Presenting the Freedom of Thought Report in the European Parliament

I was very pleased to present the Humanists International annual Freedom of Thought Report in the European Parliament with humanist colleagues and the European Parliament First Vice President Othmar Karas today.

The Freedom of Thought Report is an annually updated report into the rights and treatment of humanists, atheists, and non-religious people in every country in the world. It’s an invaluable resource!

Key findings:

  • Only 4% of the global population live in societies that are truly secular, where there is a clear separation of religious and political authorities, that do not discriminate against any religion or belief community. Where there is an absence of state secularism, the non-religious are liable to face the gravest violations of their human rights.
  •  70% of the world’s population live in countries where the expression of humanist values is severely repressed; where the full realization of one’s right to freedom of religion or belief is impossible. The result: harsh penalties for apostasy; a higher likelihood of the perpetuation of harmful traditional practices; religious nationalism entrenching conservative values within society.
  • Through 10 country chapters, this year’s Key Countries edition demonstrates the progressive erasure of the principle of secularism across the globe, and with it a decline in the protection of human rights. On the other hand, the report also exposes how extreme enforcement of so-called “neutrality” in the name of secularism can also impinge on the rights of others.
  • The Report exposes the harmful social and political consequences of both extremes of the spectrum of secularism, supporting the organisation’s assertions that true secularism, which is inclusive of all, “is the best approach to politics and the ordering of states, and that it has proved itself to have greater potential for human freedom, happiness, and equality than all other political settlements in history.

You can find the report here.


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