lisinopril order can order shatavari canada brand cialis discount code levitra coupon code express delivery best cialis soft prices cipla pill shop what is urispas made of arava pills sweat how to purchase zestoretic online zyrtec syrup dosage dipyridamole lawsuit list of tesco stores selling cleocin suprax without script buy acai online antibiotics without a prescription can you purchase cialis over counter buy cialis canada low cost avalide view topic pharmacy reviews on pletal augmentin online in usa xenical reviews 2013 where to buy cheap generic voveran best place buy retino-a cream 0,025 pct what is calcium carbonate used for what types of serophene are there target pharmacy metformin what antibiotics are used to treat chlamydia can you take florinef daily best place to buy advair diskus in australia flagyl er pills sweat the online drugstore indocin side effects of cafergot tablets buy voveran inhaler canada differin side effects fda desyrel 50 mg 30 tablet yan etkileri how to make powerful viagra at home using watermelon buy serpina lowest price ranitidine over the counter dose how much will cytoxan cost does vpxl actually work sarafem visa zyban results forum ordering antabuse here in canada where to buy sominex ointment generic estrace usa pharmacy swanson water pills zofran cost canadian zetia sold over counter unisom 25 mg morning sickness como conseguir viagra precose order prazosin precio mexico free coupon for femara mebendazole over the counter endep perth australia buy canada no prescription for viagra sublingual aricept reviews dementia biaxin lawsuit settlements buy propecia costco what is isoniazid side effects cefadroxil dosage for children levitra super active mexico lasix dose for children classic car insurance age buy unisom mg what is the drug mirapex used for buy mobic generic buy geriforte syrup perth australia side effects of norvasc in women co azithromycin diarrhea buy rocaltrol in india online midamor purchase american express credit card login us diltiazem overnight delivery order online pharmacy generic actos 30mg imitrex by mail low cost paxil price increase diflucan methotrexate 2.5 mg tablet ingredients generic eurax quiero comprar viagra super active zestril order canada buy motrin cold can you buy cafergot in ireland cholestoplex max dose generic ranitidine usa pharmacy is minomycin available over the counter order nolvadex online in usa best place to order viagra in us brand advair diskus medication online what is azathioprine (imuran) indinavir online order ventolin drug oversea liquid clomid for sale geriforte syrup without prescription differin cost with insurance diflucan 150 capsules inderal mg buy top 10 drug sales get detrol toronto sertralina efeitos colaterais mulheres requip dictionary buy genuine midamor uk buy eldepryl hong kong benadryl 100 review where starlix what does the pill diclofenac do nimotop shelf life buy purinethol australia atacand 16 prospect can i buy antibiotics in usa is accutane prescribed in the uk best steroid post cycle therapy exelon tablets best anxiety medication over the counter recall of generic lipitor at walmart flomax relief mr tamsulosin uk where to allopurinol order prescription vasotec side effects uk allopurinol 40mg zyban medicine children motilium instant dosage can i order proventil online brand revia buy low cost flonase robaxin no prescription reviews can you buy epivir-hbv online how much does strattera cost with insurance what type of seizures does dilantin treat propecia suppliers overseas tofranil dosage children what is the date for purim 2011 strong herbal viagra uk discount pilex mg is nolvadex illegal in usa cost of cialis daily use biaxin shortage 2012 diovan hct 320/25 side effects acheter pas cher combivent norvasc low cost maxalt mist canada neurontin dose for pain vente de chloroquine au quebec how effective is the generic plan b pill luvox side effects weight gain can baclofen cause weight gain non persciption cardura buy synthroid visa lopid tablets online imitrex prices at costco cheap kamagra supplier com online pill generic from erexin-v voltaren canadian pharmacy med cab lozol i pill website recalled generic lipitor meloxicam dose chicken is renagel available over the counter beat way to order orlistat over counter benfotiamine lasuna online i pill fosamax website reviews on seroquel xr get fertility drugs uk toronto drug reviews abilify reviews can sarafem cause weight gain sinemet prescription only zestril dosage recommended fosamax osteoporosis medication buy promethazine without rx what herb is like lexapro round blue pill 100 scored can you buy allegra over the counter pharmacy order elocon online cod proscar dove comprare buy baclofen next day best generic viagra online reviews comprar viagra farmacia online augmentin canada pharmacy what is medrol drugs didronel delivery london indian natural alesse vasodilan online uk levitra plus in usa missed sinemet dose paxil drugs class dipyridamole delivery order viagra 10 mg safe diamox buy what is the generic drug for benicar hct getting meclizine in australia biaxin no prescription voltaren gel price depo provera cost pharmacy cipro flagyl interaction zanaflex reviews cialis super active no prescription reviews buy protonix no prescription order actoplus online no presctiption desi tashan madhubala 7 march 2013 canadian pharmacy methotrexate buy tegretol in australia aap ki adalat indiatv minipress looking for best price glycomet celexa price india what is mobic medication buy ditropan over the counter cost of ditropan plavix generic release pharmacy one jordan branches levitra plus shortage 2012 uk version of allegra d allegra rx to otc uso de las pastillas cytotec para abortar terramycin online pharmacy lithium salesforce integration plavix in the uk cialis soft wanted online review best online pharmacy generic xeloda alphagan direct pharmacy ivermectin for dogs uk ashwagandha no prescription canada cialis dosages 10 mg how to buy vantin in london billig zyloprim online kaufen research grade lotensin fda pharmacy rotation application over the counter antibiotic eye drops uk is doxycycline a generic drug biaxin 40 mg dose lamisil pas cher italie depakote no prescription online pharmacy next day delivery uk cheapest car parking at liverpool airport buy suhagra pills in the mexico cymbalta how long to take effect is it ok to buy clomid online quickest levitra super active onlin pharmacy india no prescription canadian pharmacy kamagra chewable buy zenegra 200 half price feldene cipla company profile epivir-hbv medicine children calan uk next day delivery indocin results forum lipitor price drop ireland buy strattera have no prescription anxiety and depression questionnaire retino-a cream 0,05 uk online misoprostol side effects long term where to get lisinopril pct order albendazole medication by mail pharmacy has best price mestinon acheter du clomid en ligne discount code for prandin generic lotensin cost compazine tablets 150 mg femara drug prices what is cipro antibiotic used for liv bookshop order form ordering arimidex from canada best place buy tricor where can i buy levitra super active in canada order lexapro pills coumadin buy on line where to penegra pletal refills is kytril better than zofran plavix canada drug cabgolin overnight pharmacy fluoxetine no prescription needed canadian online pharmacy what is parlodel drug ginseng generic 2013 drugs costco pharmacy proventil price cheapest erexin-v can buy antibiotics my dog online rosuvastatin now co uk viagra jelly brand positioning can you take tinidazole daily does lisinopril cause you to gain weight canadian generic sildenafil citrate fluoxitine without perscription online pharmacy zetia shopping buy clonidine guaranteed worldwide strattera usage maxalt and cold medicine procardia xl 90 mg tablet current share price of bajaj allianz cheap no prescription generic arimidex nitroglycerin dosage forms in egypt protonix from mexico my kamagra oral jelly coupons can i leave aspirin mask overnight effexor price generic prednisone dose pack prednisone dosepak dosage safe altace buy buy fucidin h no prescription hyzaar blood pressure medication generic pills for terramycin sominex shelf life order buy innopran xl donde comprar albenza torsemide ordering online pharmacy how to order avodart cialis a vendre canada order tadalafil no prescription chemical classification antifungal drugs erythromycin discount medications gabapentin 100mg for dogs bactrim australia price hoodia how to buy hctz 25mg hydrochlorothiazide medication where to buy clozaril with amex where to buyonline without prescription the drug amitriptyline cheap orlistat free delivery what is the medicine diltiazem used for what do xenical tablets do mobic for back pain reviews long time side effects pletal abilify 2mg tablet online pharmacy prinivil clavamox dt warfarin interactions with herbs buy flagyl er online amazon 150 mg viagra generic acquisto zebeta sicuro online sinemet price comparison acticin 100 viagra plus for sale philippines zyban reviews for men buy nizoral in australia buy canada no prescription for finpecia can i buy birth control pills online buy casodex greece side effects of benadryl in elderly dramamine canada overnight delivery generic for advair diskus 60 50 cefixime mist canada ortho tri-cyclen delivery promethazine purchase online is cialis a prescription drug in canada canine prednisone dosage over counter viagra boots uk buy cephalexin us buy orlistat 60 in canada buy levitra professional mg online for aricept where to get vytorin generic for albuterol cycle dosage for women lisinopril cheap mexico pharmacy what is doxycycline hydrochloride capsules celebrex manufacturer india diakof price india sex power increase tablet in india 24 hour pharmacy canada ca bactrim ds generic price citalopram non generico order adderall online legal buy calan online canada buy aldactone no prescription in united states pharmacy how long after eating to take synthroid what are the side effects of mylan minocycline can you get off synthroid prograf italiano american orlistat lamisil cream australia order pravachol on line usa valtrex herpes simplex dosage protonix canada order family meds online pharmacy female cialis results forum kamagra pills 100 mg erythromycin generic drug nike air max 2012 men white purchasing lithium online uk indian drama adalat episodes 154 zyloprim on line purchase buy suhagra in uk ashwagandha online azithromycin tablets 250 mg aspirin a day for inflammation champix price in canada is there a generic brand for seroquel non prescription benadryl pharmacy where to buy cipro antibiotic adidas consortium torsion allegra for sale Purchase flagyl 500 mg online no prescription where do i plendil in usa aciclovir india sale weight loss diet for women with pcos silagra for sale australia aldactone pcos treatment how to take nitroglycerin tablets where to get eldepryl pct ginette-35 order para que se usa carafate brand aspirin buy ceftin dose prilosec dosage recommended comprar kamagra em portugal comprar detrol en argentina ordering baby alligators ordering hoodia generic uk paypal aricept american ginseng online strattera canada online no prescription american gasex donde comprar orlistat en espan~a lithium generic legit place to buy accutane online comprar allegra portugal pletal limited india rabeprazole domperidone wiki when will alli be available again in the uk can you use fucidin cream for thrush adalat online coupon code estrace .01 cream cost clomid ovulation day cycle cheap cefadroxil sale uk how to get tetracycline on line buy oxytrol in india online aciphex women buy reglan order in the us best cialis buy online how to buy minomycin in london where can i buy dramamine in uk advair dosage for kids is luvox legal in uk can topamax pills be split medco mail order pharmacy number can i make plendil janssen cilag new products coumadin diet menu zenegra now lexapro from usa nitroglycerin tablets recreational use percocet 512 high where to buy brahmi ointment buy glucophage metformin online what is accutane called now usa today motrin moms bystolic medication cost cheap ciales 50 mg viagra for sale augmentin on line no prescription to buy amantadine fast claritin deleviery cost of plavix at costco cleocin gel cost in canada buy etodolac tablets online mexican pharmacy no prescription differin lamisil 1 precio mexico buy yasmin fast shipping buy synthroid in singapore brand advair diskus india generic drug sales 2009 cafergot lowest price buy proventil tablets uk pharmacy technician online training manual & workbook herbal viagra sale uk motilium canada pharmacy donde puedo comprar lipothin cheap compazine buy online mentat lawsuit hydrocortisone cream 0.5 ethionamide results forum brand quibron-t buy are there any over the counter antibiotics for uti elavil overnight pharmacy ayurslim over the counter what is anacin for 100 mg female cialis cheap rogaine 5 sale uk do i need a prescription for betnovate celebrex cheap canada pharmacy cheapest nolvadex online zebeta no rx aciphex without overnight delivery fincar pharmacy cleocin recommended dosage overnight top offers online pariet shipped kytril lawsuit settlements cheapest cialis soft tablets uk advair diskus order online no prescription accutane side effects eyes signs of asthma in children topamax coupons 2010 order diclofenac sodium 50mg uk mircette pharmacy mail order differin to buy from europe clavamox for cats side effects loss of appetite what is lioresal baclofen buy benzac ac wash amantadine 10 mg capsules do you need a prescription for antivert pilex order by phone florida reglan attorney can you buy over the counter antibiotics in canada styplon delivery uk atarax 100 effets secondaires do you need rx hytrin fucidin cream uses eczema when do you start taking clomid order arimidex pct purchase generic chloramphenicol purchase allopurinol cheap how many mg does it take to overdose on zoloft micronase generico online ceebis canada cvs order rx online buy cialas on line canada actonel fosamax lawsuit biaxin uk online buy micardis online overnight can i buy online discount diflucan are there sexual side effects of wellbutrin is there a generic drug for abilify reviews on alesse online mircette india over the counter cipro xr best price for real fincar tri-cyclen side effects indian pharmacies lantis solostar ginette-35 without a prescription plavix maximum dosage where is lamictal metabolized buy parietaria officinalis genuine actos 100mg cyproheptadine syrup 2mg 5ml rumalaya gel uses medication buy alavert in india online how many pliva 433 to get high buy cheap aspirin using pay pal where can i get promethazine dm syrup estrace 2 mg tablets best place buy finpecia how to buy tamoxifen what are the different types of drugs levaquin uses relafen lawsuit canada betapace 100 review minoxidil skelaxin no rx lasix pct buy buy oxytetracycline uk walgreens protonix price buy ventolin inhaler in the uk phentermine 30mg online maximum dose of clonidine for children zoloft side effects in elderly men online pharmacy 365 pills buy cialis professional mg cleocin gel tablets online benicar hct sales cheap online order clomid cialis professional canadian source order benicar 120 mg where to get acai berries in malaysia celexa withdrawal help how many hugs a day to be healthy does asacol cause weight gain low cost overnight diclofenac gel purchase actos generic 30mg pariet generic cheap costs duetact coupon kamagra soft online legally levaquin drug canadian pharmacy premarin refills most reliable place to buy advair diskus online where can i buy viagra pills online buy cefadroxil with paypal lamisil pills sweat comprar xenical online colombia what is ditropan medication brand finast for sale can you only get lotensin on prescription zestoretic doses cystone over counter what does carafate roxithromycin tablets india buy lithium batteries for cars buy florinef acetate what is the over the counter version of differin levitra cheap australia pharmacy name generic hyzaar where to purchase viagra safely online safe place order amoxil voltaren long term use side effects januvia-online order cost tamoxifen uk buy cheap finast using pay pal cialis super active in croatia buy nizoral online thru paypals diltiazem and simvastatin fda esomeprazole magnesium trihydrate 40 mg viagra soft tabs 100mg pills over the counter nasal spray like flonase order actos 60 mg comprar atacand portugal paroxetine hydrochloride get you high over the counter antibiotics for uti in women purchase motilium on line in india safe serophene buy natural herbal water pills como combatir la disfuncion erectil de forma natural buy nootropil visa most reliable place to buy glucophage online onde comprar cytotec brasil where was tetracycline discovered buy abilify 5 mg online lexapro or zoloft weight gain buy sildenafil pills best brand viagra prices sildenafil cheapest cheap canadian cephalexin no prescription ventolin non perscription countries elimite online uk where to buy low lvl pvp gear alliance buy generic luvox low cost overnight flomax buy retino a cream 0 05 lowest price order trimox without rx ebay allis chalmers crawler compare prices sustiva aciclovir cuanto sale

AAI's 2011 Top 10 Stories for the International Atheist Community

As we commence 2012, AAI looks back at the Top 10 stories for the international atheist community in 2011.

1. Outspoken Atheist Christopher Hitchens Dies

Journalist, author, iconoclast and outspoken atheist Christopher Hitchens died in 2011 after struggling against esophagal cancer for over a year. Hitchens was not only well-known for his fiery rhetoric and incomparable wit, he was also celebrated in the atheist community as one of the best-known to take religion to task for its harm to society.

Hitchens first became known in much of the atheist community with his release of The Missionary Position, a scathing expose on Catholic nun "Mother" Theresa and the community center she ran in Bangladesh. Hitchens followed this work a few years later with God Is Not Great, a more comprehensive tome on the failings and corruption of religion over the centuries.

He will be missed.

2. Pakistani Politicians Killed by Muslim Extremists for Questioning Blasphemy Laws

The world was shocked by the assassinations of two prominent Pakistani politicians – Punjabi Governor Salman Taseer and National Minority Minister Shahbaz Bhatti - in March 2011 by Muslim terrorists who took exception to comments made by both politicians questioning the appropriateness of Pakistani's blasphemy laws. These laws were recently used to sentence one Asia Bibi, a 45-year-old Christian village woman and mother of five to death, for questioning the truth of the Koran – a conviction that was made via hearsay of other villagers and which the woman denied.

Taseer, a self-described ‘moderate’ Muslim, was gunned down with 20 rounds fired into his back by one of his own bodyguards. Bhatti, a Christian and the only non-Muslim in the Pakistani cabinet, was ambushed in his car and died in a hail of bullets en route to a cabinet meeting, in front of his mother’s home. Bhatti had enough sense of the risk he was taking in his comments to record a video testimony of his convictions to be released in the event that he was actually killed. The killers in both of these acts were declared heroes and received loud praise and adulation from many in the Pakistani Muslim community, including a number of mullahs who threw rose petals at Taseer’s assassin, Malik Mumtaz Qadri, at his trial. Unsurprisingly, other Pakistani leaders, both secular and religious, failed to condemn either of the killings out of fears of retribution against them. At Bhatti’s assassination, the gunmen dropped pamphlets around the car that threatened Bhatti by name and stated, in part: "From the Mujahideen of Islam, this fitting lesson for the world of infidelity, the crusaders, the Jews and their aides ... especially the leader of the infidel government of Pakistan, Zardari.... In the Islamic Sharia, the ruling for one who insults the Prophet is nothing but death."

3. Gay Discrimination and Persecution Worldwide Continue to be Promoted by US Christian Evangelicals

Religious communities and leaders in the US and elsewhere expressed anger over comments made at the UN Human Rights Council by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ahead of Human Rights Day, Dec. 10, where she stated that religious beliefs and cultural values "continue to be a problem" in condoning and encouraging the persecution of gays and lesbians around the world. Although Clinton made no specific references, one of the more noted persecutions in 2011 arose in Uganda where anti-gay legislation, promoted by Christian evangelicals, was resurrected to make homosexuality a capital crime. Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, stated in May that anti-gay hate crimes are increasing around the world and now account for a high percentage of all reported hate crimes.

Many analysts point to a conservative religious indoctrination being promoted by US evangelical Christian groups to a more sinister form of homophobia as fanning this shift in many African countries over the last decade.The anger among Christian conservatives arose not because they felt the claims were false, but because they saw the condemnation of such discrimination as an infringement of their religious freedom.  Religiously-overt Republican presidential candidates in the US described Clinton’s comments as representing a “War against people of faith”. In the US, many of these groups have been fighting the enactment of laws criminalizing hate speech and demanding exemptions for their communities, claiming that these laws violate their freedom of religion. Working with African evangelicals, these groups have been using homophobia as a recruiting tool for their African missions for over a decade. “It wasn’t until the late 1990s that we saw Africans with the help of American conservative religious groups using this issue (homosexuality) as an organizing tool,” said Rev. Kapya Kaoma, an Anglican priest from Zambia who has studied the US evangelical influence on African societies.

Clinton’s comments at the UN Human Rights Council underscored this rise of religious bigotry towards gays and lesbians and called on all nations to increase their commitments to slow and reverse such discrimination in the coming years.

4. UN Drops “Defamation” Line In Annual Call to Condemn Religious Intolerance

The UN has been a battleground for much of the past decade as nations from the Muslim world, organized under the Organization for Islamic Countries (OIC), have pushed to add “Freedom from Religious Defamation” as a right recognised under the UN Conference on Human Rights.

In December 2011, the 57-nation OIC suffered a setback as the UN General Assembly adopted its annual resolution to combat religious intolerance without including a call for the outlawing of “defamation of religion”. The call on countries to prohibit “defamation” has been included in a non-binding resolution on combating religious intolerance passed annually by the 193-nation assembly since 1998, but has gradually been losing support over the years, with the clause retained in the 2010 resolution by only a bare majority of the General Assembly.

In early 2011, Western countries and their Latin American allies joined forces with moderate Muslim and African states on the UN Human Rights Council in backing a new approach that switched the focus from protecting beliefs to protecting believers. That new approach led to the resolution adopted this year by the General Assembly without the “defamation” language.

5. Fewer Catholics Than Ever Follow the Vatican

2011 saw the informal power and influence of the Vatican continue to suffer as new revelations of sexual scandals continued to be revealed across the Catholic world. Countries that have been seen as the staunchest supporters of the Holy See, such as Mexico, Italy, Spain, Brazil, as well as others, have enacted legislation in response to these scandals that either rolled back the Vatican’s power in their countries or simply contradicted longstanding Vatican positions  on issues such as abortion, birth control and same-sex marriage.

Ireland’s government has been perhaps the most vociferous in denouncing the criminality and massive concealment of the Church in the sexual scandals that rocked the country, introducing legislation that significantly disconnects the strong relationship the Church has had with the government since the founding of the Irish Republic. Spain’s socialist government pushed through fast-track divorce and legalized same-sex marriage over the past few years, to the outrage and dismay of Spanish Catholic Bishops.  Calls have even been made in the National Italian Legislature to begin taxing Vatican property (outside churches and other explicitly religious worship sites) to help offset the financial stress being faced by the Italian government. Although this seems a long shot, the fact that the issue has been raised at all is unprecedented in modern Italian politics. And in the United States, larger numbers than ever of lay Catholics admit to disregarding Papal dictates and policies, with a majority of US Catholics regularly practicing chemical birth control and having few of the qualms about divorce and same-sex marriage that the US Council of Catholic Bishops, the Vatican’s representation in the US, constantly rails against in its lobbying of the US Congress.

6. US Military Continues Role as World’s Largest Christian Missionary Force

The US military, with a US$500+ billion annual budget – larger than the combined military spending of all other nations – remains the world’s largest proselytizer of Christianity with multiple billions of its annual budget dedicated to its Chaplaincy Corps.

With more than 3,800 military chaplains, the US Chaplaincy Corps includes a disproportionately high number of evangelical Protestant Christian missionaries who openly argue their role as converting US soldiers into “Warriors for Christ” and using their positions and resources to promote Christianity overseas, both stances in flagrant violation of the US Constitution. Organizations like the Officers Christian Fellowship (OCF), The Military Ministry of the Campus Crusade for Christ, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and the Christian Military Fellowship (CMF) have been documented as encouraging soldiers to proselytize as their primary mission in the military. These organizations operate in almost all US military bases worldwide, with the OCF alone counting 15,000 US military officers around the world as members. These groups have been discovered to be supplying coins stamped with biblical verses and local-language copies of bibles to local children, much to the outrage of local parents and religious leaders.

In the past year, a new “Spiritual Fitness” test issued by the US Army to its soldiers came to light. This test, required as part of a soldier’s annual evaluation, included questions that asked whether a soldier believed in life after death, whether they turned to a ‘higher power’ in times of strife or confusion and whether they regularly prayed or meditated. Those soldiers who answered those questions in the negative were noted as “spiritually deficient” and ordered to participate in rehabilitation classes that promoted Christianity. Failure to complete those classes could result in a mark on their military records and a denial of promotions and other military privileges.

7. Black Atheists Rising in US, Africa (The “Post-Soul” Generation)

Black atheists, about as common as sightings of the Scottish Loch Ness Monster or the American Bigfoot, are on the verge of coming out in the United States as well as throughout the African continent. In the United States, on-line groups such as Facebook Black Atheists and the Black Atheist Alliance, blogs like “Godless and Black”, African-Americans for Humanism, and Center for Inquiry-Harlam, as well as Black Atheists of America and Black Nonbelievers have all been founded and have experienced explosive growth over the past two years. Across the Atlantic, a similar explosion of groups in Sub-Saharan Africa  has occurred in Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Benin, Malawi, and South Africa. The rise of these groups is all the more remarkable arising within cultures and communities that have long been renowned for their religious fervor, especially in relation to Christianity, with religious leaders in the black communities constituting the wealthiest, most powerful, and oftentimes the most corrupt in those communities.

8. Religious Caste Systems Continue to Maintain Firm Hold in South Asia

The Hindu caste system continues to sentence millions of Dalits (untouchables) to lives of dire poverty and subject them to kidnapping and human slavery, including for ritualised prostitution (Jogini).

The source of Dalit discrimination, and in the Indian caste system in general, comes from Hinduism and its ancient texts. Hinduism divides India’s society into five castes, with the religious Brahmins being the highest caste and the Dalits the lowest. Many Hindus even consider Dalits as subhuman, to be treated as property or livestock. Dalits regularly suffer denial of education, work opportunities, even health care. Despite legislation that has been passed by successive Indian governments to abolish the practice, discrimination remains prevalent across India, especially in the more rural regions.

India and its system of Jogini is estimated to be the source of almost half of all human trafficking worldwide. In 2011 Jogini was reported to be on the increase in India and spreading elsewhere in the world. Jogini involves dedicating young girls to a goddess, and selling into a lifetime of prostitution as soon as they reach puberty. While this practice was made illegal by legislation in the 1980s, 2011 reports indicated that the practice has markedly increased over the past decade and is even appearing in Indian districts where it was previously unknown.

9. Number of Godless Groups and Conferences in World Reaches New High

In 2011, the number of recognized “godless groups” in the world reached a new high, encompassing more than 150 significant groups across 40 countries as well as extra-national groups and communities that transcend national boundaries.

Counting and tracking godless organizations worldwide remains a difficult task, as there is no official database that tracks such numbers. But estimates can be made by considering the memberships of international freethought organizations like Atheist Alliance International (AAI) and the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU).

The IHEU reported in early 2011 that its membership had reached 118 groups (now 124) across 38 different countries, the highest number of member groups since its founding in 1952. AAI, following a  reorganization  in 2011, has a membership of 31 groups across 24 different countries at the end of 2011, its highest level of non-US group membership since its founding in 1992. (Approximately 50% of AAI’s group members are also members of the IHEU.) These groups are primarily (but not exclusively) national organisations that have an interest in an international presence, and the number excludes many more godless groups that exist locally but who are not active at the international level.

Informal surveys and conversations with non-theist leaders in many of the countries represented in the IHEU and in AAI also indicate that local godless groups are flourishing, partly in part to the Internet and partly in response to non-theist discrimination and religious privileging that have become more evident in recent years.  Non-theist conferences also seem to be reaching new worldwide highs: Only ten years ago, it would have been unusual for more than one or two conferences to be held anywhere in the world during one year. In 2011, more than a dozen non-theist conferences have been held across multiple continents, with plans for many more conferences to be held in 2012 and beyond.

10. “Witch-Hunting” Continues to be Largest Religious Scourge in Sub-Saharan Africa [1] [2] [3]

Witch-hunting, which has plagued Africa for years, seems no closer to being eradicated at the end of 2011.

Although witch-hunting has arisen from time to time in all parts of the African continent, most recently they have been noted in South Africa, Nigeria, Malawi, and Ghana. Witch-hunting, both in medieval Europe as well as in modern Africa, appears to rise as a consequence of economic and environmental stress. As communities suffer various calamities, members of those communities – usually elderly women or orphaned children – are blamed and persecuted for supposedly causing the calamities with their “witchcraft”. They are attacked or driven out of the community. Cut off from all support (including their families) and often injured from these attacks, these “witches” are unable to fend for themselves and often die from their attack injuries, from starvation, or from exposure.

The belief in witchcraft comes partly from the blend of Christian and native religion that has encompassed most of Africa from colonial days. But there are also dynamic, self-anointed religious leaders who promote this mix of religion for their own benefit. Many of these leaders go from community to community, preaching a form of “affluence theology” promising that the community's woes will end if they embrace the religious leader’s faith and support their self-anointed “prophet” (through monetary and other donations, of course). Part of the pitch is the religious leader’s promotion of witch hunts and the promise to “rid” the community of its witches.

Many of these religious leaders amass significant wealth and large groups of followers in their religious practice, and secular political leaders even embrace these religious leaders to help secure their own popularity. Their support is so strong that political leaders are unwilling to challenge these religious dynasts.

In the past year, activists, including African atheist leaders Leo Igwe of Nigeria and George Thindwa of Malawi, took action to try to protect some of those marked by local religious leaders as witches and had both themselves and their families personally attacked for their challenges. Mr. Igwe was sued by one Nigerian religious evangelist for his challenges to her witch hunts and was attacked by mobs of her followers. The evangelist further used her political influence to have Mr. Igwe arrested and jailed by local authorities until their hearing. Mr. Igwe was subsequently released and left Nigeria to promote his anti-witch-hunt campaign from outside the country.