The countries where apostasy is punishable by death

The countries where apostasy is punishable by death

Thirteen countries, all of a Muslim majority, punish apostasy (the renunciation of a particular religion), or blasphemy with death.

The annual Freedom of Thought report by the International Humanist and Ethical Union, found that 13 countries impose capital punishment upon people simply for their beliefs, or lack of them.

Afghanistan, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen are the relevant countries.

All of these countries, except Pakistan, allow for capital punishment against apostasy, while Pakistan imposes the death penalty for blasphemy - including a disbelief in God.

Among the best-ranked countries in the report, which received a "free and equal" rating, were Jamaica, Uruguay, Japan, Taiwan, and Belgium.

View the report's full rankings in the interactive map, below:


The UK received a middling classification of "Systemic Discrimination" in the report, while “extant religious privileges and legal exemptions, often linked to the established state church” were listed as a cause for concern, as well as faith schools and required collective worship in state-funded schools.

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