U.S. Commission Finds Blasphemy Laws ‘Astonishingly Widespread’ Around the World

Breitbart.com reports: “The perilous condition of free speech around the world is highlighted by a new report from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, which found blasphemy laws have become ‘astoundingly widespread’ across the world. Some of them specify shockingly severe penalties as well, including torture and death.

The title of the report asks and answers a crucial question: ‘Respecting Rights? Measuring the World’s Blasphemy Laws.’ The Commission strongly rejects arguments that blasphemy laws are needed to protect religious freedom. Instead, it finds them a consistent violation of basic human rights.

USCIRF chairman Daniel Mark said:

    Religious freedom includes the right to express a full range of thoughts and beliefs, including those that others might find blasphemous. Advocates for blasphemy laws may argue that they are needed in order to protect religious freedom, but these laws do no such thing. Blasphemy laws are wrong in principle, and they often invite abuse and lead to assaults, murders, and mob attacks. Wherever they exist, they should be repealed…”

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