Afghanistan. Interesting. Can someone confirm whether Afghanistan has, as part of its formal legal code, a prohibition against atheism that invokes a state-sponsored execution for violators? Or is it merely the case that publicly declaring your atheism in front of the wrong Afghans is likely to get you killed by some random fellow who doesn’t care for your heathen ways?
In theory, yes, although I don’t know of any cases where the sentence was actually carried out. IIRC, the issue isn’t so much being an atheist, as converting away from Islam. There was the case of Abdul Rehman in 2006, who converted to Christianity. He was arrested the threatened with the death penalty, but eventually released under pressure from foreign governments, and given asylum in Italy.
True, but I get the feeling that they’d be more lenient with another religion (People of the Book) than flat-out atheism; I sure wouldn’t want to put it to the test. This Islamic site says that atheism is worse that polytheism, at the very least. If would probably depend on how vocal you were about it, as to whether you would be considered to be working against Islam
All religions have credibility problems, as in having none at all. However, Christianity and Islam are both focused on expanding as much as possible and destroying all rivals; “leaving = death” makes sense for that, just as the Iron Curtain & Berlin Wall made sense from the USSR’s point of view. If you want as many people as possible under your control, threatening those who leave with death makes sense from an amoral perspective.
Christianity used to torture people, burn them at the stake, etc for what would be considered minor philosophical differences now. Eventually the rest of the world will catch up to our currently enlightened state.
In this context, I’d say historically Hinduism and Buddhism were more liberal and allowed more freedom on philosophical differences (They had and continue to have other problems though). So I would say Christianity has caught up in this tolerance -
and to say that the rest of the world will catch up maybe incorrect since many were already there centuries back.
I’ve been to several Muslim countries and every guide book I read before going would assure the reader that you can safely profess your faith in casual conversation be you Jew, or Christian, or Hindu, or follower of the Great Three-Headed Sharkopus. But by no means, whatsoever, admit to having no belief at all.