Resources on Faith, Ethics and Public Life

Laws Penalizing Blasphemy, Apostasy and Defamation of Religion are Widespread

November 21, 2012

"Laws Penalizing Blasphemy, Apostasy and Defamation of Religion are Widespread" is an analytical piece based on the 2011 study carried out by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life. The study found that 47 percent of all countries and territories in the world have laws penalizing blasphemy, apostasy, or religious defamation. The results of the study are contextualized by geographic region: the Middle East-North Africa region has the highest percentage of countries that penalize blasphemy and apostasy, while Europe has the highest percentage of countries that penalize religious defamation.

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