Belgium respects atheism


In a study covering 196 countries, Belgium has achieved the top spot, along with the Netherlands and Taiwan, of the best countries to live for atheists and free-thinkers.

This gives an idea of how important the tolerance which prevails in our country is, when you consider that in the countries at the bottom of the list, people are discriminated against, particularly in terms of employment, or even worse, with cases of arrest, torture and even the death penalty.

Since its constitution was adopted by the National Congress on 7 February 1831, freedom of religion has been guaranteed by supreme law, which means that no-one can be banned from, or forced to respect, a religion in Belgium. This constitution was considered to be the most liberal and progressive of its day; in fact, in addition to freedom of religion, it also guarantees freedom of education, association and the press. This long tradition of tolerance in religious and philosophical matters has recently been highlighted by the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), an international umbrella organisation bringing together humanist, atheist, rationalist, secular, sceptical and free-thinking associations.