By Hemant Mehta
For the eighth straight year, Humanists International has released its annual “Freedom of Thought Report” describing serious cases of discrimination and persecution against atheists around the world. You can download the report right here by clicking on the “Download the 2019 Key Countries edition (PDF)” link.
There’s some good news overall. Since 2015, eight countries (or parts of countries) have repealed or are on the verge of repealing their blasphemy laws, including three in the past year.
At the same time, though, the nations where blasphemy is a punishable offense are taking the fake “crime” more seriously than ever, either making the punishments more severe or depriving the accused of any form of due process.
But here’s the bottom line: 69 countries believe blasphemy is a crime. The death penalty applies in six of them. 18 countries punish apostasy (leaving religion), with 12 saying it’s a capital offense.
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