Source: Religion News Service
(RNS) — It may soon be a criminal offense to be an atheist in Egypt.
Shortly before New Year’s Day, the Egyptian Parliament considered enacting a law that would make it illegal to profess no belief in God. It is already against Egyptian law to “insult” or “defame” religion, and blasphemy arrests are on the rise. A conviction can bring up to five years in prison.
The new measure would criminalize the act of not believing in God — no insults or defamation of another faith required.
The legislation was proposed Dec. 24 by Amro Hamroush, head of the Parliament’s committee on religion.
“It must be criminalized and categorized as contempt of religion because atheists have no doctrine and try to insult the Abrahamic religions,” Hamroush said in announcing the proposed law.