The 2018 edition of the Freedom of Thought Report

Today we are launching the seventh annual edition of The Freedom of Thought Report.

This website is the “Online Edition” of the Report. It contains the most up to date entries for every country in the world. Use the map on the front of this site or visit the Country Index to find the country chapters.

This year we have also produced a new ranking system based on the boundary conditions applied to each country. On this site you can explore the full ranking index and learn more about it in the Editorial Introduction to the 2018 edition.

The ranking system is by no means a perfect representation of the facts: in particular as we point out in the Editorial and on the ranking pages itself, our boundary conditions focus on verifiable statements such as the existence or otherwise of particular laws; the rankings cannot capture the full experience of non-religious people, and all the societal factors (both liberating and discriminating) that may be at play in a given country. In part this reflects a lack of wide-angle social research on the non-religious, the difficulties in measuring the non-religious demographic in many states, and in the case of some countries the difficulty that non-religious people have in speaking about their experiences at all.

As the president of the IHEU, Andrew Copson, writes in this year’s Preface:

We hope that this Report contributes to the recognition of injustices perpetrated against humanists and the non-religious around the world. We hope it shines a light on the discrimination and persecution that is often inherent in the law. We hope that lawmakers will be moved to reform. We hope also that humanists, and non-religious people generally, especially those who suffer most under a blanket of denial and taboo and accusation, will know that there are others who care, who understand, who recognize their marginalization and persecution, and who want to see them free to be and express who they are.

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