Your support and contributions will make a difference and save lives.
Do you have the freedom to believe or not believe in a religion? In many countries, nonbelievers do not have this freedom, and in thirteen countries, nonbelievers face arrest or a death sentence! Atheist Alliance International has been working to help atheists and ex-Muslims for years but have ramped this up by developing the Atheist Support Network (ASN) in 2019. ASN is a program dedicated to answering the plea for help from atheists/ex-Muslims who are at risk of harm, isolation, and even death.
For example, we are helping a young woman who has escaped her extremist Muslim family who has tortured and beaten her. She has survived multiple rapes, forced marriage, genital mutilation, isolation, and coercive control from her family members – and this was all while she was a practicing Muslim. She denounced the religion of her family and country; she became isolated, depressed, and unable to take their coercion anymore. She reached out to ASN for assistance, and after establishing her case, we set to help her develop a plan for her safety. However, she was so desperate that she ran from her family before the planning and needed steps were completed. We needed to assure her safety which meant paying for her room and board while taking all proper and legal steps to get her to the safe destination where she will be assisted to register with the UNHCR as a refugee. ASN has been fully supporting this young ex-Muslim woman for three months and has spent $3,000+ for room, food, medical care, visas, and other costs. Due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, there have been several delays and slowed processes. We are on our final step to getting her to a safe destination.
This story is just one of many who reach out to ASN for help.
Since we are a new program, our budget was small, and we have depleted our funds. We have many more people who need assistance who are in dire situations. Although we offer many services that do not cost anything more than our time and passion for helping, such as providing emotional support, letters to agencies and immigration offices; we are in need of funding to provide assistance for those whose lives are at risk and need to reach safety either for asylum or to register as a UNHCR refugee. ASN also provides short term emergency assistance to atheists at risk – we have been receiving more of these requests due to lives impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic (e.g., we have covered some emergency medical assistance or a month of rent due to loss of a job).
All funding to ASN goes directly to the atheist/ex-Muslim at risk. As co-directors, Ben and I volunteer our time – that’s right, we are not paid – we each volunteer at least 30-hours a week for the work we do. We have a team of amazing volunteers who are equally passionate about assisting atheists/ex-Muslims at risk. Several have been refugees or asylum seekers and know first hand the hardships that the people we help are going through.
We cannot do this work without your generous financial contributions! YOU can make a difference and help save lives!
All of us at ASN are immensely appreciative of your help and support.
AAI board member and ASN program co-director
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