When President Barack Obama signed an update to U.S. law protecting religious freedom late last week, one provision drew special attention: U.S. law now recognizes non-believers as, in essence, a religious group.
Obama's signing of amendments to the International Religious Freedom Act on Friday wasn't widely noticed — except among the community of atheists, agnostics and others who categorize themselves as "humanists."
For the first time, the law — which was originally passed in 1998 — specifies that "the freedom of thought, conscience, and religion is understood to protect theistic and non-theistic beliefs and the right not to profess or practice any religion."
Among other things, the main amendments to the law promoting religious liberty around the world:
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