Blasphemy, heresy and apostasy laws are tools of religious discrimination and oppression that can pose real risks to religious minorities around the world. In accordance with its tradition of supporting religious freedom at home and abroad, the U.S. should call for these laws’ removal from legal systems around the world. This is a bipartisan issue supported by religious and secular human rights groups alike.
Although it is true that blasphemy, heresy and apostasy laws are used to discriminate against religious minorities in some countries, that is generally not the case. In most countries, these laws are not enforced despite being on the books. Raising this issue with all countries regardless of their enforcement — or lack thereof — of these laws is a waste of the President’s and State Dept.’s time.