The case that atheists are oppressed has a germ of truth in it - but like all media proclamations, one might find the facts are not exactly square with the analysis proffered to the public at large.
For example - "Being an atheist carries the death penalty in 7 Islam countries". The claim is strictly true, but the details a bit less obvious. For example, in Iran - the most rigorous in applying the rule - in order to be a qualifying atheist you first have to be a Muslim, a convert to Muslim, or born with at least one Muslim parent - and at a later time rejected the faith for any other. Including atheism. The Iranians are as likely to execute one of their own for becoming a Christian as for taking on the faith of Atheism.
As far as public records show, no atheist has ever been executed in Mauritania - ever - but the penalty is enshrined in Holy Law, so it could conceivably happen, And, to be fair, having holy law that "allows" the killing of lapsed-believers is not one that any rational human being would permit in civilized society. It is their religion, and they can have any holy law they wish - but not letting people opt out once they have joined is way beyond a reasonable covenant with any deity worthy of the name.
And it is true that atheists have historically been discriminated against: even the Nazi party outlawed all organizations that promoted atheistic ways of thinking - despite their official policy that atheists should suffer no detriment.
But what about modern America? I think it safe to say that American atheists are not oppressed. But how about discrimination.
On the one hand we have the American Humanist Associate saying "Americans still feel it's acceptable to discriminate against atheists in ways considered beyond the pale for other groups." A charge they take seriously, for it has made them hide the word from the title of their organization: and, serendipitously, used a word that sort of hints that if you have an humanist instincts, you are closet theist. Humanist is a weasel word in that it means both those who care for humanity, and those who reject religious teaching. Neat - eh?
The average in-the-street atheist will tell you that they have never felt personally discriminated against because of their lack of religious belief.
Yes - but seven States have statutes prohibiting atheists from holding office, or being jurors. Tht surely amounts to discrimination? True, but they have not been enforced for over a hundred years. I would think that laws that are never enforced cease to be laws whether formally repealed or not.
It is all a matter of live and let live. There is residual suspicion among a minority that atheists are conspirators with an anti-social agenda to stop people of faith from enjoying the benefits of their faith.
And - to be quite frank - in this respect, atheists can be their own worst enemies. What on earth do they think they will gain by permanently banning the 60 year old tradition of displaying a nativity scene in Santa Monica. Public adoration of all concerned? A media coup that will enhance their image for all time by all people? When a minority insist on destroying the happiness of the majority on the grounds that they have a legal right to do so, they tread a dangerous path.
For while the average atheist is genuinely of the opinion that you can have any belief system you want, provided it harms no one else, a vocal minority seem to have grabbed every opportunity to make themselves as disagreeable as possible.
And just as we secularists asks religious organizations to keep their extremists in check (no more abortion clinic bombings please, for example) we would urge the anti-religious extremists to pick their targets with more understanding of the live and let live principle.
So - in sum - I think the American atheist is not subject to discrimination.
However, I do observe that some American 'angry-atheists' seem to go to extraordinary lengths to ensure that all people of faith will detest them with utter contempt.
Detesting with utter contempt is not, per se, persecution - but it is a step in that general direction.