Blasphemy laws around the world

No free speech for religion criticsAnti-blasphemy legislation still exists in many countries around the world, including those dominated not only by Islam but also by Christianity. You’d be surprised at how many countries have blasphemy laws, even supposedly civilized “Western” nations!

Americans, count yourselves lucky to have the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and do NOT take it for granted! Note also that there are continual attempts by Islamic countries to pass “blasphemy resolutions” at the United Nations, such that even Americans would lose their ability to speak out against religious oppression.

It is significantly because of these oppressive laws and mentalities that many people globally are terrified of criticizing anti-human, hateful, bigoted, misogynistic and violent religious ideologies. We must strive to remove all such inhumane and barbaric legislation, including disempowering those who enact and uphold it.

 Please sign our blasphemy petition!

Note that the following lists are not exhaustive and that some of the categories and countries overlap with each other.

Blasphemy laws globallyCountries with the death penalty for blasphemy

This category includes those nations that enact capital punishment for “atheism” and/or the rejection of Islam.

Afghanistan
Egypt
Iran
Kuwait
Malaysia
Maldives
Mauritania
Nigeria
Pakistan
Qatar
Saudi Arabia
Somalia
Sudan
United Arab Emirates
Yemen

There are likely others, and there are constant pushes in other Muslim-dominant countries like Bangladesh to enact the sharia-based death penalty for blasphemy against Islam.

In some countries, such as Nigeria, vigilantes enact the death penalty according to sharia. Countries with the death penalty also provide lesser punishments, depending on the case, including imprisonment and physical punishment such as lashings.

Countries with prison time for blasphemy

In addition to those with lesser punishments in the list above are others that prescribe prison for blasphemy.

Austria
Denmark
Finland
Greece
Israel
Italy
Jordan
Liechtenstein
Netherlands
Turkey
United Kingdom

New Zealand punishes for “blasphemous libel,” while libel laws are also common in other countries as well.

Countries with fines for blasphemy

Some of the countries in the above lists, such as Italy, Jordan, Malaysia and Holland, also impose fines, either in addition to or instead of death or imprisonment.

Ireland
Norway (last used in 1912)

Countries that punish “religious insults” and “hate speech”

Many of the above countries, such as Turkey, include these categories along with “blasphemy.” Punishments for this category include prison and/or fines.

Andorra
Canada
Cyprus
Croatia
Czech Republic
Denmark
Spain
Finland
Germany
Greece
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Italy
Lithuania
Malta
Norway
Netherlands
Philippines
Poland
Portugal
Russian Federation
Slovakia
South Africa
Spain
Switzerland
Ukraine

Countries that punish religions and cults for proselytizing

The other end of the spectrum finds a number of nations limiting the freedoms of religionists to proselytize their religion, sect or cult. The former USSR and China are among the most notorious.

China
Romania

Kuwait enacts the death penalty for insulting Islam

IHEU report on persecution of nonbelievers

Further Reading

Atheists Face Death Penalty In 13 Countries, Discrimination Around The World
Blasphemy law
Study: Atheists Most Discriminated Minority
Petition to Abolish Blasphemy Laws

 

15 Comments

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  1. OneFootUnder (The Wind)

    I wrote a rebuttal, or, a contemporyar, article, to this, rebuttal, of nation’s, and, of creeds, lol :), you can read about it here, at, or, this, or, of this at, of this LINK, right here, lol 🙂

    http://demological.wordpress.com/2014/01/18/the-atheism-of-the-future-for-the-nation-is-of-the-capital-and-the-capitalization-is-of-the-nations-funeral-and-futures-funeral/

    1. “For this is true of the Biblical sense, for the Biblical Sense, is of the, Source, and the Power of the Source, of Creation, for this is true, of many, virtues, for thy are, but, not, not, most of if, not of, when, but also, not of if, but also, not of when, when these virtues beheld the people, they were of great, team, gagging, and team, tagging.”

      I have no idea what you are trying to say.

    2. Wow are you on drugs or maybe brain damaged? The “rebuttal” reads like a 2 year old’s incoherent babble.

  2. Blasphemy is so obviously a man-concocted control issue, it’s almost humorous at times. Strange, isn’t it, that the all powerful, maker and controller of the Universe (pick one), can’t take care of blasphemers all by him/her/ itself.

  3. In India, the situation is not all that gloomy. In fact, India’s first prime minister, Nehru (1947-1964) was an avowed atheist. Contrast this with U.S – it is unthinkable at the present juncture that an avowed atheist might ever get elected as President.
    Here, one is free to say there is no god but not ‘name’ him (her or it?) Here, the key word that attracts the law is “hurting the religious sentiments”. Though there were and are many court cases against those who were accused of ‘hurting the religious sentiments of a section of society’, there have been no convictions, as far as I can recollect. The idea is just to intimidate those who ‘cross the line’. But we atheists are an intrepid lot. But thankfully, there aren’t any acts of violence against non-believers.

  4. Blasphemy “laws” take many forms. It seems that now in the US, any “tweet” that is considered “offensive” to any part of the liberal agenda and or Muslims ends up with someone fired, removed, suspended, ruined, something. Some wrestler college kid was suspended for tweeting his displeasure with the inordinate attention given the football player who came out as gay. I agree with the wrestler kid. OK, he’s gay, he came out, so what, move on. Why does the media have to dwell on it for days and weeks? I mean, seriously, why do we not have the right to express our displeasure with whatever the media is cramming down our throats at any given moment without the fear of some control freak moron somewhere putting a big black mark on our life record? George Orwell must be chuckling in his grave at our abject stupidity.

  5. I guess what irritates me most is the de facto blasphemy “laws” that seem to arise constantly all over the Earth for whatever reason. It seems that there’s always some bureaucrat or poor little sensitive soul somewhere who’s ready to pounce on the “blasphemers” for whatever reason at a moment’s notice. These bureaucrats have no regard for the consequences of their actions and have no accountability for their actions. The UN, the EU and European courts are rife with these sorts of individuals who stand ready to destroy lives on a daily basis for whatever offense du jour is on the menu.

  6. I assume, that is of course, if I stood up & yelled Fuck God, screw the Jews and Fuck ISRAEL! If were to do that at a Starbucks, where I’m having coffee and sitting on the laptop.. FREE PALESTINE!! (because I have no life)would that upset people or get me in trouble?? I’m sure it would, free speech with limitations. o_O
    Sure we have laws that ensure that yelling, hate speech, and aggressive behavior be controlled. If you cannot handle my brand of humor and sarcasm, you’ll just have to deal with it, because I’m practicing “free-speech”. ;P

    1. I don’t get your logic. You’re directing hatred towards a people, whilst criticizing religion is not hatred. All ideas are subject to criticism and repudiation and comparing people to religion is false equivalency. You can be offended at opinions, but you cannot insist that I speak in a way that doesn’t offend you.

      Also, it seems as if you are justifying killing for people speaking their mind out about Islam (won’t mention Christianity or Judaism, for obvious reasons) which is odd. Again, you can be offended about my opinions, but you cannot insist I do not have a negative view about ISLAM. ISLAM. No targeting specific Muslims is wrong and is hate speech, but don’t fucking tell me that I must be killed for attacking and challenging Islam and don’t tell me that I don’t have the right to offend.

  7. Who said they are ‘civilized'(westerns) if wearing coats and tie makes them civilized or swindling other countries wealth– I think that does not mean civilization. I myself can say I AM CIVILIZED (If I my self say I am civilized, I am not civilized at all)

    1. Do you have evidence of this “swindling of wealth?” It’s not how “rich” one is, but how societies are and how societies enact law and order. So by that stance, most Western nations are unarguably, objective superior to that of the East. But if the “East” is too general, then it’s certainly fucking superior to the Persian Gulf. I hope you didn’t take offence. 🙂

  8. Religion,greed and stupidity will destroy civilisation

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