Which countries still outlaw apostasy and blasphemy?

Apostasy and blasphemy may seem to many like artifacts of history. But in dozens of countries around the world, laws against apostasy and blasphemy remain on the books and often are enforced.

Last December, for instance, authorities in Sudan charged 25 men for apostasy – the act of abandoning one’s faith — including by converting to another religion. The men face the death penalty for following a different interpretation of Islam than the one sanctioned by the government. And, in Pakistan, police are currently pursuing a Christian accused of sending an allegedly blasphemous poem to a friend. Blasphemy – defined as speech or actions considered to be contemptuous of God or the divine – is a capital crime in Pakistan.

A new Pew Research Center analysis finds that, as of 2014, about a quarter of the world’s countries and territories (26%) had anti-blasphemy laws or policies, and that more than one-in-ten (13%) nations had laws or policies penalizing apostasy. The legal punishments for such transgressions vary from fines to death.

We counted and categorized these laws in 2014 as part of our research for a major report on restrictions on religion around the world. This report, which examines both government restrictions on religion and social hostilities involving religion, relied on 17 widely cited, publicly available sources from groups such as the U.S. State Department, the United Nations, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the International Crisis Group.

We found that laws restricting apostasy and blasphemy are most common in the Middle East and North Africa, where 18 of the region’s 20 countries (90%) criminalize blasphemy and 14 (70%) criminalize apostasy. While apostasy laws exist in only two other regions of the world – Asia-Pacific and sub-Saharan Africa – blasphemy laws can be found in all regions, including Europe (in 16% of countries) and the Americas (29%).

Some blasphemy laws have been on the books for decades and have endured in spite of dramatic political and social changes. In Pakistan, for instance, blasphemy statutes have their origins in the country’s colonial past, when British rulers first introduced penalties for insulting any religious beliefs. These laws remained in effect after Pakistan’s independence in 1947 and have since increased in severity.

Pakistan is one of 12 of the 50 countries in the Asia-Pacific region (24%) that had blasphemy laws in 2014. And, during that year, blasphemy laws were enforced in several of those 12 nations. For instance, in Burma (Myanmar), a New Zealander and two Burmese men were convicted of blasphemy after using an advertisement depicting Buddha with headphones to promote a bar. The men were sentenced to two and a half years in prison.

Blasphemy laws are least common in sub-Saharan Africa (four of 48 countries), according to 2014 data. In Europe as well, blasphemy laws are not very common, being found in just seven out of 45 nations (16%).

In the Americas, 10 out of 35 countries (29%) had blasphemy laws, including the Bahamas, where the publication or sale of blasphemous material can be punished with up to two years imprisonment. The U.S. does not have any federal blasphemy laws, but as of 2014, several U.S. states – including Massachusetts and Michigan – still had anti-blasphemy laws on the books. However, the speech and religion clauses of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution would almost certainly prompt a court to ban the enforcement of any such law.

Apostasy laws are less common worldwide – they are found in 25 countries, in only three regions of the world. By far the most countries with anti-apostasy measures were in the Middle East-North Africa region (14 out of 20).

Seven of the 50 countries (14%) in the Asia-Pacific region also had apostasy laws. For instance, in the Maldives, all citizens are required to be Muslim, and those who convert to another faith may lose their citizenship. In sub-Saharan Africa, just four of the 48 countries (8%) have laws prohibiting apostasy. There were no laws against apostasy in any countries in Europe or the Americas in 2014.

Note: This is an updated version of a post originally published on May 28, 2014. 

SOURCE:   http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/07/29/which-countries-still-outlaw-apostasy-and-blasphemy/

3 replies

  1. THE TROUBLE WITH ISLAM TODAY

    This is the true fact that those who follow ancient Islamic law from the sunnah ( The book of Hadith) tell us that Islam is a violent religion, intolerant religion as non Muslims accuse
    So long as blasphemy and apostasy laws are not removed from the book of Hadith. extremist Muslims will use blasphemy and apostsy law as Syariah laws to justify their act of murdering people..

    These some of examples of false and violent Hadiths.

    When the end times will appear young people and bad attitude. They said word by using the word of GOD , when they had come out of Islam as an arrow from his bow slipping . Wherever you meet them , then kill them . Because real people are killed they will get a reward on the resurrection day ” HR Bukhari.

    Anyone of you who saw heresy, apostasy, let is changing with your HANDS, if not able, let the verbal, if not able to let the heart. However, such is weak as weak faith.HR.Muslim

    ” That there is a Jewish woman who often denounce and vilify the Prophet . (Due to the offense ) , then the woman had been strangled to death by a man. It turns out that the Messenger of Allah justifies his blood ” .

    The extremist Muslim kill the apostasy will get reward from God, because Prophet Muhammad(saw) command us to do so;

    Anyone who changes his religion (out of Islam, apostasy) then kill. Wherever you meet them, then kill them. Because real people are killed they will get a reward at the Judgment Day (HR. Bukhari) –(Honor killing )

    The extremist Muslim kill Gay-Lesbian (homosexual), because Prophet Muhammad(saw) command us to do so;
    Word of the Prophet, “If you have people who do act like the people of Lut (liwath) then kill the perpetrators.” (Narrated by Abu Daud, Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah)

    SAY ! ALLAHU AKBAR FOR KILLING INNOCENT PEOPLE.
    Imam Musslim; If anyone sincerely supplicates to Allah for martyrdom, Allaah will elevate him to the rank of martyrs even if he died on his bed.[Sahih Muslim (4695) ].

    CALIPHATE
    Imam Muslsim-Bukhari in the unity of this issue said: “He came to you – being business ( life ) you are under the leadership of one person ( Imam / Caliph ) – and he wanted to divide the unity of you and your congregation scatters , then kill he ! ”
    Imam Muslim : ” If two people inducted Caliph , then kill the last of the leader,

    Extremist Muslims want to create Islamic state and use the Quran and the Book of Hadith as the source of the laws. Extremist Muslims want to impose their beliefs to others through the government’s laws, those who do not follow them will be punished severely. It is wrong.

    Because of the extremist Muslim who believe in the book of Hadith Sahih Muslim and Bukhari deceived by idol Muslim-Bukhari. The root of conflict, violence, discrimination,oppression, killing innocent people, blasphemy, apostasy etc is originated clearly from the book of Hadith Sahih Muslim-Bukhari. The book of HaditH sahih Muslim-Bukhari is the defective book. It can not be denied.

    That is why Allah and Prophet Muhammad (saw) warn his followers do not believe scholars blindly ( idol ) as follows;

    They have taken their priests and their scholars ( as idol ) for their Lords besides God Q S . 9:31, They believe scholar Muslim-Bukhari, fall into sinful syirk., the biggest sin in Islam.

    Follow (O men!) the revelation given unto you from your Lord, and follow
    not, as friends, or protectors, other than Him. Little it is ye remember of admonition. QS 7;3.

    Allah also warn His people in Bible; Do not believe in man (scholar);
    There is no one in this earth who does what is right all the time and never makes a mistake.Ecc.7:20.
    It is better to trust in God’s laws , than depend on man.
    It is better to trust in God’s laws ,than depend on human leaders.Psalm 118:8

    Whereas Allah and Prophet Muhammad (saw) command His people to believe in all His Books and all His prophets many times in Al Quran.

    Allah and prophet Muhammad (saw) never command his followers to believe in Scholars Muslim Bukhari and others. The name of Muslim,Bukhari, Hurairah, Abu Dawud,Tirmidzi, etc. are not exist in Al Quran.

    I strongly urge all Islamic scholars around the world, including Muslim Ahmadiyah to declare publicly that those violent Hadith are invalid and false Hadith. And then those violent Hadith should be removed from the book of Hadith.

    READ MORE;
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CHntEWeff2iGbrQ7YpCnCb18BjkFmbDyXrcqryOxzpE/edit

  2. Reblogged this on iloveyou476 and commented:
    THE TROUBLE WITH ISLAM TODAY

    This is the true fact that those who follow ancient Islamic law from the sunnah ( The book of Hadith) tell us that Islam is a violent religion, intolerant religion as non Muslims accuse
    So long as blasphemy and apostasy laws are not removed from the book of Hadith. extremist Muslims will use blasphemy and apostsy law as Syariah laws to justify their act of murdering people..

    These some of examples of false and violent Hadiths.

    When the end times will appear young people and bad attitude. They said word by using the word of GOD , when they had come out of Islam as an arrow from his bow slipping . Wherever you meet them , then kill them . Because real people are killed they will get a reward on the resurrection day ” HR Bukhari.

    Anyone of you who saw heresy, apostasy, let is changing with your HANDS, if not able, let the verbal, if not able to let the heart. However, such is weak as weak faith.HR.Muslim

    ” That there is a Jewish woman who often denounce and vilify the Prophet . (Due to the offense ) , then the woman had been strangled to death by a man. It turns out that the Messenger of Allah justifies his blood ” .

    The extremist Muslim kill the apostasy will get reward from God, because Prophet Muhammad(saw) command us to do so;

    Anyone who changes his religion (out of Islam, apostasy) then kill. Wherever you meet them, then kill them. Because real people are killed they will get a reward at the Judgment Day (HR. Bukhari) –(Honor killing )

    The extremist Muslim kill Gay-Lesbian (homosexual), because Prophet Muhammad(saw) command us to do so;
    Word of the Prophet, “If you have people who do act like the people of Lut (liwath) then kill the perpetrators.” (Narrated by Abu Daud, Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah)

    SAY ! ALLAHU AKBAR FOR KILLING INNOCENT PEOPLE.
    Imam Musslim; If anyone sincerely supplicates to Allah for martyrdom, Allaah will elevate him to the rank of martyrs even if he died on his bed.[Sahih Muslim (4695) ].

    CALIPHATE
    Imam Muslsim-Bukhari in the unity of this issue said: “He came to you – being business ( life ) you are under the leadership of one person ( Imam / Caliph ) – and he wanted to divide the unity of you and your congregation scatters , then kill he ! ”
    Imam Muslim : ” If two people inducted Caliph , then kill the last of the leader,

    Extremist Muslims want to create Islamic state and use the Quran and the Book of Hadith as the source of the laws. Extremist Muslims want to impose their beliefs to others through the government’s laws, those who do not follow them will be punished severely. It is wrong.

    Because of the extremist Muslim who believe in the book of Hadith Sahih Muslim and Bukhari deceived by idol Muslim-Bukhari. The root of conflict, violence, discrimination,oppression, killing innocent people, blasphemy, apostasy etc is originated clearly from the book of Hadith Sahih Muslim-Bukhari. The book of HaditH sahih Muslim-Bukhari is the defective book. It can not be denied.

    That is why Allah and Prophet Muhammad (saw) warn his followers do not believe scholars blindly ( idol ) as follows;

    They have taken their priests and their scholars ( as idol ) for their Lords besides God Q S . 9:31, They believe scholar Muslim-Bukhari, fall into sinful syirk., the biggest sin in Islam.

    Follow (O men!) the revelation given unto you from your Lord, and follow
    not, as friends, or protectors, other than Him. Little it is ye remember of admonition. QS 7;3.

    Allah also warn His people in Bible; Do not believe in man (scholar);
    There is no one in this earth who does what is right all the time and never makes a mistake.Ecc.7:20.
    It is better to trust in God’s laws , than depend on man.
    It is better to trust in God’s laws ,than depend on human leaders.Psalm 118:8

    Whereas Allah and Prophet Muhammad (saw) command His people to believe in all His Books and all His prophets many times in Al Quran.

    Allah and prophet Muhammad (saw) never command his followers to believe in Scholars Muslim Bukhari and others. The name of Muslim,Bukhari, Hurairah, Abu Dawud,Tirmidzi, etc. are not exist in Al Quran.

    I strongly urge all Islamic scholars around the world, including Muslim Ahmadiyah to declare publicly that those violent Hadith are invalid and false Hadith. And then those violent Hadith should be removed from the book of Hadith.

    READ MORE;
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CHntEWeff2iGbrQ7YpCnCb18BjkFmbDyXrcqryOxzpE/edit

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.