Across the globe, many minority religious groups have been living in fear because they are ridiculed for their spiritual beliefs. But atheists, those who are confused by religion and do not abide by any spiritual beliefs, have been given freedom from religious persecution.
President Obama signed a bill last month to amend the Frank Wolf International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, often referred to as IRFA. The bill now includes non-theists, atheists, and humanists. When IRFA was created, it established rules to report any abuses of religious freedom that happened throughout the world. With the new amendment, the bill will now outlaw the specific targeting of atheist groups because of their beliefs.
In America, 13 states have laws that prohibit an athiest from holding a public office. In addition, throughout the world, there are 13 countries where athiests are denied the right to marry, outlawed, or killed because of thier lack of spirituality.
The International Humanist and Ethical Union states that athiests in Islamic countries can often face extremely brutal treamtent from the government for not conforming to spiritual norms. The American Humanist Association has applauded Obama’s efforts to protect those who choose not to believe in a higher power. The association has spent four years lobbying for a change in policy and are proud that history has been made as a result of the amendment being signed.