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After a schism, a question: Can atheist churches last?
Sunday Assembly founders Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans have begun to franchise their "godless congregations."
January 4th, 2014
09:00 AM ET

After a schism, a question: Can atheist churches last?

By Katie Engelhart, special to CNN

LONDON (CNN) - The Sunday Assembly was riding high.

The world’s most voguish - though not its only - atheist church opened last year in London, to global attention and abundant acclaim.

So popular was the premise, so bright the promise, that soon the Sunday Assembly was ready to franchise, branching out into cities such as New York, Dublin and Melbourne.

“It’s a way to scale goodness,” declared Sanderson Jones, a standup comic and co-founder of The Sunday Assembly, which calls itself a “godless congregation.”

But nearly as quickly as the Assembly spread, it split, with New York City emerging as organized atheism’s Avignon.

In October, three former members of Sunday Assembly NYC announced the formation of a breakaway group called Godless Revival.

“The Sunday Assembly,” wrote Godless Revival founder Lee Moore in a scathing blog post, “has a problem with atheism.”

Moore alleges that, among other things, Jones advised the NYC group to “boycott the word atheism” and “not to have speakers from the atheist community.” It also wanted the New York branch to host Assembly services in a churchlike setting, instead of the Manhattan dive bar where it was launched.

Jones denies ordering the NYC chapter to do away with the word “atheism,” but acknowledges telling the group “not to cater solely to atheists.” He also said he advised them to leave the dive bar “where women wore bikinis,” in favor of a more family-friendly venue.

The squabbles led to a tiff and finally a schism between two factions within Sunday Assembly NYC. Jones reportedly told Moore that his faction was no longer welcome in the Sunday Assembly movement.

Moore promises that his group, Godless Revival, will be more firmly atheistic than the Sunday Assembly, which he now dismisses as “a humanistic cult.”

In a recent interview, Jones described the split as “very sad.” But, he added, “ultimately, it is for the benefit of the community. One day, I hope there will soon be communities for every different type of atheist, agnostic and humanist. We are only one flavor of ice cream, and one day we hope there'll be congregations for every godless palate."

Nevertheless, the New York schism raises critical questions about the Sunday Assembly. Namely: Can the atheist church model survive? Is disbelief enough to keep a Sunday gathering together?

Big-tent atheism

I attended my first service last April, when Sunday Assembly was still a rag-tag venture in East London.

The service was held in a crumbly, deconsecrated church and largely populated by white 20-somethings with long hair and baggy spring jackets (a group from which I hail.)

I wrote that the Assembly “had a wayward, whimsical feel. At a table by the door, ladies served homemade cakes and tea. The house band played Cat Stevens. Our ‘priest’ wore pink skinny jeans.”

I judged the effort to be “part quixotic hipster start-up, part Southern megachurch.”

The central idea was attractive enough. The Assembly described itself as a secular urban oasis, where atheists could enjoy the benefits of traditional church - the sense of community, the weekly sermon, the scheduled time for reflection, the community service opportunities, the ethos of self-improvement, the singing and the free food - without God. I liked the vibe and the slogan: “Live Better, Help Often, Wonder More.”

Shortly thereafter, Assembly services began bringing in hundreds of similarly warm-and-fuzzy nonbelievers. The wee East London church grew too small, and the Assembly moved to central London’s more elegant Conway Hall.

The Assembly drew criticism, to be sure—from atheists who fundamentally object to organized disbelief, from theists who resent the pillaging of their texts and traditions. But coverage was largely positive - and it was everywhere.

In September, a second wave of coverage peaked, with news that the Assembly was franchising: across England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, the United States and Australia. That month, the founders launched a crowd-funding campaign that aims to raise $802,500. (As of mid-December, less than $56,000 had been raised.)

Still, prospective Sunday Assembly franchisers seemed exhilarated. Los Angeles chapter founder Ian Dodd enthused that he would “have a godless congregation in the city of angels.” In November, his inaugural Assembly drew more than 400 attendees.

But as the atheist church grew, it began to change—and to move away from its atheism.

“How atheist should our Assembly be?” wrote Jones in August. “The short answer to that is: not very.”

Pippa Evans, Assembly’s other co-founder, elaborated: “‘Atheist Church’ as a phrase has been good to us. It has got us publicity. But the term ‘atheist’ does hold negative connotations.”

Warm-and-fuzzy atheism gave way to not-quite atheism: or at least a very subdued, milquetoast nonbelief. Sunday services made much mention of “whizziness” and “wonder”—but rarely spoke of God’s nonexistence.

The newer, bigger Sunday Assembly now markets itself as a kind of atheist version of Unitarian Univeralism: irreligious, but still eager to include everyone.

In a way, this is a smart move. According to the 2012 Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, 20% of Americans have no religious affiliation, but just a fraction of those identify as atheists.

A godless congregation is likely to draw crowds if it appeals to what Herb Silverman, founder of the Secular Coalition for America, calls “big-tent” atheism, which includes “agnostics, humanists, secular humanists, freethinkers, nontheists, anti-theists, skeptics, rationalists, naturalists, materialists, ignostics, apatheists, and more.”

But atheists who wanted a firmly atheist church—a Sunday Assembly where categorical disbelief is discussed and celebrated—will not be satisfied.

As the Sunday Assembly downplays its atheism, it also appears increasingly churchlike.

Starting a Sunday Assembly chapter now involves a “Sunday Assembly Everywhere accreditation process,” which grants “the right to use all the Sunday Assembly materials, logos, positive vibe and goodwill.”

Aspiring Sunday Assembly founders must form legal entities and attend “training days in the UK,” sign the Sunday Assembly Charter and pass a three- to six-month peer review. Only then may formal accreditation be granted.

This is not an East London hipster hyper-localism anymore.

Selling swag and charisma

Organized atheism is not necessarily new. French Revolutionaries, for instance, were early atheist entrepreneurs.

In 1793, secularists famously seized the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, to build a “Temple of Reason.” They decorated the church with busts of philosophers, built an altar to Reason, lit a torch of Truth - and brought in an actress to play Liberty.

A half-century later, French philosopher Auguste Comte drew acclaim for his “religion of humanity,” which imagined an army of secular sages ministering to secular souls. London has hosted formal atheist gatherings for almost as long.

History suggests, then, that there is nothing inherently anti-organization about atheism. As Assembly’s Sanderson Jones puts it, “things which are organized are not necessarily bad.”

To be sure, Sunday Assembly members in the United States say they've long wanted to join atheist congregations.

Ian Dodd, a 50-something camera operator in Los Angeles, had long been a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church; he enjoyed it, but wanted something more explicitly irreligious.

Nicole Steeves of the Chicago chapter found herself yearning for a secular community—a “place to check in and think about things bigger than the day-to-day”—after having her first child.

But it is one thing to support an atheist "church" - where the ‘c’ is small and the effort is local - and another to back an atheist ‘Church’ that is global and centralized.

The former responds directly to the needs and fancies of its community. The latter assumes that its particular brand of disbelief is universally relevant—and worthy of trademark.

Centralized atheism also feeds hungrily on charisma, and Sanderson Jones, who resembles a tall, bearded messiah - and who, despite the SA recommendation that Assembly hosts should be regularly rotated, dominates each London service - provides ample fuel.

But it remains to be seen whether the Sunday Assembly’s diluted godlessness is meaty enough to sustain a flock.

“Because it is a godless congregation, we don’t have a doctrine to rely on,” explains Sunday Assembly Melbourne’s founder, “so we take reference from everything in the world.”

So far, Assembly sermonizers had included community workers, physicists, astronomers, wine writers, topless philanthropers, futurologists, happiness experts, video game enthusiasts, historians and even a vicar. The pulpit is open indeed.

My own misgivings are far less academic. I’m simply not getting what the Sunday Assembly promised. I’m not put off by the secular church model, but rather the prototype.

Take an October service in London, for example:

Instead of a thoughtful sermon, I got a five-minute Wikipedia-esque lecture on the history of particle physics.

Instead of receiving self-improvement nudges or engaging in conversation with strangers, I watched the founders fret (a lot) over technical glitches with the web streaming, talk about how hard they had worked to pull the service off, and try to sell me Sunday Assembly swag.

What’s more, instead of just hop, skipping and jumping over to a local venue, as I once did, I now had to brave the tube and traverse the city.

Back in New York, Lee Moore is gearing up for the launch of Godless Revival - but still speaks bitterly of his time with the Sunday Assembly network.

Over the telephone, I mused that the experience must have quashed any ambition he ever had to build a multinational atheist enterprise.

“Actually,” he admitted, “we do have expansion aims.”

Katie Engelhart is a London-based writer. Follow her at @katieengelhart or www.katieengelhart.com.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Church • Faith • Houses of worship • Leaders

soundoff (4,535 Responses)
  1. GOOD NEWS

    Atheism is a dead end. Here is the Life for all.

    http://www.holy-19-harvest.com
    UNIVERSAL MAGNIFICENT MIRACLES

    January 5, 2014 at 4:29 am |
    • Evert van Vliet

      Miracles don't exist, no matter how many links you give.

      January 5, 2014 at 4:32 am |
    • Howard

      Miracles are in the eyes of the beholder. In my eyes, it would be a miracle if you could truly examine your own faith with something approaching objectivity.

      January 5, 2014 at 5:05 am |
      • G to the T

        Statistically speaking, there about 3 miracles (where miracle is defined as a hugely improbable event) a day.

        Sh!t happens.

        January 5, 2014 at 11:22 am |
        • Dandintac

          That's not a good definition for a miracle. Lightning struck three trees across the street from where I work. These trees were in a line but spaced apart–it was three separate lightning strikes, but all in a row. What are the odds of that? Astronomical–especially in that spot on that day. Wildly improbable things will happen SOMEWHERE, given time. This happens frequently–every time lightning strikes, the odds of it hitting any particular spot at a given time are enormously improbable.

          Now–what is an appropriate definition of a miracle–something we can say would be evidence for the supernatural? When the laws of nature are violated. A person's amputated limb grows back. If we had proof, a person rising from the dead would be considered a miracle too. But we have no hard evidence that this has ever happened.

          January 5, 2014 at 4:50 pm |
  2. Willam007

    It also wanted the New York branch to host Assembly services in a churchlike setting, instead of the Manhattan dive bar where it was launched.

    What a Hippocrates" they denounce God but called their place of warship "church" which is a name were Christians warship, and also want to warship like chuch sittings"

    January 5, 2014 at 4:29 am |
  3. SouthernFriedInfidel

    We atheists just can't have nice things, can we? LOL!!

    January 5, 2014 at 4:27 am |
  4. Left out

    I'd ask why there are no agnostic churches but because I haven't personally checked "everywhere" (including the multiverse) there might be some somewhere and I just don't know about them.

    January 5, 2014 at 4:22 am |
  5. My_Name_Is_NOT_Fonseka

    Quack.. Quack...

    January 5, 2014 at 4:15 am |
  6. Atheist communion

    Atheist minister: "Your death is permanent. So sayeth the American Medical Association on their last investigation of NDE being caused by the temporal lobe."

    congregation: "Well sh- It figures"

    Atheist minister: "So come, have a shot of tequila and a valium. Let us commiserate together."

    congregation: "Praise be to Pfizer"

    January 5, 2014 at 4:07 am |
  7. Gammorin

    What they argued about? Which god doesn't exist?
    A true atheist is the one who does not care about the religion and religious people. This is cult for self-satisfaction.

    January 5, 2014 at 4:07 am |
    • willknutsen

      Agreed! And these people seem to understand that some people will buy anything, so they are selling francises for a god-less church! I particularly was angered by the news that a band was playing Cat Stevens. That maniac called for the death of Salmon Rushdie. What kind of atheist plays a Muslim terrorist's music? Look, back in the 60's, when millions of young people dropped out, became a-religious and so on, organized religions cooked up scemes like this to try to gather the "lost sheep" back into the fold, so to speak. First one was taken to live in a "groovy hippie commune", but in time "Jesus", or whatever would be slowly brought out as the model for the Age of Aquarius. Next thing one knew one was working free for some Church-owned computer factory. I saw it happen. This article shows the same pattern. This is PT Barnum-style road to riches. This is why atheists do not organize, Church-style. If you need companionship and a social center, go to a bar or fitness center. Better yet, join The Reason group. Richard Dawkins. Or just be happy being free of the chains of religious belief.

      January 5, 2014 at 4:40 am |
      • Evert van Vliet

        "they are selling franchises"

        It's all there is.

        But then again (and again); that's exactly the religion we all have to adopt like it or not.
        Put more than one individual around any pa system and this is what you get; nonsense!

        I'm not buying any of it yet the bills keep on coming.

        January 5, 2014 at 4:45 am |
  8. Patty

    Atheist means without god or godless...end of story. That means an atheist can be anyone, with any views or beliefs as long as they are godless. So yes, you can have idiot atheists who want to form lil groups their egos can rule over. What an embarrassment.

    January 5, 2014 at 3:54 am |
    • Evert van Vliet

      Nobody actually can be anything but themselves.

      And that's what scares the holy s. out of organizations which claim differently.

      January 5, 2014 at 3:58 am |
  9. Padric2

    "I believe in all religions unfettered by mankind"
    -Francis Dunnery

    I'm pretty sure that rules all of them out….even this one.

    January 5, 2014 at 3:50 am |
  10. Francisco

    Seems like it also takes a lot of faith to be a part of this church. They don't believe in God but yet they use their views as if it is perfection. To them, the doctrine of this church is perfect, as if their way is the only correct way and that believers are wrong. So, in a way, they worship the way they live through their doctrine, in other words, their doctrine is their god. Sounds like faith now doesn't it?

    January 5, 2014 at 3:46 am |
  11. Don

    Why is it that atheists feel so compelled to disparage anyone who believes in God? I have good reason for doing so.

    If they don't like religionists banging down their doors to call on them to repent – maybe they should step back and look in the mirror next time they feel inclined to make a mockery of that which I and others feel are sacred.

    January 5, 2014 at 3:04 am |
    • Evert van Vliet

      It's never about individuals but about the organization(s) behind the utterly nonsense which call it the law.

      January 5, 2014 at 3:05 am |
    • Kevin

      The issue is you find utter nonsense as sacred. Beliefs have no more right to avoid criticism then any idea. The fact that you believe a guy was killed brought back to life then ascended to heaven to fulfill a rule that he himself created shows that your beliefs are utter nonsense, that and the fact that there is no writing of Jesus during his life or even for over 60 years after his supposed death. The bible was compiled almost 300 years after the supposed life of Jesus. You taking that as fact and truth shows that you have no idea how to investigate things or even critically think about things. We atheists are well within our rights to call your beliefs ridiculous if not insane.

      January 5, 2014 at 3:16 am |
      • Evert van Vliet

        You as an individual already had all the rights 'third parties' grand you.
        Personally I don't want any rights handed down from a (a)theist rule of thumb.

        It's pretty much like having the right to an opinion without making any observation, let alone reasoning.

        January 5, 2014 at 3:22 am |
        • FreeFromTheism

          I have no idea what you're talking about.

          January 5, 2014 at 3:34 am |
        • Evert van Vliet

          'It' happens, but do you understand the bible and other small print?

          January 5, 2014 at 3:45 am |
        • Friedrich

          I am not sure if you realize, but many of your sentences and thoughts are incomplete. People cannot understand what you are writing.

          January 5, 2014 at 5:25 pm |
      • Gammorin

        You guys have right to your opinion about your beliefs, but it's none of your business what other people believe.

        January 5, 2014 at 4:09 am |
        • Evert van Vliet

          It's NOT an opinion.

          In order to reason one together you have no other choice but to observe at least something.

          Rooting for the freedom to express an opinion which isn't makes even less sense.

          January 5, 2014 at 4:15 am |
    • FreeFromTheism

      The issue is that there need not be any sort of symmetry of the kind that you're trying to point out.

      January 5, 2014 at 3:32 am |
  12. ThereIsNoGod

    I wouldn't join any club that would have me as a member.

    January 5, 2014 at 2:59 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I love Groucho.

      January 5, 2014 at 3:00 am |
  13. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    There are a lot of people who just have a need to congregate, establish and reinforce a common system of beliefs. A hierarchy too, I suppose. That's where religions come from.

    January 5, 2014 at 2:58 am |
  14. Greenspam

    If religion is between you and God, what's the point of church?

    January 5, 2014 at 2:44 am |
    • snowboarder

      @green, the collection of money. god always seems to be short.

      January 5, 2014 at 2:49 am |
      • alakhtal

        This is very silly. After schism, Can atheist churches last? Oh hell no. church is biblical Avignon. For atheists, God doesn't exist. So why they have to bother to house him. Oh no it ain’t easy as I thought. Dumbdown boys. Atheists ain’t lookn’ for godless congregation but they wanted somewhere romantic to f✡ck each other every time their wives on menopause for free.

        January 5, 2014 at 3:52 am |
        • Evert van Vliet

          For theists god doesn't exist neither, other'wise' they couldn't believe he did.

          Fact is that folks are being taught they belong somewhere without mentioning any reason(s) why.

          (a)Theism, nationalism, basically any ism besides realism..it all boils down to the same; an absolute vacuum.

          January 5, 2014 at 3:56 am |
        • alakhtal

          "I couldn't agree with you more." I mean "I totally agree with you!"

          January 5, 2014 at 4:05 am |
    • Don

      Community, drawing strength and ideas from others, worship, adherence to doctrine.

      There are lots of reasons.

      January 5, 2014 at 3:01 am |
    • bannister

      Good question, here's the answer- religion is NOT just between "you and God" but between you, God and the rest of the your spiritual community. Religion is a community thing. It's the celebration of God in a group.

      I compare it to music – as a musician, I have a personal relationship with music and I can play music all by myself in a room for hours and have a transcendent experience. Yet, when more musicians join me, it adds yet another dimension to my music. And when a live audience is present, the energy level goes up even higher! Just like music, God can be experienced alone – or in a group. Both ways are equally great.

      January 5, 2014 at 3:13 am |
      • Evert van Vliet

        It's mostly dictatorship by brainwashed kids.
        Let's face it; the majority came mentally to an abrupt stand-still where it comes to making even the most basic observations.

        Not that they are on a lonely planet in that respect, most of what's been taught to exist in reality doesn't at all.

        January 5, 2014 at 3:18 am |
      • FreeFromTheism

        music exists, deities do not

        January 5, 2014 at 3:36 am |
        • bannister

          Music does NOT exist unless humans make it themselves. Music is the conscious CREATION of a beautiful ideal. Perhaps the same is true of God as well – perhaps humans are "creating" God every time they are gathered in worship. Perhaps the same emotional and spiritual energy that goes into making music at a concert on Friday night is the same human energy that "manifests" God during a Sunday morning service.

          When humans get together, they can "summon" amazing energy in many different forms. A group of humans can "summon" music using their musical talents – but that doesn't mean that everyone appreciates it. Some people will just walk right past a great street performer playing amazing classical music because they do not have the "ears" to hear it , they do not appreciate it's greatness. I think the same is true of God – people can walk right past a church with open doors, brimming with energy because they haven't developed their spirit enough to appreciate it.

          Music and God are both ethereal, transitory states – they can only be experienced subjectively but the DESIRE to experience them fully will increase one's enjoyment and understanding.

          January 5, 2014 at 10:24 am |
        • Evert van Vliet

          There's only a climax if one resonates to pre-programmed vibes though.

          Parades for the masses.

          January 5, 2014 at 10:32 am |
      • Friedrich

        Music, like your God, is created by Man

        January 5, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
  15. Evert van Vliet

    “we do have expansion aims.”

    Isn't that how all other congregations got their state of political godliness?..untouchable and tax-free.

    January 5, 2014 at 2:33 am |
  16. Maria

    As an atheist, I am very confused as to why an atheist church was formed. Not necessary and I would never attend. This reminds me so much of an episode of South Park where Cart man is in the distant future and factions of atheists are arguing with each over. Ridiculous indeed.

    January 5, 2014 at 2:33 am |
    • Evert van Vliet

      Just wondering; what makes you an a-theist if I may ask?

      Something that 'exists' by the 'grace' of nonsense doesn't make things any better.

      January 5, 2014 at 2:35 am |
      • snowboarder

        I suppose it is the same reason you don't believe in every other god professed by men over the course of history.

        January 5, 2014 at 2:37 am |
        • Evert van Vliet

          Yeah but you see; nobody but the 'believer' has the need to 'forget' to reason.

          An a-theist doesn't do much more than 'finding' respect in non-reasonable hear-say.

          January 5, 2014 at 2:49 am |
        • snowboarder

          "'finding' respect in non-reasonable hear-say."

          you're going to have to explain that. I don't know what you think it means.

          January 5, 2014 at 2:54 am |
        • Evert van Vliet

          It's about the same way 'socialists' turn out to be yet another form of control freak (re)organization.

          Fact is that ALL these politicians have no other choice but to recognize one another and therefore will demand everybody's respect without making a single point what-so-ever.

          It's ALL called a cult, including notions of nations.

          January 5, 2014 at 3:00 am |
    • tallulah13

      I agree. The whole concept of "atheist churches" is ridiculous. Can't they go bowling or something?

      January 5, 2014 at 2:57 am |
  17. snowboarder

    what the heck is an atheist church?

    January 5, 2014 at 2:32 am |
    • tallulah13

      Who knows? And more importantly, who cares? I don't need to go to a meeting to not believe in god.

      January 5, 2014 at 3:02 am |
      • Evert van Vliet

        When folks start to organize beyond individuality it's ALWAYS wise to take note.
        Most get confused and start to take notes so 'others' can follow.

        January 5, 2014 at 3:04 am |
  18. scottca

    The creation of an atheist church is a perplexing concept.

    A church is a place of worship and Atheists such as myself do not worship any deity, nor would it be logical or sensible to worship anything else. Nor do I see any sensible purpose in continually affirming my disbelief in a deity any more than affirming my disbelief in the tooth fairy or unicorns? Just as a Church devoted to the disbelief in the abominable snowman would seem wholly ridiculous so does this atheist one.

    Although I can see the usefulness of other atheist organizations and community groups, labeling such a church would seem wholly counter productive. Other Secular charities or community support groups would appear to be far more useful and productive but should never for a moment cross the line into group cultism or worship which would be utterly unhelpful.

    January 5, 2014 at 1:49 am |
    • James

      You're correct. These aren't rational human beings. They're idiots.

      January 5, 2014 at 2:38 am |
  19. scottca

    The creation of an atheist church is perplexing concept.

    A church is a place of worship and Atheists such as myself do not worship any deity, nor would it be logical or sensible to worship anything else. Nor do I see any sensible purpose in continually affirming my disbelief in a deity any more than affirming my disbelief in the tooth fairy or unicorns? Just as a Church devoted to the disbelief in the abominable snowman would seem wholly ridiculous so does this atheist one.

    Although I can see the usefulness of other atheist organizations and community groups, labeling such a church would seem wholly counter productive. Other Secular charities or community support groups would appear to be far more useful and productive but should never for a moment cross the line into group cultism or worship which would be utterly unhelpful.

    January 5, 2014 at 1:47 am |
    • Jeff Williams

      """The creation of an atheist church is perplexing concept."""

      What do churches, synagogues, and mosques have in common? Their beliefs? No.

      What they share is community. Social networking. You see this in every culture on the planet.

      These particular atheists are apparently seeking to form a community of their kind. That's all. It has nothing to do with worship. It has nothing to do with "religion" per se. It's a social construct.

      Though I'd have absolutely no desire to go, I understand why they're doing this.

      January 5, 2014 at 11:43 am |
      • Dandintac

        Jeff,

        I agree, but I think they would have more success as a Church of Humanism. Atheism is just about what you DON'T believe–and on just a single question. It's really very simple. But I think for people to congregate and share their lives, they would have more success and unity with a set of principles and beliefs that they agree they share in common. This would be where Humanism comes in.

        The two major tenets of Humanism are: a) a rejection of the supernatural and embrace of the natural; b) a belief that people must think for themselves. However, there are many other beliefs common among humanists that would be easy to get a near-consensus on. For example, a belief that morality is about improving the human welfare, and "evil" is about what is harmful to humanity and the Earth.

        Social networking, community, friendships and activities, support in times of hardship or personal crisis, and a forum for weddings and funerals–Yes, these are the real movers behind the impulse to form churches, but a set of shared beliefs about the universe may be the glue that holds it together.

        Thanks

        January 5, 2014 at 5:00 pm |
  20. Copenshaw

    Why are these i diots using the term 'church'? Why not 'mosque'?

    January 5, 2014 at 1:37 am |
    • Richard

      In the UK they would get arrested for offending muslims or have their heads cut off.

      January 5, 2014 at 6:52 am |
    • Saifuddin Ansari

      because the think mosque is another church

      January 5, 2014 at 10:57 am |
    • Flappy

      A mosque is a Muslim place of warship. Atheists aren't Muslims.

      January 5, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
      • AQ

        A church is a place for Christian worship. Atheists are not Christians.

        January 5, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
      • John

        I agree that mosques are places of warship. Much violence and possibly even wars have been planned in mosques.

        January 5, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
    • Friedrich

      Athiest dont worship.....they get an education

      January 5, 2014 at 5:21 pm |
      • Warbo

        Everybody worships, whether they realize it or not.

        January 6, 2014 at 5:47 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.