The map was published by the acknowledged Pew Research Center last month and gives an overview of nations that have either blasphemy or apostasy laws.
Apostasy and blasphemy may seem to many like artifacts from history. But in dozens of countries around the world, laws against apostasy and blasphemy remain on the books and often are enforced, writes Pew´s research analyst Angelina E. Theodorou.
Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan, and Saudi-Arabia are nations often focused when it comes to news stories about persecution and punishment due to apostasy. In Pakistan Asia Bibi, a now 50 year old woman, was sentenced to death for blasphemy in 2010. She is still imprisoned. According to Human Rights Watch her situation is very common. Those accused of blasphemy in Pakistan can remain in prison for several years as their case is being examined.
According to Pew Research Center one quarter (26%) of the world´s nations and territories had anti-blasphemy laws or policies in 2014. Such laws are most common in the Middle East and North Africa. 90 per cent of the nations in this region (18 of 20 nations) criminalize blasphemy whereas 70 per cent criminalize apostasy.
Pew Research Center points out some of the current major trends when it comes to religious restrictions. The top 5 issues are:
- Government restrictions on religion and social hostilities related to religion decreased somewhat between 2013 and 2014.
- Religion-related terrorism spiked in 2014, with 82 countries experiencing this kind of danger.
- The Middle East still stands out as the area of the world with the highest levels of social hostilities involving religion.
- There has been a marked increase in the number of countries in which Jews were harassed.
- Religion-related terrorism displaced over two million more people in 2014 than the previous year – a side effect of increased terrorist activity.
Global Opportunities and Tent experience that several of the nations that criminalize blasphemy and apostasy welcome Christian professionals and business people. The job opportunities are many but the two organizations struggle to find Christians who are willing to take the challenge.
Click here if you want to read Pew Research Center’s latest report on restrictions on religion:
Send and email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to work and be an ambassador for God´s kingdom in one of these restricted nations.
Apostasy in Islam is commonly defined as the act of converting to another religion, by a person who was born in a Muslim family or who had previously accepted Islam.
Blasphemy law is a law limiting the freedom of speech and expression relating irreverence toward holy personages, religious artifacts, customs, or beliefs or apostasy laws.