Can you be an avowed atheist in Iran?

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The Politicus
Nov 25, 2021 11:53 AM 0 Answers
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It seems that, at least as recently as 2014, Iran had a death penalty for apostasy. But apostasy isn't non-belief. In fact, that charge seems to be a rather contextual matter. In this Guardian story we find an example of a man was executed for "heresy" generally, but more specifically for "insulting prophet Jonah and making ‘innovations in religion’ through interpretations of Qur’an" - that is, he is religious, but he holds an unacceptable position within the sphere of (Shia) Islam.

My questions are:

  1. What exactly is illegal in Iran w.r.t. religious non-belief, if anything? Specifically, if you're an Atheist, and you say out loud that you don't believe in the existence of gods or supernatural phenomena etc. - have you violated Iranian law?
  2. Do people get prosecuted for holding atheist views? For expressing atheist views? For promoting atheism?

Part of my motivation for asking is an opinion poll from 2020, suggesting that over 20% of Iranians claim having no religion, and nearly 9% define themselves as outright atheists.

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  • November 25, 2021