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Washington, DC, November 16, 2021 – Today, the American Humanist Association (AHA) is proud to host the global launch event for the release of the 2021 Freedom of Thought Report, authored and published each year by Humanists International. This marks the 10th anniversary of the report, which tracks the rights and treatment of nonreligious people and humanists around the world.

“Humanists International is proud to be working alongside our founding US member, AHA, to host the global launch of the 2021 Freedom of Thought Report. This event will be an important opportunity to highlight the gross violations of human rights which are experienced by humanists, and other non-religious people, around the world,” comments Andrew Copson, President of Humanists International. “We look forward to building alliances and forging new partnerships with all parties who are, like us, committed to freedom of religion or belief.”

“It is a privilege for the AHA to be able to host the global launch of the 2021 Freedom of Thought Report which advances important research on the persecution of humanists, atheists, and the nonreligious,” said Sunil Panikkath, AHA President. “Policy making works best when it is evidence-based, and the findings in this report provide crucial facts to inform policies as government entities and organizations assist those experiencing harm due to their choice not to be religious.”

The 2021 Freedom of Thought report details the risks faced by nonreligious individuals around the world. The focus is on state-imposed discrimination, defined as systemic, legal, or official forms of restrictions on freedom of thought, belief, and expression. 

The report sharply criticizes Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, as well as other countries, for grave violations against the rights of nonreligious people, including the enforcement of blasphemy laws, religious or ideological indoctrination in schools, and more. The 2021 report includes consideration of recent developments in Myanmar and Uruguay as well.

“We owe thanks to the American Humanist Association for highlighting this landmark report on the trampling of the rights of nonreligious people all over the world,” said Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-8), an honorary chair of today’s virtual launch event. “The Freedom of Thought Report provides critical information about government repression, social intolerance, and pervasive discrimination against non-believers. This shocking inventory of outrages tells the world how theocratic states and runaway religious power threaten the essential civil liberties of people everywhere.”

The AHA will host the global launch of Humanists International’s 2021 Freedom of Thought report, celebrating with a virtual event today, November 16th, 2021, at 12:30 pm Eastern Time. Speakers include Congressman Raskin, USCIRF Commissioner Anurima Bhargava, director of the International Religious Freedom Office of the State Department Dan Nadel, founder of Aware Girls Gulalai Ismail, and Humanists International president Andrew Copson.

Register to attend the virtual launch of the report here.

The report can be accessed here.

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 worldview of humanism, which—without beliefs in gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.