Atheists In South Africa


At A First Glance

I’ve always taken solace in the thought revolution that I had imagined was happening in South Africa and indeed Humanity, as it seemed that  atheists are steadily coming out of the wood works. But, you need only listen to assert the ideals that dominate the thought arena in South Africa. With the exception of literally 1 hand full of people, I’ve found the sum total of my peers, immediate and extended family to be entirely religious. And, of the literal 1 hand full of irreligious people, most subscribe to varying forms of spirituality or agnosticism with 1 or 2 being openly atheist. It should then go without saying, that the brutal truth is that South Africa and indeed the world is undeniably under the influence of faith.

Looking at the Data

The last census data we have shows a whopping 83.5% of the population being religious, of which 3.4% fall under non-christian religions such as Islam, Hinduism, Judaism and traditional beliefs leaving atheist somewhere in the remaining 16%. This census data was taken in 2001; in the recent 2012 census it was not deemed as a priority to record the data. The census data represents serious social issues if we are to assume no increase/decrease in the figures over recent years. It’s interesting to note that 2 of the countries responsible for colonizing South Africa, ultimately giving it the phenomena of Christianity, show widely contradictory data. Brittan and Netherlands show 37% and 28% of its population believing in the existence of a God, 33% and 39% subscribing to varying spiritual beliefs with 25% and 30% effectively being atheists. Portugal, also responsible for colonizing South Africa; show very similar data to our 2001 census.

Poor atheists

This is quite alarming when you consider that well over 40,000,000 South Africans have imaginary friends and subscribe to children stories as a basis of reality. Even more concerning than this is the crippling lack of diversity in thought among the population. The critical mass of the religious allows it to steer the dialogue to suit its agenda, often resulting in valuable resources being focused on trivial matters such as the existence of 1 or more deities and transgressions of various religious leaders;  corroding desperately  needed progress in other social arenas. It seems that ignorance is to endure a while longer as a result of the lack of diversity and free thought. Unfortunately the fractional percentage of atheist will have to make the best of living under a Stone Age regime, held back by the masses not yet ready to deal with the real world.

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