Irreligion in the Middle East

Though atheists in the Middle East are rarely public about their lack of belief, and they are persecuted in many countries, including Saudi Arabia where they are classified as terrorists,[1] there are some atheist organizations in the Middle East and Arab world.

Persecution of atheists in the Middle East

Like other non-Muslims, atheists suffer persecution in the Middle East.[2] 64 percent of Muslims in Egypt are reported to approve of the death penalty for those who leave Islam.[2]


Though still uncommon, public acknowledgement of atheism is widely considered to be growing in the Middle East. Youth in the Persian Gulf countries have increasingly been expressing their atheism on the Internet in recent years, despite residing in heavily religious societies.[3]

More than 50 atheist Facebook groups and pages, some with more than 130,000 followers[4], have formed in the last few years especially since the Arab spring.[5]

See also


  1. Adam Withnall (2014-04-01). "Saudi Arabia declares all atheists are terrorists in new law to crack down on political dissidents - Middle East - World". The Independent. Retrieved 2015-07-23.
  2. 1 2 Fisher, Max (2013-05-01). "Majorities of Muslims in Egypt and Pakistan support the death penalty for leaving Islam". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2015-07-23.
  3. "Is Gulf youth increasingly drawn to atheism? | The National". 2012-08-19. Retrieved 2015-07-23.
  5. "Arab Atheists, Though Few, Inch Out Of The Shadows". Archived from the original on 2014-03-20. Retrieved 2015-07-23.
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