While this ultimate punishment may be rare, there are a number of other outrageously harsh restrictions on the basic rights of nonbelievers around the world, from revoking citizenship to denying marriage.
For more on the most severe oppression of atheists around the world, read the 2013 edition of the Freedom of Thought report, published by the International Humanist and Ethical Union.
Not believing in God is such a volatile political issue that a simple meeting with people who have ties to atheist groups can expose a candidate to a brutal smear campaign.
Much of what they ‘ know’ about their religion is a highly sanitized version that is promoted by their priests and pastors.
When it comes to discussions on institutionalized discrimination, atheists often are left out. In a world with widespread prejudice based on gender, race and sexuality, it may be hard for people to get incensed over a story about nonbelievers fighting to remove the phrase "In God We Trust" from U. Atheists in 13 countries face execution under the law if they openly express their beliefs or reject the official state religion -- Islam in all of these cases.
And while these kinds of divisive challenges may be the only things that some unsympathetic people remember about atheists fighting for justice and equality, the fact is that nonbelievers in the U. and elsewhere in the world face systemic and substantial discrimination.
Not believing in God is political poison, at least if you express that belief openly.
While the most severe mistreatment of atheists may take place in fundamentalist nations, political discrimination is pervasive across the U. Despite polling that has shown nonbelievers making up an increasingly large part of the country, there isn't a single admitted atheist in Congress right now, and by most counts, there's only one in all of the state legislatures across the nation.