Dear friends,
I am working to compile for publication a book of essays/articles about the experiences of atheists around the world.
I am from the United States, where religion is usually a personal matter and one’s beliefs or non-beliefs do not necessarily affect their public lives. I live in the middle-east, where a person’s religion is very public, even printed their national identity card, and people of different religions have different legal systems. It is a much different experience being atheist in the USA and being an atheist in the middle-east.
I am very interested to hear about the experience of atheists in different cultures and societies around the world. Our beliefs are similar, but the way they affect our lives is very different. 

For this reason, I am seeking contributions of articles from atheists and non-believers around the world. I am especially interested to hear from atheists in non-western countries, countries which espouse a state
religion, and countries where the majority religion is non-theistic or polytheistic.  I am also interested to hear the experiences of atheists who are members of a minority community.

I would like submissions to include both personal experience and the facts of your environment. Some questions to consider:
What is your experience as an atheist in your country or community? Are you open about your non-belief or must you keep your atheism a secret? Are you discriminated against for your atheism? How does your day-to-day life compare with the lives of religious believers in your country or community? How does your atheism affect your family life? Do you celebrate holidays? What struggles do you face, if any, as a non-believer? Does your country list a religion on your identity card, and if so, is “atheist” allowed as a response? Do you face legal restrictions due to your beliefs? 

Submissions should be at least 1000 words and up to 5000 words.
(Please assume that readers have little knowledge of your
country’s majority religion and explain that cultural context from which you write.)
(pen-names are allowed if necessary)
Please submit your essays to
jennifer (dot) thorson (at) uwmalumni (dot) com

Views: 80

Replies to This Discussion

Since this doesn't sound Utah-specific, perhaps you should post it on the regular forum somewhere?
I have, but I also posted it here because I'd like to ensure that when representing America, I include essays from minority groups and people that might have particularly interesting experiences. I tend to think that the Utah cultural context is somewhat unique; I would guess that the experiences of an atheist in Utah might be significantly different in some ways than the experiences of an atheist in Vermont or New Jersey or the Pacific Northwest, for example.
I would especially love to be able to include an essay about what it's like to be an atheist of Mormon background or in a Mormon community. Posting the request here in addition to a more general forum increases the likelihood of it being seen by people with this specific environmental context.
I certainly didn't mean to step on any toes by posting it here. I want to cast a wide net and target as many different communities as possible, since the quality of the finished product will depend on the quality and quantity of articles I receive. Hope that's okay with y'all :)
Oh didn't think you were stepping on any toes - quite the contrary! I was just curious why on this specific forum instead of the general forum. Wasn't until well after I posted that I noticed you did post to most of the local groups.

I for one am not an ex-Mormon from Utah. Ex-Episcopalian from Michigan. But even though I haven't been too immersed in the blanket of Utah, it's still a bit of a culture shock from where I grew up. Beautiful country, with some scary individuals. The last time someone asked me "When you die, where do you think you'll go?" I replied "Utah." They clarified heaven or hell and I said, "That depends which part of Utah."


As a would-be writer, I might just take you up on the essay request. Though I haven't had any particularly exciting Atheist experiences compared to some.

Thanks for your interest. You're more than welcome to participate, regardless of how exciting your experiences have been or not been!
For the purpose of this project, the fact that some atheists' lives are not very greatly affected by their lack of religious belief is just as note-worthy as the fact that some atheists' lives are at risk for their lack of religious belief.
To continue the previous thought:
While this project will naturally highlight the discrimination that atheists face, that discrimination can range from simple lack of recognition to extreme outright persecution, and I hope to compile the most inclusive collection possible. I also feel that including some positive stories will not only contribute to a more complete reflection of atheist experiences, but will also provide a more hopeful tone for the finished project.
Are you still working on this? I could write something up.
Yes, I'm still collecting articles. Sorry, I haven't signed onto nexus lately and didn't see your comment sooner. I am still working on the project; it's slow going. It would be great if you'd like to contribute!


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