Created on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 08:07
From the Secular Humanist League of Brazil, an AAI Affiliate Member:
One year and a half has passed since the foundation of the Secular Humanist League of Brazil, LiHS, the owner of this debuting blog. So many things have happened since then that I am caught in the vertigo of loads of long term memory yet to be consolidated. (And my routine as a rebel sleeper has most certainly something to do with that.)
I remember vividly my dream of taking Brazil and more of Latin America to the global secularist community, especially reaching IHEU (International Humanist and Ethical Union). Well, we did it! And it happened last week, when our international relations director Daniel Martin traveled from France to Norway (yes, to Oslo, the site of that conservative Christian terrorist attack) to attend the General Assembly in the World Humanist Congress, where we were approved as members of IHEU. Also, before that, LiHS joined the Atheist Alliance International.
Created on Tuesday, 23 August 2011 10:01
An increasing number of Nigeria's 70 million Christians are followers of the prosperity teachings - the belief that prosperity is a sign of spiritual blessing. Services are held in megachurches that hold thousands, with millionaire pastors preaching the word.
A lady scrolls down the screen of her tablet PC as she reads the Bible along with the rest of the congregation, a huge diamond-encrusted ring shining on her finger.
Hanging from the ceiling of the Household of God Church are several chandeliers, lighting up a plush 5,000-seat auditorium.
A water fountain hisses in the distance, though it is only heard when the dazzling character on stage singing passionately and occasionally speaking in tongues falls into silence.
This is the Reverend Chris Okotie, a former pop star turned pastor, businessman and politician.
A recent Forbes rich list included him among Nigeria's five wealthiest pastors, with assets of anywhere between $3m and $10m. But is he truly this rich?
"Possibly," he replies, with his giant multi-coloured Jacob & Co brand wristwatch shining from the end of his sleeve.
Created on Friday, 12 August 2011 20:07
The link between money and religion is a grey area, fraught with conspiracy and scandal. Some of the wealthiest organisations on the planet are religions or religious movements - some ancient, some modern - yet the followers of religion and the countries in which they are practised are often the poorest.
money.co.uk has examined some of the richest religions (Scientology, Catholicism, Televangelism, Freemasonry, The Church of England) and their wealth as well as noting the world' richest billionaires with faith: http://www.money.co.uk/misc/the-business-of-religion.htm
Created on Saturday, 06 August 2011 09:03
The Philippine Atheists and Agnostics Society will hold its first convention in Manila. We will be discussing PATAS' future goals and will be talking about Atheism/Agnosticism, Secularism and Humanism. We are selecting speakers for this convention from different personalities from the US and the Philippines.
Date: Saturday, April 21, 2012 · 6:00am - 8:00pm
Place: Bayview Parks and Hotels, United Nations Avenue, Manila Philippines
Created on Friday, 05 August 2011 23:18
(Introduction translated from French)
Ramadan forces believers into not eating and drinking from sunrise until sunset, and this goes for 29 or 30 days.
During this period, Muslim countries set up schedules adapted to these particular constraints.
Shops open at night. It is, in fact, during this period that nocturnal activities reach their highest point, the day being, in part, devoted to sleep.
But this is totally impossible in our society, which results in unlikely situations:
Version francais ici.
Created on Friday, 05 August 2011 22:02
Crucifixes, Virgin Mary statuettes, ornate Spanish-style churches: so
many religious images seem permanently linked with Hispanic Americans.
But that’s eroding fast, according to US pollster George Barna.
In the fourth update
on his annual survey of American religion, Barna says this
once-reverent group has been attending church and Sunday school less,
volunteering less at church, and reading the Bible less over the last 20
And their religious life is fading faster than those of whites and blacks in America, the report adds.
ethnic group that reflected the most profound level of religious change
over the last 20 years was Hispanics," the report says. It adds that
Hispanics have changed more than the other two groups both in the degree
of religious belief and behavior and across more categories.
Read more: http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2011-08-03/features/sfl-fv-blog-barna-beliefs-survey-4_1_hispanic-americans-bible-reading-religious-life
Created on Wednesday, 03 August 2011 19:33
Arguments revolving around the ethics of critical thought maintain that colonialism, and in this case, the British, were responsible for the invention of superstitious insanity, diluting the traditional practices that African communities had within them during this time of exploration, notably, around the 16th century. Surprisingly enough, England was on top gear towards its preparations of free market ideologue, and industrialization was supposed to be the key linchpin in these celebrations, an endeavour that would initiate the global quest for superiority and capitalistic advancements.
Created on Friday, 29 July 2011 18:41
As a lifelong resident of Uganda and Africa as well as president of the Atheist Association of Uganda, I have a good idea of the conditions and challenges that Africans face to live.
is perhaps the most miserable place the world has ever known. This fact is all
but ignored by the media in western countries. Most of the governments here,
although calling themselves promoters of democracy, are ruthless dictatorships,
ruled by greed and callous disregard for human life and dignity. They are
supported by religious institutions that desire a share in the power, and they
are supported by the "Western World" because they can still exploit
them for profit.
Created on Saturday, 23 July 2011 19:19
It has been reported that Ghana's Western Regional Minister has ordered all gays to be arrested and called on other Ghanians to "inform" on suspected homosexuals.
This disgusting action is just one more example of the danger and discrimination faced by same-sex oriented people in some countries, with such attitudes commonly perpetuated by religious groups (in this case Christians and Muslims). Atheist Alliance International supports full equality for same-sex oriented people - there is no rational basis for discriminating against people simply on the basis of their sexual orientation, just as there is no basis for discriminating against people simply on the basis of their gender, race, ethnicity or other physical characteristics.
Created on Tuesday, 16 August 2011 16:44
Understanding the importance of the protection of the
life and safety of all citizens of Russia, including that of the religious
leaders in our country, the Good Sense (Zdravomislie) Public Fund has met the
news of the upcoming amendments to our secular law with alarm.
The Public Fund Good Sense learned that the government
of Russia initiated an amendment in the state Duma of the Russian Federation in
the form of bill № 5861785, containing a clause to expand the list of individuals
being protected by government, with taxpayers money, to include an unspecified
number of people that do not have any relation to government service or the
functioning of the state. Among those listed in the expanded list was the head
of the Russian Orthodox Church.
This bill was apparently created in order to legalize the
state security which has been provided for the church Patriarch for many years
now without any legal basis.
In relation to this, the Good Sense Foundation
addresses an open letter to the President of Russia, Dmitri Medvedev, in which
we ask him to answer two questions:
1) Will somebody be held accountable for the violation
of legal principles that have been going on for a number of years?
2) How does the government’s initiative to support
just one out of many religious organizations registered in Russia
correspond with the secular nature of our state, as indicated in our national constitution?
The Fund is also addressing a letter to the head of
the dedicated Security Committee in the State Duma, Vasiliev V.A, with a
request to act out of a sense for public consent in terms of ethnic and
religious cross-relations when discussing the bill. We also ask that the Duma
keep the secular basis of our national constitution in mind when determining
what private Russian citizens should be eligible to receive government-paid
Created on Thursday, 11 August 2011 22:17
Late last month, the UN issued a new statement on the extent of
freedom of speech under international law. It says that laws restricting
blasphemy as such are incompatible with universal human rights
The statement came from the Human Rights Committee, the body of
eighteen “independent experts” mandated to monitor compliance with the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, or ICCPR, the 1966
human rights treaty that provides for freedom of opinion and expression
and other fundamental rights. The Committee’s general comments
represent authoritative interpretations of the provisions of the ICCPR.
Unlike the highly-publicized resolutions produced by the Human Rights
Council and the General Assembly, the provisions of the ICCPR are
legally binding to its more than 165 parties.
Created on Friday, 05 August 2011 22:07
The Rev Klaas
Hendrikse can offer his congregation little hope of life after death,
and he's not the sort of man to sugar the pill.
An imposing figure in black robes and white clerical collar, Mr
Hendrikse presides over the Sunday service at the Exodus Church in
Gorinchem, central Holland.
It is part of the mainstream Protestant Church in the
Netherlands (PKN), and the service is conventional enough, with hymns,
readings from the Bible, and the Lord's Prayer. But the message from Mr
Hendrikse's sermon seems bleak - "Make the most of life on earth,
because it will probably be the only one you get".
"Personally I have no talent for believing in life after
death," Mr Hendrikse says. "No, for me our life, our task, is before
Created on Monday, 25 July 2011 08:00
ALMOST 15,000 people have joined an Atheist Foundation of Australia push to mark "no religion" on the coming census.
The foundation has begun unveiling billboards urging people to take the religion out of politics.
Thousands have also vowed to mark "no religion" in a Facebook campaign.
AFA president David Nicholls said many people selected the religion they were born into, despite not being religious.
He said the transfer of taxpayers' money to religious organisations was justified on the basis of the census results.
than 70,000 people declared themselves Jedi order members in 2001 but
Mr Nicholls warned such an answer was now marked as no response.
Created on Wednesday, 03 August 2011 16:15
The Catholic Church in Australia has issued a national
apology over past adoption practices that have been described as a
"national disgrace". The apology was prompted by national media investigation into claims of abuse and trauma in Newcastle.
is believed at least 150,000 Australian women had their babies taken
against their will by some churches and adoption agencies between the
1950s and 1970s.
Created on Tuesday, 26 July 2011 16:02
In an unprecedented attack on the Catholic Church by a head of state, the Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny today called the Vatican an elitist, dysfunctional, disconnected, and narcissistic institution over the distractions and obfuscations that the Vatican has offered in attempting to explain away the church priest pedophile scandals
Kenny promised that the historic relationship between the Catholic Church and the Irish State "would never be the same."
"The rape and torture of children were downplayed or 'managed' to uphold
instead the primacy of the institution, its power, standing and
'reputation'," the taoiseach (Prime Minister) said.
Created on Friday, 22 July 2011 23:16
Nigeria is often described as a deeply religious society where most, if not all persons, profess religious beliefs without qualification. Nigeria is often portrayed as a country where the religious demography is static- everybody is religious, everybody belongs to one faith or the other. Everybody professes religion, nobody renounces religion. Nobody is critical or skeptical about religious dogmas. Non religious and freethinking Nigerians are purportedly so insignificant. For me this is a misrepresentation of the religious demography and dynamics in the country. And the time has come for us to rectify this misrepresentation.