y on Monday.

According to its survey of some 60 countries, the seven where expression of atheist views or defection from the official religion can bring capital punishment are Afghanistan, Iran, Maldives, Mauritania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Sudan.

The 70-page report lists no recent cases of actual execution for “atheism” — but researchers say the offence is often subsumed into other charges.

In a range of other countries – such as Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Kuwait and Jordan – publication of atheist or humanist views on religion are totally banned or strictly limited under laws prohibiting “blasphemy”.

In many of these countries, and others like Malaysia, citizens have to register as adherents of a small number officially-recognized religions — which normally include no more than Christianity and Judaism as well as Islam.