Why I contribute my experience and time to the Freedom of Thought Report

  • blog Type / Membership blog
  • Date / 11 January 2024
  • By / Contributor

Monica Belițoiu
Executive Director, The Romanian Secular-Humanist Association

In this blog piece, Monica Belițoiu, Executive Director of the Romanian Secular-Humanist Association shares why she felt it was important for her to contribute her research, experience, and expertise to the Romania entry of the Freedom of Thought Report.

For me, contributing to the Freedom of Thought Report by Humanists International is more than a gesture; it’s a personal commitment to the cause of individual freedoms in Romania. The challenges faced by humanists are not abstract issues but deeply personal struggles that impact real lives.

In my country, the continuous intertwined relationship between the state and the Romanian Orthodox Church has created an environment where those who don’t conform to religious norms find themselves at a disadvantage. This isn’t just a theoretical problem; it translates into discriminatory practices, limiting opportunities and perpetuating an atmosphere of bias.

Monica Belițoiu speaks at a conference on climate change

The decision to contribute to this Report is driven by a desire to give a voice to those who often feel silenced or marginalized. It’s about sharing the very real experiences of individuals who face obstacles in education, employment, and social integration simply because they don’t adhere to religious beliefs. It’s about challenging a status quo that undermines the principles of inclusivity and secularism.

This Report casts a light on the specific challenges faced by humanists and atheists not only in Romania but around the world. By providing accurate and comprehensive information, it becomes a powerful tool in the global dialogue on human rights. It’s a call to governments and societies to recognize the importance of diversity in thought and secular values.

In essence, my decision to contribute is deeply rooted in the belief that awareness and advocacy can pave the way for a more tolerant and inclusive society. This isn’t just about policies and statistics; it’s about fostering a genuine understanding of the day to day experience and about creating a world where everyone’s beliefs, or non-beliefs, are respected and celebrated.

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