Freedom of thought report 2023

Humanists International launch the Freedom of Thought Report 2023

Today, Humanists International launch the Freedom of Thought Report 2023, now it its 12th annual edition


The Report examines the legal and human rights situation for humanists, atheists and the non-religious around the world. Introducing this year’s report, President of Humanists International, Andrew Copson, stated:

“In a time when the very foundations of democracy are being challenged across our world, it is crucial to recognize the role humanists play in defending and revitalizing democratic institutions. Humanists are not mere observers; we are active participants in the democratic process, striving to ensure that the voices of reason and compassion are heard. Our commitment to evidence-based decision-making, equality, and the protection of human rights spurs us to contribute meaningfully to the fight against democratic backsliding and provide us with a strong ethical and intellectual platform from which to do so.”

The Report shows that humanists are on the front line of democracies globally, and finds that humanists are discriminated against in 186 countries across the world. The discrimination is a combination of the following:

  • Government figures or state agencies openly marginalize, harass, or incite hatred or violence against the non-religious in 11 countries;
  • It is illegal or unrecognized to identify as an atheist or as non-religious in 15 countries;
  • The existence of a state religion;
  • The barring of the non-religious from holding at least some offices in 23 countries;
  • The derivation of state legislation in whole or in part from religious law in 34 countries;
  • Blasphemy remains a punishable offense in at least 87 countries across the globe;
  • The use of religious courts on family or moral matters in 48 countries;
  • Discriminatory funding of religion in 85 countries;
  • It is difficult or illegal to run an overtly humanist organization in 32 countries;
  • The provision of mandatory religious instruction in state-funded schools without a secular or humanist alternative in 33 countries.

Freedom of Thought Report 2023



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