muslims killed another 9.1 million Christians.
When is the United Nations going to do something about the persecution of Christians throughout the world?
History shows that believers faced death at the hands of both Muslims and atheists.
Unfortunately for the “free thinkers” living in Muslim-dominated countries, Islam does not teach forgiveness and compassion. Their faith teaches conversion and obedience…and death to the infidels.
Until He Comes,