Washington, DC – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today released two new reports:
Legislation Factsheet on Blasphemy – This report lists the 95 countries with legislation criminalizing expressions insulting or offending religious feelings, figures, or symbols. It also explains how that legislation is inconsistent with international human rights law’s protections for the right to freedom of religion or belief and the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
Blasphemy Law Compendium – The compendium is a comprehensive resource that documents the text of the 95 national level blasphemy laws.
Despite blasphemy laws’ inconsistency with international human rights law, they are often defended as a means to achieve peace and religious harmony in society. However, in practice, blasphemy laws are used to promote government intolerance and discrimination against religious minorities and minority viewpoints. They also encourage individuals and non-state actors to seek retribution against alleged blasphemers.
These two publications build upon USCIRF’s 2020 reports Legislation Factsheet: Blasphemy and Violating Rights: Enforcing the World’s Blasphemy Laws. USCIRF has also issued publications on the blasphemy laws in Turkey, Nigeria, Pakistan, and ASEAN Member Countries, along with a report on apostasy, blasphemy, and hate speech laws in Africa.