The right to apostasy in the world
The right to Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) is a fundamental right of every human being. As stated in article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, FoRB “includes freedom to change his religion or belief”, which includes in turn the right to leave religion entirely and the right to freely identify with whatever label fits for the individual – including atheist, humanist, agnostic, etc.
However, in 12 countries around the world “apostasy”, which is the act of leaving religion, is punishable by death.These countries are: Afghanistan, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, Yemen.
In at least a further 7 countries, apostasy is punishable with a prison sentence: Bahrain, Brunei Darussalam, Comoros, Gambia, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman....
And try being irreligious in a place like Egypt. Authorities tolerate it from tourists but they are oppressive countries to live in.
The language gets me: apostasy, atheist, boko harem, sacred, 'converted to', Allah akbar, kosher, Holy Ghost, 'Christian name' instead of first name, prayer not incantation, "belief system"... the blurb babbles on.
Religions are nothing more than giant, superstitious cults who think some mythologies are "theologies".
One thing is lost with the absence of religion - the pastor. He (it was always a man and sometimes celibate) was a figure that served the communities' counselling needs. Someone who was always there. It may have been harder to have 'beds in sheds' and certain other problems with him around. Local authority volunteer services and the NHS often fill the gap, but without him there could be a need for some sort of community counsellor to ensure nobody is lonely or feeling unconnected. He had people's trust although that was sometimes misplaced considering the RC child abuse scandals. An elected or appointed professional for each few hundred households might be a project for the new Minister for Loneliness...