Freedom of expression is important. By reducing a person's freedom of expression you're not stamping out any of their bigotries, you're just shoving it under a rug and we can all just ignore the fact they're a racist or a sexist or whatever. It's pretty much just hiding the problem. All should have the freedom to express themselves, it's not right for people to repress others. Yes, this might mean a racist has the freedom to express their racist views but that also means we have the freedom to express our disgust and explain to them exactly why this is wrong - you may convince them, you may not but at least you're not forcing them. I use the word 'freedom of expression' instead of 'freedom of speech' because with freedom of expression you can say 'no' to verbal abuse, because the verbal abuser
can still express their opinions, they just can't verbally abuse people. With true
freedom of speech, this is not possible.
Pushing people to repress their opinions, views and feelings is not healthy either (I'm talking mental health). Demonising religion and making it evil is not much different to demonising somebody for being gay or black. Why is this? Because what you're effectively doing is discriminating against them, yes, some religious folks are bigots and are destructive, but they're not all like that - make the destruction illegal - allow them to have their opinion but don't necessarily allow them to act upon it. Although I am a big critic of religion, I also respect the freedom of religion. I don't think crushing anybody's freedom of expression creates a healthy society.
Also, when you start reducing somebody's freedom of expression, what would happen if somebody's views were misconstrued by an authority as being a violation of said freedom of expression? We can already see it where people are trying to limit freedom of expression here in the UK - like Jeremy Clarkson being accused of inciting violence and hatred because he made a joke about how protesting public sector workers should be lined up and shot in front of their families. It was only a joke. Or what if I were to express my view on the freedom of religion? Would I have to be silenced? As I'm suggesting those who wish to follow a religion, should have that right, thus attempting to undermine their system.
Also, to note, the most atheistic country in the world, Sweden, allows for freedom of religion. So I don't think we can really draw a comparison between the US and China to say, "freedom of religion is wrong". Japan, Norway, Denmark and Vietnam are high on the list as well. Yes, one of them is communist, but the others not. In fact, in the top 25
only a minority of countries are actually communist ones, they are democratic countries where people are still free to be religious.