Atheists around the world face discrimination, and even death in some countries, according to a new study.
The study Tuesday from the International Humanist and Ethical Union, a global atheist organization, surveyed 192 nations and found that “the overwhelming majority of countries fail to respect the rights of atheists and freethinkers although they have signed UN agreements to treat all citizens equally,” IHEU President Sonja Eggerickx said.
In 13 countries, many of which are Muslim, such as Iran and Qatar, individuals who openly hold atheist views or reject the official religion of Islam face the penalty of death, according to the report.
The report also said that atheists faced systematic or severe discrimination across the 27-nation European Union, where blasphemy laws in countries such as Germany and Greece mean individuals could face up to three years in prison for offending religious believers.
The United States was “mostly satisfactory” in maintaining legal respect for atheists’ rights, according to the study, while countries including Jamaica, Uruguay and the Netherlands were described as “free and equal” in their treatment of atheists.