Global Quickies: Exorcisms, Measles on a Plane, and the Threats of Atheism

“Muslims who were among migrants trying to get from Libya to Italy in a boat this week threw 12 fellow passengers overboard — killing them — because the 12 were Christians, Italian police said Thursday.”

Meet 6 feminists from around the world reporting on life for girls in their countries.

“Australia Prime Minister Tony Abbott has just announced a new policy that will go into effect January 2016 – the “no jab, no pay” policy. Under this policy parents who refuse to vaccinate their children will lose tax exemptions for children.”

“Following a series of abductions last year by Boko Haram groups, military escorts have been joining vaccination drives in Cameroon’s Far North Region to protect both local and international humanitarian workers. In addition to acting as a security presence, officers, who normally patrol the frontlines and at-risk border communities, are also trained to administer polio vaccines – a tactic UNICEF says has been key to the successful campaign.”

The atheist blogosphere can’t get enough of this newly published survey of religiosity in 65 countries. You won’t believe the results! (No, actually you will).

“The “Pope Francis effect” has been credited with encouraging a resurgence in faith among rank-and-file Catholics but it has also had a more unexpected consequence – a boom in the demand for exorcisms.”

“Protesters around the world have vowed to remember the girls abducted by the Nigerian militant Islamist group Boko Haram one year ago.”

“Passengers who flew from Indonesia to Brisbane last Wednesday are being urged to contact their GP if they feel unwell after three people on the flight contracted measles.”

The five feminist activists jailed on March 6th 6 over their planned campaign against sexual harassment have been released on bail, but they remain criminal suspects in the eyes of the police and the Chinese judicial system.

A mental health institution was found to have been illegally testing pharmaceuticals on patients. The research was only authorized for ambulatory patients able to consent, but was conducted on patients with serious illnesses or who had been incapacitated. The whistle-blower was fired and threatened with fines for speaking out.

The Ministry of Religious Endowments will form special groups to spread awareness on the threats of atheism, Shi’a, Baha’ism expiation, killings, and drug addiction.

“The Russian-language version of Apple’s digital assistant Siri has been accused of being homophobic by some users who received surprising answers when asking it questions with the word “gay” and “lesbian” in the sentence.”

Featured image: Least religious country chart from The Washington Post.


Born and raised in Mexico City, Daniela has finally decided to abdicate her post as an armchair skeptic and start doing some skeptical activism. She is currently living in Spain after having lived in the US, Brazil and Italy. You can also find her blogging in Spanish at

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  1. “…people younger than 34 tend to be more religious than older respondents.” That is surprising.

  2. The nonreligiousity map has New Zealand as ‘no data’. It only took me a few minutes to find data from the 2013 census:
    1,635,348 responses of “no religion”
    No responses of “Atheist” or “agnostic” – presumably there was a decision that people who answered “atheist”/”agnostic” were in the “no religion” category.
    3,901,164 made some response to the question. 173,034 responded ‘object to answering’. So 1635348/(3901164-173034) *100% = 43.9%, hence light blue.

    It is interesting that this is lower than Australia (colour coded as 50-75%). Culturally we are very similar, and Australia has many more (at least nominally) religious schools.

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