U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom: Atheism Not a “Criminal Act”

December 18, 2012

From the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom:

Did you know …that in the case of imprisoned Indonesian atheist Alexander Aan, the freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief also protects the right not to believe?

Both the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Article 18) support the freedom of an individual or community to publically manifest a religion or belief, to change religions or not to follow any religion. As atheism is a form of belief, atheists enjoy protection under international law. Indonesia ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in 2006, though the world’s most populous Islamic country officially recognizes only six religions (Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Catholicism, and Protestantism) and has a 1965 law that outlaws blasphemy and the dissemination of atheism.

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