(Washington, DC, Dec. 6, 2016)—The American Humanist Association, a member of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), is proud to share the release of the 2016 Freedom of Thought report, an annual publication that examines global religious freedom for and discrimination against humanists, atheists and other nonreligious communities. This year marks the first time that the report will be released as an interactive, online tool with unique web pages and ratings for each country.
The 2016 Freedom of Thought report emphasizes the threat of growing populism and religious authoritarianism, including in the United States, and its detrimental impact on freedom for nonreligious individuals. The International Humanist and Ethical Union warns that the simplistic nationalism of US president-elect Donald Trump could do serious harm to the rights of humanists, atheists and other nontheistic individuals as well as undermine the humanist values of democracy, liberty and secularism. The report also sharply criticizes Bulgaria, Moldova, Poland and Hungary, as well as other countries, for curbing freedom for the nonreligious as the expense of nationalism and authoritarian religion.
The American Humanist Association contributed to the report and included research on the persecution of humanists, atheists and the nonreligious in the United States. The American Humanist Association will also use the results of the report in its upcoming lobbying work, which will focus on urging the Department of State and Congress to support resolutions decrying blasphemy laws in other countries while also promoting legislation that includes anti-discrimination language to protect the rights of humanists, atheists and other nontheists. The American Humanist Association is also dedicated to protecting the separation of church-state and will oppose any legislation, which Trump has indicated he would support, to repeal the Johnson Amendment, which forbids religious organizations from endorsing political candidates.
The full, interactive, online report is available here.
Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, DC, the American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other nontheistic Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming philosophy of humanism, which—without beliefs in any gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.