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Commonwealth: Blasphemy

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL2841, tabled on 2 November 2017

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of Commonwealth countries that retain some form of blasphemy law.

Answered on

15 November 2017

Her Majesty's Government remains firmly committed to the protection and promotion of Freedom of Religion or Belief around the world. Criminalising blasphemy runs contrary to that human right and we oppose it for that reason. We do not currently hold information on the number of Commonwealth countries that criminalise blasphemy, but a report published by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom in July 2017 found that blasphemy laws were retained in 71 countries worldwide.

We do not hold this information and accurate data is difficult to obtain. We will speak with our non-governmental organisations to see if they hold this information.