Tell Congress to Fight Blasphemy Laws

July 18, 2016

The Center for Inquiry has helped lead the global fight for freedom of expression and against “blasphemy laws" that criminalize criticism of religion. A resolution calling for the repeal of blasphemy laws around the world is moving through the U.S. House of Representatives — and CFI needs your help to secure its passage.

House Resolution 290 recognizes that “many countries have blasphemy laws that punish expression deemed blasphemous” and that “blasphemy laws are inconsistent with international human rights standards, as they protect beliefs over individuals and often result in violations of the freedoms of religion and expression.” It also:

  • Calls upon the President and State Department to make the end of blasphemy laws a key component in all relations with countries that have such laws; 
  • Encourages the President and State Department to oppose any efforts at the United Nations to create an international anti-blasphemy norm;
  • Calls on the President and State Department to designate Pakistan and Egypt each as a “country of particular concern” under the International Religious Freedom Act;
  • Urges the governments of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other countries to amend or repeal their blasphemy laws, and to release and ensure the safety of any people imprisoned on charges of blasphemy;

At least 50 countries have blasphemy laws. In some of them, criticism of religion is punishable by death. No one should have to die because their beliefs are contrary to those of the state or the majority. The passage of House Resolution 290 would send a strong signal to these countries that the U.S. rejects such laws and that they must be repealed. That’s where you come in.

CFI is pushing for passage of House Resolution 290 by the end of the 114th Congress. We urge you to join us in standing for the rights of all people to express their beliefs regarding religion by using our pre-written form to contact your U.S. representative today and tell them to co-sponsor H. Res 290!

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