Blasphemy and apostasy laws severely limit religious freedom around the world. You can learn more about places where conversion is a crime here.
Here’s how will we meet this challenge:
Four Ways to Help
- Pray for the repeal of apostasy and blasphemy laws that violate religious freedom and undermine human rights. Listen to the Ethic’s and Religious Liberty Commission’s interview with Kamal Fahmi, founder of Set My People Free, describing how the enforcement of apostasy laws has taken lives and devastated families. The 2016 USCIRF Annual Report on International Religious Freedom is available here. The Open Doors 2017 World Watch List ranks the fifty countries where it is most difficult to profess and practice the Christian faith. Read and pray through these reports, country by country, with your small group or church.
- Do unto others as you would have them do unto you (Luke 6:31). Become an advocate for religious freedom for all faith groups. If we want to press foreign governments to recognize the rights of Christians within their borders, we must also advocate for the protection of all religious minorities in our own country.
- Remember Christians in prison for their faith (Hebrews 13:3). Voice and the Martyrs and Open Doors are committed to tracking incidents of persecution of Christian communities worldwide.
- Give a voice to the voiceless by using social media to highlight specific cases of persecution and to advocate for the abolition of these laws worldwide. Social media advocacy is one reason Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese Christian sentenced to death for apostasy, is alive today. The hashtag #SaveMeriam was trending during her ordeal, and more than a million online signatures were sent to the Government of Sudan on her behalf.
Rae Riley is a media specialist serving with the IMB in Europe. Eliza Thomas is a writer with IMB. She lives with her family in Central Asia.
For a more detailed, specific example, explore the reality of religious freedoms in the Russian Federation.