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Russell's Lighthouse

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We are a worldwide social network of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and secular humanists.

Numbers matter. Be counted.


1.     What is Atheist Census?

Atheist Census is a project to count and collect demographic information on the world’s atheists.

2.     What are the objectives of Atheist Census?

Atheist Census aims to build a picture of the world’s atheists – where they are, their genders and ages, their education and religious (if any) background – and use that information to demonstrate the presence and importance of atheists in societies around the world.

3.     Who is behind Atheist Census?

Atheist Census is a project of Atheist Alliance International (AAI), a global alliance of atheist/freethought groups and individuals.  AAI’s website is

4.     What will the information be used for?

Aggregated to the country level, the information collected by Atheist Census is freely available through the Atheist Census website so that atheists can demonstrate their presence in their own countries.  AAI would be pleased to discuss other uses of the information with like-minded groups or individuals.

5.     Why do I have to provide my email address to participate in Atheist Census?

To ensure that the data collected by Atheist Census is credible each person is only permitted to have one entry in Atheist Census.  While we cannot guarantee that each person has only one email address, this approach is a practical way to limit the risk of duplication.

6.     Why do I need to verify my information through the email confirmation?

To ensure that the data collected by Atheist Census is credible we need to check that a real person is behind each submission.

7.     What happens if I don’t validate my Atheist Census data?

Data that is not validated will be deleted after 24 hours and another entry associated with that email address may be made.

8.     How quickly will my data show up in Atheist Census?

After you have clicked on the validation link to confirm your data it will be added to the Atheist Census database.  The statistics shown on the Atheist Census website are regularly updated from the database, but the process is not instantaneous.  Don’t worry, if you have confirmed your data, it is included in Atheist Census.

9.     Why haven’t I receive my validation email?

If you think you haven’t received your validation email firstly please check your spam folder.  If you still haven’t received your validation email after a few hours please email us at from the same email address that you used for your Atheist Census entry and tell us.  We are aware of a small minority of situations where the validation email is sent but it appears to be blocked by settings on the recipient email server.  If you let us know, we can manually confirm your data so that you will be counted in Atheist Census.

10.    Why is there a minimum age for Atheist Census?

We consider atheism to be a reasoned position, which requires that a person has seriously contemplated the concept of religion and concluded that they do not believe in any god.  This conclusion requires a certain level of intellectual maturity.  While individuals vary we have selected 15 as the minimum age at which we are comfortable that, on average, people have the capacity to reach this conclusion.

11.    What exactly do you mean by the titles atheist, freethinker, humanist etc – why don’t you provide definitions?

An atheist is simply someone who does not believe in any god, essentially, a non-religious person.  However, many people who are not religious prefer to use another title and that title may mean slightly different things to different people.  Rather than seek to impose AAI’s view of what those titles mean on people, we want to know which title people use to describe themselves.

12.    Which country am I “from” – country of birth or country of current residence?

We consider people to be from the country with which they have their primary affiliation.  For some people this will be their country of birth, for some it will be their country of current residence, for others it might be the country where they have spent most of their life.  It’s a matter of personal judgement.

13.    Wasn’t there another Atheist Census first?

The original Atheist Census launched in May 2012 but, unfortunately, ceased due to technical problems shortly after its launch.  AAI subsequently acquired and re-launched the project.

14.    I was counted in the first Atheist Census – can I be included in this one?

Yes!  No data has been retained from original Atheist Census.

15.    Where does the money donated to Atheist Census go?

AAI will use funds raised through Atheist Census to help cover development costs and pay for the ongoing technical requirements and marketing of the project.  Funds raised in addition to the needs of Atheist Census specifically will be used to support other projects by AAI to promote atheism and secularism around the world.  You can see more information on AAI’s projects at

16.    Who can I contact for more information?

Please email the Atheist Census Coordinator at for further information on Atheist Census.  Please contact Atheist Alliance International at  for general information relating to atheism, secularism or AAI.


Link to the Atheist Census web site.

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That is newsworthy!!!

Their site is still down, under DoS attack, but they wrote they were up for only 17 h and had 8800 confirmed signers and >2300 more to be confirmed.

From an article by Sean Rowland on the DoS attack:

So who is it that doesn't want atheists to be counted? Is it the same kind of people who are trying to find new words to use to marginalize atheists in facebook groups? What I found so fitting is just how well this new development tied in with what I was experiencing at that very moment which was a sense of being restricted, excluded, profiled, vilified, mischaracterized, and marginalized. My brief sense of excitement soon returned to a feeling of being targeted again.

I really wanted to know what was going on and so I contacted the Atheist Alliance International from their website at and received a very prompt email reply from Tanya Smith, the General Manager and Director of AAI. We got together on Skype in the middle of the night Pacific Standard Time (it was 8:45 PM in Melbourne where Tanya was located) and she confirmed the message on the AAI census page and assured me that this small setback would be overcome and that the long-term mission of providing a useful census for atheists worldwide would continue in full force and all subsequent attempts to block the effort would be handled accordingly. I was also made aware that no emails are stored and that no personally identifiable information was collected or needed in order to provide the census. And no data was lost or compromised. So for those who added their information and have not yet received the conformation email, you are in queue and you will be counted when the service is restored. If you do not receive an email prompting you for verification, try re-submitting to the census when the service returns. Also, for those of you waiting for the opportunity to be counted, please continue to check the census at I would recommend returning from time to time and watch as the census matures. It is very liberating to see who and where our like-minded peers are.

As for my struggles in the discussion group, it’s not the first time theists have attempted an orchestrated effort of oppression and for sure it won’t be the last time. I’m not backing down. For me, the real concern is whether or not the microcosms I frequent are any indication of a greater effort by theists to marginalize atheists. And I’m certain that it is. The behavior is very predictable and echoes the same types of efforts we've witnessed throughout history. In fact, the behavior is so predictable that I jokingly told someone that the census would probably be targeted. And within moments after posting that, it was.

The key is to ignore these small setbacks and remain vigilant and work towards uniting peoples rather than dividing them and be supportive of efforts to promote the secularization of societies worldwide. Having a living ongoing census that shows atheists the world over that we are here and not afraid to stand and be counted is one way to strengthen the resolve of those atheists who feel they are being marginalized.

As for those who don't want atheists to be counted, I think we all know who they are. And it's probably best if we focus more on making progress than spending too much time contemplating it. After all, what the DoS attacks have essentially done is to provide an overwhelming amount of awareness of the effort.

The battle begins, or more likely, continues.

Just another skirmish in the battle. I have only heard the term atheist used in relation to western religions not of the eastern religions or native religions.

The site is back up and running, but if you have already done the census and validated it before the DoS attack, they have retained information prior to the DoS attack.

I had to redo mine and this time validated.

Good, there are 13 Atheists in the Ukraine and a lot in Australia and India.


Top 10 Countries

  1. United States: 3175
  2. Brazil: 2663
  3. Australia: 1627
  4. United Kingdom: 715
  5. Canada: 567
  6. India: 488
  7. Philippines: 266
  8. Israel: 222
  9. Indonesia: 161
  10. Germany: 142
Preferred TitleAtheistHumanistFreethinkerAgnosticNon-religiousRationalistOtherSecularist5%6.9%72.4%
Religious BackgroundCatholicismChristianity excl.CatholicismNoneHinduismJudaismOtherIslamBuddhism36.7%16.7%34.3%
Education LevelUniversity or collegePostgraduateSecondary schoolTrade qualificationPrimary school12.7%22.7%57.8%
Gender IdentityMaleFemaleOther24.6%74.7%

My vote was not registered - Now it is.

It is now at >82,000 people.
Females are ~ 26%, come on girls, let's get going! :-) Go and BE COUNTED


Top 10 Countries

  1. United States of America: 33,118
  2. Brazil: 7,386
  3. United Kingdom: 4,952
  4. Australia: 4,891
  5. Canada: 4,100
  6. India: 1,764
  7. Poland: 1,707
  8. Germany: 1,552
  9. Iran (Islamic Republic of): 1,404
  10. Mexico: 1,009

Perhaps we'll reach 100K before the end of the world!!!

Count is now >116,000. Cool! But we need more.

And check out the top 10 countries, look at Turkey!! That's great! 10% are ex-Muslims overall, that is great.

Still a huge difference between males and females. Sad to see, but I guess it means something. I wish we could see the gender breakdown by countries.

Top 10 Countries

  1. United States of America: 41,232
  2. Brazil: 9,561
  3. Turkey: 7,774
  4. United Kingdom: 6,351
  5. Australia: 5,939
  6. Canada: 5,187
  7. India: 2,458
  8. Iran (Islamic Republic of): 2,337
  9. Poland: 2,229
  10. Germany: 1,897
Preferred TitleAtheistAgnosticHumanistNon-religiousFreethinkerRationalistOtherSecularist6.7%7.1%7.2%7.2%64.4%
Religious BackgroundChristianity excl.CatholicismCatholicismNoneIslamOtherHinduismJudaismBuddhism32.8%10.5%17.3%31.8%
Education LevelPostgraduateUniversity or collegeTrade qualificationSecondary schoolPrimary school18.8%13.2%6.1%60.4%
Gender IdentityMaleFemaleOther25.7%73.7%


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