The “Säkulare Flüchtlingshilfe e.V.“ (Atheist Refugee Relief) is supporting religiously persecuted people (e.g. after apostasy) and religion-free refugees. We stand in the tradition of evolutionary humanism and the Enlightenment. We stand for tolerance and renunciation of violence between cultures and world view groups – regardless of whether they are religious or non-religious. The vision of the association is based on the liberal democratic basic order, the Amsterdam Declaration and the principles of the open society, namely liberality (orientation towards the ideal of freedom), equality (orientation towards the ideal of equality), individuality (orientation towards the individual instead of the collective) and secularity (orientation towards secular forms of norm justification).
However, these basic principles are not yet or not sufficiently guaranteed for many non-religious groups in Germany and the world. Therefore the Atheist Refugee Relief demands from German politics:
- Coherent, value-based German policy in terms of human rights in Germany and abroad against all forms of religious fundamentalism.
- Improving the objectives, structures and instruments of international cooperation between Germany and the European Union in the prevention and follow-up of religious causes leading to persecution and flight.
Effectiveness in Germany
- Effective state protection of the religiously persecuted and religion-free refugees in Germany, not only against state repression and threats by the governments of their countries of origin (e.g. Iran, Saudi Arabia), but also against militias, family and clan members. Among other things, the German government can lift the residence restrictions to protect against persecution, improve data protection and privacy processes, raise the awareness of police and security authorities for foreign perpetrator networks in Germany, take diplomatic measures and order expulsions and entry bans.
- Specialized psychological and medical services aimed at reducing the consequences of psychological and physical abuse (e.g. after corporal punishment, torture, imprisonment, house arrest, kidnapping, extortion, coercion, rape, child sexual abuse, genital mutilation).
- Promotion of non-ideological integration, social, cultural and educational programs with a focus on empowering women’s and children’s rights.
- Training of administrative staff, especially in municipalities and in the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) with regard to the special need for protection.
- Participation in consultation and implementation processes of German foreign policy, development policy, international cultural policy and human rights policy with the same level of recognition, rights and influence as religious organizations. Opening of state-funded interreligious dialogue and corresponding projects to non-religious persons and groups of people of different faiths with respect for religious and ideological plurality and the necessary neutrality.
- Promotion of organizations and networks in the countries of origin and transit to address the special protection needs of those affected locally.
- Consideration of the concerns of religiously persecuted persons and religion-free refugees by the “Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid” and the “Federal Government Commissioner for Worldwide Freedom of Religion” in an appropriate manner in their reports and statements. The same applies to the German positions adopted by the commissioners and the forums at the EU and UN levels, particularly in the areas of “Freedom of Religion or Belief” (FoRB) and “Freedom of Opinion and Expression”.
- Political support in the investigation of human rights violations in the countries of origin, especially in cases of state-sanctioned persecution and, for example, in clarifying state and organizational liability, class actions, compensation payments and proceedings before the International Criminal Court.