Explainer  Religious Liberty  Support protections for international religious freedom  International Religious Freedom

Explainer: What are apostasy and blasphemy laws?

I recently sat down with Kamal Fahmi, founder of Set My People Free, an international NGO focused on the abolition of apostasy and blasphemy laws around the world.

Generally speaking, apostasy laws prevent conversion from one religion to another. Apostasy laws have been in force in some places, in one form or another, for thousands of years. Today, all apostasy laws in force with one exception are focused on preventing conversion from Islam to another religion or to atheism. With the exception of India, all countries with apostasy laws are majority Muslim; apostasy carries the death penalty in eight countries.

Blasphemy laws limit or criminalize speech deemed by the authorities to defame or be contemptuous to God or the divine. The punishment for blasphemy varies dramatically from country to country, from fines to the death penalty. Although the existence of blasphemy laws is much more widespread around the world, active prosecutions today are concentrated in member countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

In the interview below, Kamal shares stories of how the enforcement of apostasy laws has taken lives, devastated families and caused the persecution of thousands of our dear brothers and sisters in Christ. Let’s pray for the endurance of these saints.



Related Content

Explainer: ERLC calls for listing Nigeria as a Country of Particular Concern

Since 2021, the ERLC has advocated for the addition of Nigeria to the State...

Read More
Idaho pro-life law

Explainer: Supreme Court fails to resolve challenge to Idaho pro-life law

A ruling on Idaho and Moyle, et al. v United States

On June 27, 2024, the U.S. Supreme Court decided on a vote of 5-4...

Read More
2024 religious freedom report

Explainer: USCIRF releases 2024 religious freedom report and observes 25th anniversary of IRFA

On May 1, 2024, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released...

Read More

Explainer: 5 harmful federal regulations the ERLC is pushing back against

Part two

Part 1Part 3 Over the past month, the Biden administration has finalized numerous problematic...

Read More

What you should know about abortion-related state ballot initiatives

In the wake of the landmark Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision overturning...

Read More
Bipartisan Border Proposal

Explainer: Bipartisan Border Proposal Surfaces in U.S. Senate

A long-awaited bipartisan border proposal has arrived for consideration in the U.S. Senate this...

Read More