Irreligion in Saudi Arabia

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Irreligion in Saudi Arabia is difficult to measure as it is illegal to leave the Islamic faith in the country.[1][2][3] Most atheists in Saudi Arabia communicate with each other via the internet.[4][5]

According to a 2012 poll by WIN-Gallup International, 19% of 502 Saudi Arabians surveyed stated they were "not religious", and 5% that there were "convinced atheists". This was well below the global average of 23% 'not religious' and 13% 'convinced atheist'.[6][7][8]

In March 2014, the Saudi interior ministry issued a royal decree branding all atheists as terrorists, which defines terrorism as "calling for atheist thought in any form, or calling into question the fundamentals of the Islamic religion on which this country is based."[9]

Apostasy is punishable by death in Saudi Arabia.[10]

List of Non-religious Saudis[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Why Are Saudis Tearing Up the Quran?". Vocativ. Retrieved 2014-04-18. 
  2. ^ "Atheists Classified As Terrorists Under New Saudi Arabian Laws". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  3. ^ "Saudi Arabia: A wave of atheism or a misunderstanding". Al Arabiya. Retrieved 2012-11-28. 
  4. ^ "'Fighting Reality': Life as an atheist in Saudi Arabia". Washington Post. Retrieved 2012-11-28. 
  5. ^ "Interview with a Saudi atheist". Your Middle East. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  6. ^ "Global Index of Religiosity and Atheism" (PDF). Gallup. 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 July 2017. Retrieved 2013-08-06. 
  7. ^ Max Fisher & Caitlin Dewey (23 May 2013). "A surprising map of where the world's atheists live". Washington Post. Retrieved 23 April 2018. 
  8. ^ "Atheism explodes in Saudi Arabia, despite state-enforced ban". Salon. Retrieved 2014-06-14. 
  9. ^ Adam Withnall (1 April 2014). "Saudi Arabia declares all atheists are terrorists in new law to crack down on political dissidents - Middle East - World". The Independent. Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  10. ^ "Saudi executioner tells all". BBC News. 5 June 2003. 

Further reading[edit]