Group Ranks the Top 10 Best & Worst Countries for Atheists

A secular watchdog group has ranked the best and worst countries for atheists and non-religious people, finding the United States to be among the best, with Islamic regimes making up the worst.

The International Humanist and Ethical Union released on Monday its seventh annual Freedom of Thought Report at the U.N. General Assembly in New York City, which for the first time included national rankings.

“This is a world’s first. For the first time our report will show, with authority and accuracy, the discrimination faced by people around the world because of their nonreligious beliefs. This report paints a dark picture, with significant discrimination faced by our nonreligious friends and colleagues around the world,” said Andrew Copson, president of the IHEU.

“At a time of growing nationalism, we continue to see those who are brave enough to criticize and critique conservative religious leaders demonized as ‘unpatriotic’ and ‘subversive,'” he added.

The rankings included considerations such as the approach to religious freedom by governments, as well as educational, societal, and freedom of expression issues.

Belgium, the Netherlands, and Taiwan shared the No. 1 spot in the Top 10 best countries for nonreligious people list, followed by France, Japan, Nauru, São Tomé and Príncipe, Norway, the United States, and Saint Kitts and Nevis.

(PHOTO: REUTERS)A member of the Saudi religious police warily eyes a woman holding a cell phone inside a mall in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia was identified as the worst country for atheists, followed by Iran, Afghanistan, Maldives, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Mauritania, Malaysia, Sudan, and Brunei.

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Source: Baptist Press