Religious Liberty  Support protections for international religious freedom  Policy Brief  International Religious Freedom

ERLC Opposes Global Blasphemy and Apostasy Laws

Southern Baptists have long recognized the importance of religious liberty for all people. Stretching back generations, Southern Baptists have a rich heritage of affirming the importance of and fighting to maintain protections for religious liberty for people of all faiths. The Baptist Faith & Message states “a free church in a free state is the Christian ideal, and this implies the right of free and unhindered access to God on the part of all men, and the right to form and propagate opinions in the sphere of religion without interference by the civil power.”

Blasphemy laws limit or criminalize speech deemed by the authorities to defame or be contemptuous to the state-sanctioned religious beliefs, and often prevent conversion from one religion to another. The punishment for blasphemy varies dramatically from country to country, ranging from fines to the death penalty, which is a consequence in eight countries currently. Nearly all apostasy laws in force today seek to prevent conversion from Islam to another religion or to atheism, thereby seeking to impede the work of the Great Commission in bringing all to a true understanding of the gospel.

The ERLC is committed to working to repeal blasphemy laws and ensure that all peoples have the right to worship freely without fear of persecution or penalization. Over the past several years, the ERLC has partnered with diverse coalitions to fight against blasphemy laws and raise awareness for the plight of persecuted religious minorities to Congress. We are dedicated to advocating for the vulnerable and oppressed around the world and to fighting for the sacred rights of our persecuted brothers and sisters.

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