Blasphemy Laws in 35 Christian Countries

blasphemy laws

Blasphemy laws are the offence of 'insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God or a sacred entity'.

US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), 2017
A USCIRF report in 2017 found 71 countries to have blasphemy laws which criminalised views deemed to be blasphemous, across all religions. The punishments for these transgressions varied from fines, to prison sentences, to the death penalty.

USCIRF: Respecting Rights? Measuring The World's Blasphemy Laws. 2017
In an era where religious freedom and freedom of speech often find themselves coming into conflict, it's no surprise that blasphemy is back as a point of debate.

The table below lists the 71 countries who have blasphemy laws. The state religion, or the religion observed by the majority of the country's population is also displayed.


Europe
BLASPHEMY LAWS (22.5%)
1.    Andorra - Christianity
2.    Austria - Christianity
3.    Denmark - Christianity. Abolished in June 2017
4.    Finland - Christianity
5.    Germany - Christianity
6.    Greece - Christianity
7.    Ireland - Christianity
8.    Italy - Christianity
9.    Liechtenstein - Christianity
10.    Malta - Christianity. Abolished in July 2016
11.    Montenegro - Christianity
12.    Poland - Christianity
13.    Russia - Christianity
14.    San Marino - Christianity
15.    Spain - Christianity
16.    Switzerland - Christianity
17.    United Kingdom - Christianity. Abolished in 2008
Americas
BLASPHEMY LAWS (11.2%)
1.    Antigua and Barbuda - Christianity
2.    Brazil - Christianity
3.    Canada - Christianity
4.    Grenada - Christianity
5.    Guyana - Christianity
6.    St Lucia - Christianity
7.    St Vincent and Grenadines - Christianity
8.    Suriname - Christianity
Middle East & North Africa
BLASPHEMY LAWS (25.4%)
1.    Algeria - Islam
2.    Bahrain - Islam
3.    Egypt - Islam
4.    Iraq - Islam
5.    Israel - Judaism
6.    Jordan - Islam
7.    Kuwait - Islam
8.    Lebanon - Islam
9.    Libya - Islam
10.    Morocco - Islam
11.    Oman - Islam
12.    Qatar - Islam
13.    Saudi Arabia - Islam
14.    Sudan - Islam
15.    Syria - Islam
16.    Tunisia - Islam
17.    United Arab Emirates - Islam
18.    Yemen - Islam
Asia-Pacific
BLASPHEMY LAWS (25.4%)
1.    Afghanistan - Islam
2.    Bangladesh - Islam
3.    Brunei - Islam
4.    Cyprus - Christianity
5.    India - Hinduism
6.    Indonesia - Islam
7.    Iran - Islam
8.    Kazakhstan - Islam
9.    Malaysia - Islam
10.    New Zealand - Christianity
11.    Pakistan - Islam
12.    Papua New Guinea - Christianity
13.    Philippines - Christianity
14.    Singapore - Buddhism
15.    Sri Lanka - Buddhism
16.    Thailand - Buddhism
17.    Turkey - Islam
18.    Vanuatu - Christianity
Sub-Saharan Africa
BLASPHEMY LAWS (15.5%)
1.    Comoros - Islam
2.    Eritrea - Christianity/Islam
3.    Ethiopia - Christianity
4.    Mauritius - Hinduism
5.    Nigeria - Christianity/Islam
6.    Rwanda - Christianity
7.    Somalia - Islam
8.    South Sudan - Christianity
9.    Tanzania - Christianity
10.    Zambia - Christianity
11.    Zimbabwe - Christianity
Countries by Religion
RANK ORDER
1st    Christianity   (50%)
35 Christian countries (from a total of 71) had Blasphemy Laws
2nd    Islam   (42%)
30 Muslim countries (from a total of 71) had Blasphemy Laws
3rd    Buddhism   (4%)
3 Buddhist countries (from a total of 71) had Blasphemy Laws
4th    Hinduism   (3%)
2 Hindu countries (from a total of 71) had Blasphemy Laws
5th    Judaism   (1%)
1 Jewish country (from a total of 71) had Blasphemy Laws
Summary
  • 71 countries, or 37% (71 of 193) of all countries in the world have blasphemy laws 2
  • 50% (35 of 71) are Christian majority countries
  • 42% (30 of 71) are Muslim majority countries
  • If the three countries that recently abolished blasphemy laws are included, the figure for Christianity increases to 51% (38 of 74) and Islam decreases to 41% (30 of 74)

  • Therefore, Blasphemy laws effect more Christian majority countries, than Muslim countries.


    1 These world regional groupings are derived from the regional groupings used in Pew Research Center's Trends in Global Restrictions on Religion
    http://www.pewforum.org/2016/06/23/trends-in-global-restrictions-on-religion
    2 There are 193 member states of the United Nations

    CREDIT
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blasphemy_law
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-46046074
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/ireland-blasphemy-referendum-irish-religion-illegal-remove-ban-countries-world-laws-a8597391.html
    Respecting Rights? Measuring The World's Blasphemy Laws. USCIRF 2017
    https://www.uscirf.gov/sites/default/files/Blasphemy%20Laws%20Report.pdf
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    Results: 4 News Items
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