It’s often said that the world is becoming an increasingly secular place. Just last week David Cameron sparked backlash when he used his Easter message to describe the UK as “a Christian country”. Critics pointed out that just 30 per cent of people in the UK describe themselves as religious, making Britain one of the least religious countries in the world. 53 per cent of people say they have no faith, while 13 per cent claim they are committed atheists.
However, despite the prevalance of atheism and humanism in the UK, many may be surprised to know that having no faith can be a life or death matter around the world. In thirteen countries, you can be sentenced to death for not having a faith:
9. Saudi Arabia
12. United Arab Emirates
In a number of other countries, the death penalty is not a formal punishment on statute books but atheists and humanists have been murdered by religious extremists on account of their beliefs.
In countries including India and Bangladesh, police have been accused of condoning these murders by failing to investigate them properly. At least three atheist bloggers have been hacked to death in Bangladesh after penning posts advocating that scientific proof should inform opinion above religious beliefs.