In such places, people are often forced to hide their beliefs and values, to avoid discrimination, prison terms, or even death – be it from state-sanctioned punishment or vigilante violence.
But there are some individuals who do speak up, despite the serious personal risks involved. People who advocate for human and scientific progress, social reforms, and a culture of tolerance and freedom.
Humanists are often at the forefront of many progressive battles, such as: secularism, democracy, womens’ rights, LGBTI+ rights, freedom of expression, freedom of religion or belief, anti-racism and critical thinking. But in many countries, sharing values like these can have serious consequences.
Will you help to protect them and defend their right to live a non-religious life?
Every month, on average, we receive more than 20 requests for help from individuals across the globe who are at direct threat for voicing their humanist beliefs – and the number of requests is increasing all the time. Many of the requests for help come from Pakistan, Egypt and Iran, followed by many other countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
“My curious mind has led me to exploring questions about science and Humanist philosophy. Becoming an atheist as a result of my curiosity, and on some occasions, openly discussing scientific issues and evolution even with my closest friends has put me in trouble. In Afghanistan nothing ends without a reference to God. That reference to god always stopped me from further exploring things openly with people. So I had to explore and talk to like-minded people on social media and Facebook, with, of course, a pseudonym, and openly challenge them and openly ask questions to satisfy my curiosity. The problems I will be facing if my atheistic views become apparent will be too grave, not only from authorities but also from my work colleagues and even my family. When my colleagues go to the mosque to pray I have to go with them, to avoid suspicion or I may be brutally murdered“— a testimonial from the Freedom of Thought report
Thanks to our members and supporters, Humanists International is the only NGO that employs a dedicated Humanists at Risk coordinator. However it simply would not be possible to continue to provide this service without the ongoing support of the global humanist community.
Your donation could help to:
Last year we spent £15,269 in emergency grants to help 149 humanists in 35 countries. Donations to our campaign helped people to get back on their feet and start a new life, paying for medical expenses, legal fees and relocation costs, including travel, rent and food.
We were also able to signpost people to local organizations (including our Members and Associates) to support people who are left isolated. We supported asylum claims of those forced to flee their homeland due to the persecution they experienced for their humanist beliefs. And we led high-profile public campaigns and advocacy actions.
Year on year, the number of requests we receive continues to increase and although Humanists International is a global NGO, we are still a very small team with limited resources. Every donation we receive is used wisely to help as many people as possible, prioritizing those at the greatest risk and whom we know we are best positioned to help.
If you believe every humanist should have the right to live a life free from persecution, please show your solidarity and support with a donation today. With your support, we can continue to help as many people as possible in the weeks and months ahead.
Good to know
Humanists International is an international NGO founded in 1952 with a track record of success when it comes to supporting people at risk of religious persecution. The money raised by this appeal will be used to support humanists at risk, including the associated campaigning, support and legal costs. Humanists International 2020 is a Scottish (UK) charity no. SC050629.
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