Seems like atheism is anything but persecuted these days. Books by Dawkins and Hitchens are best-sellers. Everywhere I turn, somebody is mocking the stupidity of fundamentalism, both in and out of Christianity. I don't dare to join the mocking, seeing as it was less than a couple years ago I was a fervent fundie myself.
It's amazing how easily one can get caught up in group-think. Back in my JW days, I was entirely convinced that everybody who wasn't a part of that little community, either was terribly mistaken or purposefully out to get us. Took a while for me to realize that most people don't spend much time thinking about other people's beliefs at all, let alone figuring out ways to persecute them for that. I was really glad to be out of that little group, even though I had lost the "love" of a really united community, I didn't have to worry anymore about the rest of the world hating me to death.
So, I gotta say, I was surprised to find myself suddenly inside a new group, surrounded by people who appear to be just as convinced of being hated by everyone else as the JWs. Sure, this group behaves infinitely more rationally in their everyday life, and don't adjust their beliefs according to decrees given down by a clergy (although I've heard someone compare Dawkins to the pope), but this one little item of cult mentality seems to have slipped by unnoticed and, as far as I've seen, almost unmentioned.
I don't know, maybe atheists are really persecuted by the religious, or maybe it's just that every one of these groups are in perpetual ideological war with each other, and everybody really is somewhat oppressed. I have no way of knowing for sure, but as far as I'm concerned, I'll watch myself for any signs of the cultist side of my personality trying to resurface.