WASHINGTON, D.C. – Family Research Council’s Center for Religious Liberty today unveiled a new publication, “Apostasy, Blasphemy, and Anti-Conversion Laws,” which documents these types of laws, their consequences, and the countries that still countenance these constraints on religious liberty. Travis Weber, Family Research Council’s Vice President for Policy and Director of the Center for Religious Liberty, announced the new publication during a live-streamed event featuring a conversation on international religious freedom with Tony Perkins, President of Family Research Council and a Commissioner with the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).
Of the 75 countries listed in the report (nearly 40% of the world), 18 countries have apostasy laws, 72 have blasphemy laws, and 6 have anti-conversion laws, with 21 countries having two of the three types of laws. Apostasy laws, featured in much of the Muslim world, intend to punish those who convert away from Islam, blasphemy laws prohibit insults to religion, and anti-conversion laws prohibit people from converting from any faith to another. All these laws violate religious freedom.
According to the report, “While the specific threats to religious freedom vary in type and intensity, one common source is the legal and cultural support for apostasy, blasphemy, and/or anti-conversion laws, which often threaten the freedom to choose and/or change one’s faith.
“While threats to religious freedom arise from other sources, these three types of laws and the cultural support behind them are major threats to the freedom to choose one’s faith—and thus to religious freedom worldwide,” it continued.
The Center for Religious Liberty’s full publication, “Apostasy, Blasphemy, and Anti-Conversion Laws,” is available for download here.