The Covid-19 pandemic has led to many countries cracking down on humanists’ freedom of thought and expression, with some countries blaming the non-religious for the pandemic, while the restrictions imposed by many others have left closeted humanists trapped with their hostile families. Those are the findings of this year’s Freedom of Thought Report, published today by Humanists International. Humanists UK is writing to the UK Government to alert them to the findings, and to ask them to help.
In many countries it is impossible to be openly non-religious, even in normal times. 13 maintain the death penalty for blasphemy or apostasy, with 42 more jailing people for the offence. In many countries, societal pressure also makes it very difficult or impossible to be openly humanist, with humanists being murdered in some parts of the world, even where blasphemy doesn’t come with the death penalty.