EXPLORE, CONNECT AND SUPPORT!
The worldwide atheist community is growing rapidly. Internet is flourishing with new various forms of secular websites, forums, blogs, YouTube channels, podcasts, Facebook groups etc. where people share thoughts on atheism and religion through their own experience. There are also several projects and organizations offering help for those of you who are leaving religion behind and need support and guidance through your transition. Below is a growing list of inspiring people, vlogs and projects that we think you should check out!
Since an atheist is someone who does not have the belief that gods exist - then this is also the only thing you can know for certain that two atheists have in common. So be prepared to spend some time looking around finding forums or vlogs that suits you and your interests. Join the discussions, start following, support, get tips from others, make new friends and help spread the words of skeptical thinking, logic and reason - hopefully you'll get inspired to start your very own project!
FAITH TO FAITHLESS
Faith to Faithless was started in mid-2015 by Aliyah Saleem and Imtiaz Shams to draw attention to the discrimination faced in particular by minority within minorities and give a platform to the faithless to come out in public and speak out against this discrimination. They want their website to become a first port of call for ex-religious people everywhere, who often feel alone and just need to know that they aren’t. They are going to keep adding videos, doing events and helping bring people together. In early 2017 Faith to Faithless became a part of the British Humanist Association (BHA), the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people in the United Kingdom. Read more about it here and support Faith to Faithless here.
ATHEISM IN ARABIC
To translate well written books, films and YouTube clips about atheism and science into Arabic for easy access to the masses seems like the best possible anonymous atheist activism to do for anyone who wants to make a difference with a greater magnitude:
"It probably never crossed Richard Dawkins's mind that his book, The God Delusion, would reach out to Arab audiences in their own language. When I met him in Switzerland at Denkfest, organized by the Swiss Freethinker's Association, he was surprised when I said I had read The God Delusion in Arabic. He told me that he was not aware of the translation, and nor had he had any official request for it. I explained that it had been the work of an Iraqi friend called Bassam Al-Baghdadi, who lives in Sweden. To say that Bassam's work has been well received would be an understatement: The pdf was downloaded ten million times, with 30 per cent going to Saudi Arabia."
In Arab countries, openly declaring a disbelief in God is a shocking and sometimes dangerous thing to do. Many have been imprisoned for it, some have been forced into exile and others threatened with execution. And yet, in a region where the influence of religion is almost inescapable, growing numbers are claiming a right to believe – or disbelieve – as they see fit. Social media have given them a voice and the uprisings that toppled Arab dictators have emboldened them to speak out. In the groundbreaking book Arabs Without God, journalist Brian Whitaker looks at the factors that lead them to abandon religion and the challenges they pose for governments and societies that claim to be organized according to the will of God.
For more YouTube clips, films and books on atheism and science in Arabic check out the great YouTube channel Cosmic Dust and the websites www.arabatheistbroadcasting.com and the Forbidden Books Library.
THE ATHEIST VOICE
Hemant Mehta's passion for reason and clarity can't be missed. His own YouTube channel The Atheist Voice is simply the best ABC of atheism around. (We hope most clips will be subtitled in Arabic and other languages soon!) When not explaining the atheist world for us on YouTube, he is writing for the Friendly Atheist and hosting the Friendly Atheist Podcast. His importance for the atheist community can't be exaggerated! Make sure to subscribe to his YouTube channel and support him here.
THE GREAT PROJECT
This is a subreddit for people to write out their religious de-conversion story (i.e. the path to atheism/agnosticism/deism/etc) in detail. Originally meant to go into an e-book, at minimum it serves as therapy and reassurance to those still going through such transitions in their lives. Please share your stories with everyone!
"With her sharp wit, good looks, and smashing sense of humor, Jaclyn Glenn has quickly become the new “it” girl in the atheist community. Her hit Youtube channel, JaclynGlenn has rocketed past 450,000 subscriptions in no time flat and millions have been entertained by her quirky view of the world." Also check out her web and support her work here.
Alex O'Connor is known as the Cosmic Skeptic on social media. He lives in the UK and he has made quite a splash into the YouTube scene. Only being at this for a few months, he's been able to amass over 70K subscribers! His first popular video was one on a Jehovah's Witness propaganda video, but then he quickly drew the eye of Hemant Mehta. Getting two videos featured on Hemant's blog really skyrocketed him up in the sub count, which he rightfully deserves. If you're into critical thinking, atoms and planets and stuff and beef with religious people then this is the place for you. Check out his website, Facebook page and his YouTube channel and subscribe!
Sherif Gaber is probably one of the loudest arabic atheist voices out there who still has not moved to a safe place in a secular country. As a top student he was kicked out from his University because he stood up against his professor's ignorant rant about LGBT people. Few months later he was arrested and sentenced to one year in prison for "indecent ideas" like "inciting atheism and immoral values" etc. Currently being on the run from Egyptian authorities he's decided to stay in Egypt, go underground and keep making videos about atheism, religion, science and human rights posted on his YouTube channel - and he's reaching a massive young Arabic audience that is craving for an openly secular life. Buckle up, read his incredible story and support his struggle here. Seriously, this guy plays an important part for needed change in the Arabic countries. Help him here and subscribe to his channel!
Evid3nc3 is a vlogger with over 30,000 subscribers who makes videos about atheism, religion, and spirituality. He started gaining massive amounts of subscribers with the creation of his “Deconversion” series. Each video critically examined with much detail about certain aspects of religious faith. As the videos went along, debunking certain aspects of faith as it went on. The series gives an excellent presentation of the slow process of losing ones religiosity in favor of atheism. Many atheists were quickly able to relate to this series since it is common for atheists to come from a religious background. The videos are well constructed, playing nice music and wonderful cartoons and diagrams showing the steps of logic. Below are the 3 first videos of a current total of over 20 great videos that you can see at his YouTube channel. Make sure to subscribe and support his work here.
"Since 2009, I have been telling my story. The story of once being a completely devoted Pentecostal Christian and how my life changed as my faith began to erode and then suddenly and jarringly disintegrated. And the story of how I rose from those ashes to become a better human being." - Evid3nce
Armin Navabi is a former Muslim from Iran and the founder of Atheist Republic, a non-profit organization with over one million fans and followers worldwide that is dedicated to offering a safe community for atheists around the world to share their ideas and meet like-minded individuals. Their web is a fantastic melting pot of all things atheism with tons of tips, discussions, friendship and good reads. In the past years, they have developed a website with a blog, news, and resources and grown a management team of over 150 people from all around the world - now offering Atheist Republic Consulates around the world so you can meet up with fellow atheists irl. The Facebook page has grown to more than 1 300,000 fans and the private group to more than 23,000 members, which is now one of the most active private atheist communities online. Support Atheist Republic here.
A BETTER LIFE
Chris Johnson is a New York-based photographer and filmmaker. He is the author of the coffee table photography book A Better Life: 100 Atheists Speak Out on Joy & Meaning in a World Without God as well as the documentary film version, A Better Life: An Exploration of Joy & Meaning in a World Without God. Also check out his YouTube channel for more great interviews and personal stories!
I BELIEVE IN SCIENCE
For 5 years I Believe in Science has been creating scientific content in Arabic. The primary Facebook page has over 1.5 million fans, their Theory of Evolution page is quickly approaching 200K followers and their YouTube channel is piling up loads of interesting science videos in Arabic.
The goal is to enlighten the Arabic population by creating a trustworthy and reliable source of scientific news and information in Arabic. They are also creating the FIRST & ONLY Arabic database explaining the theory of evolution, its history, its evidences and clarifying the misconception about it. Change the future to the better, get involved and support this project here.
Black Nonbelievers (BN) is a non-profit fellowship of nonbelievers headquartered in the Atlanta area that is dedicated to providing an informative, caring, festive and friendly environment. They strive to connect with other Blacks (and their allies) who are living free of religion and irrational beliefs, and might otherwise be shunned by family and friends. Instead of accepting dogma, they seek to determine truth and morality through reason and evidence.
BN welcomes all regardless of sex, sexuality, gender identity, age, national origin or race. They extend a caring embrace to all who wish to explore a meaningful and rational life. BN is expanding throughout the US with local communities already in several cities. Hook up, support and join this amazing group of brave people today!
A couple videos below are from an affiliate project called "Secular Voices of Color" initiated by Sincere Kirabo, read more about this important project here and be sure to make your own contribution soon!
EX-MUSLIMS OF NORTH AMERICA
Ex-Muslims of North America, co-founded by Sarah Haider and Muhammad Syed, is the first organization of its kind to establish communities exclusive to ex-muslims in order to foster a sense of camaraderie and offer a space free of judgement for lack of religiosity. EXMNA has established local chapters in 18 cities across the United States and Canada, with hundreds of ex-muslims taking part in local meetups. As part of their mission to raise the voices and ideas of ex-muslims, they launched The Ex-Muslim – the world’s first and only online magazine and blogroll offering a nuanced insight on Islam from former Muslims.
More recently, they launched The Ex-Muslim Revolution – a podcast featuring ex-muslims from various walks of life discussing issues that dig below the surface on issues post-Islam. EXMNA representatives speak at conferences across the United States and Canada as well as appear on various media outlets when the opportunity arises. Support EXMNA here.
Secular people – including atheists, freethinkers, agnostics, humanists and nonreligious people – are everywhere. They are your friends, your neighbors, your coworkers – even your loved ones. But they often can’t be open about who they are.
Openly Secular is changing that. Their toolkits, resources, and videos help break down barriers and help secular people live full, honest, and open lives. Tell Your Story. Speak Your Truth. Together we can eliminate discrimination and increase acceptance. www.openlysecular.org
The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain started the #ExMuslimBecause campaign in 2015, encouraging non-religious people from across the Muslim world to come out and say why they left Islam. Managed by Rayhana Sultan the project has gained massive attention and has evolved to becoming another friendly harbor for ex-muslims throughout the world. Check out their website and Facebook page and don't forget to send your own #ExMuslimBecause tweet to the world!
"The #ExMuslimBecause is a campaign to abolish blasphemy laws that prosecutes former Muslims for leaving the faith. The campaign was launched on 19th November 2015 to raise awareness of the scarcity of free speech and human rights in countries where leaving Islam is punished with death or severe community discrimination."
Daniel Sulzbach, more known by his online alias MrRepzion, is a German-American YouTube vlogger. His YouTube channel currently has over 500,000 subscribers. Daniel is known by his videos about different subjects, varying from religion to video games. Coming from a very religious home he has a lot to share about his journey from belief to non-belief. Hours of great stuff ahead! Support his work here.
I'M AN EX MORMON
ImAnExMormon video series is dedicated to sharing the stories of those who have courageously followed their own path out of Mormonism into a non-religious life with the hope that their struggles and accomplishments will help others to have compassion and respect for those who have made this journey.
The organization Muslimish wants to create a safe, supportive, and open-minded environment for the exchange of thoughts and ideas among current and former Muslims, foster a pluralist society that respects the rights of all individuals to live according to their conscience, and strive to abolish blasphemy and apostasy laws across the globe. In June 2016 they held their first conference in New York.
Muslimish consists of a group of Ex-Muslims and Muslims of varying degrees of religiosity who wants to create a safe place for people to exchange thoughts and ideas that they were taught not to talk about. They want to give Irreligious people (atheists, deists, etc) in Muslim countries a voice, because they will be executed if their voices were raised. Check out their website and YouTube channel, become and member and/or support them here.
THE THINKING ATHEIST
Seth Andrews is the curious mind with the most soooothing voice hosting The Thinking Atheist YouTube channel, podcast and web with loads of interesting interviews and stories. The Thinking Atheist "challenges the claims of religion and encourages all to reject faith, to be unfailingly curious, and to keep thinking." Just awesome! Support The Thinking Atheist here.
Movements.org is an online platform that links human rights activists in closed societies with people around the world with skills to help. Movements is aimed at activists and individuals dedicated to defending and expanding human rights. This powerful combination provides those fighting for human rights in dictatorships with the expertise they need to strengthen their voice. Movements takes out the middleman in human rights and creates links to strengthen dissidents and weaken dictators.
It gives average people with unique skills the ability to help activists in need. Crowdsourcing the fight for human rights is a new solution to an old problem. Movements is where anyone with a skill - artists, writers, journalists, translators, technologists, PR experts, policy-makers and more - can connect directly with human rights activists in closed societies. Movements philosophy is that big, collective actions are only possible through small, individual ones. Everyone has a role to play.
Faisal Saeed Al Mutar is an Iraqi born writer, satirist, computer geek and a Human rights activist. He is an advocate for Secularism, human rights and the free market of ideas and a big enthusiast of the intersection of technology and advocacy. Al-Mutar is the Middle East Manager for Movements.org and the founder of the Global Secular Humanist Movement and Secular Post. He is also one of the 4 co-hosts of the Secular Jihadist Podcast. Support his work here.
LONDON BLACK ATHEISTS
London Black Atheists, despite the name Black, is a group that welcomes all atheists. We want to free our minds and our communities from all religious pollution and corruption. Our mission is to encourage ethnic peoples of all stripes and particularly of the African Diaspora to come out as atheists to other atheists. We will not reveal your identity publicly. We provide a friendly, welcoming and supportive environment for people who want to declare themselves as atheists but are wary of receiving a hostile reaction from their family and friends, leaving them isolated with no one to turn to and nowhere to go. Our main site is on www.meetup.com where you can find our discussion forum and details of all upcoming events."
CONFESSIONS OF AN EXMUSLIM
Yasmine is an Arab-Canadian university educator who has recently written a memoir entitled ‘Some of my Best Friends are Jewish, and other confessions of an ExMuslim’. She is also one of the 4 co-hosts of the Secular Jihadist Podcast.
In "Confessions of an ExMuslim" she describes how, even though she was born and raised in North America, she endured the same traumas that are familiar to Muslims across the planet. As a child, she was beaten for not memorizing the Quran. As a teenager, she was forced into a marriage to a member of Al Qaeda (after he was bailed out of prison by Osama bin Laden himself). And as an adult, she wore a niqab, and lived in a home/prison with paper covering all the windows. Yet, somehow, with nothing but a high school diploma and a baby in tow, she got out. Despite the dark themes, Yasmine’s message is one of hope to her fellow ExMuslims.
"Secular Rescue is a program of the Center for Inquiry to help individuals around the world at risk of violent attack for exercising their right to free expression, raising funds to enable us to relocate them to safety.
Over the past three years, a human rights crisis has been spinning out of control in Bangladesh. A shocking rise in militant extremism and terrorism has claimed the lives of innocent citizens from all backgrounds: Christians, Hindus, Sufis, and Shias; University professors, students, LGBT activists, publishers, and others. In 2015 CFI launched the Freethought Emergency Fund to address this crisis. In 2016 it was re-launched as Secular Rescue, now a formal program of CFI .
With strong public support, we have been able to relocate more than a dozen writers, publishers, and activists—and, in some cases, their entire families. They are alive today because of this program."