For Immediate Release
Roy Speckhardt, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-238-9088 x109
(Washington, DC, December 21, 2020) – The American Humanist Association (AHA) applauds Congress, as the Senate joined the House in adopting a resolution calling for a global end to blasphemy, heresy, and apostasy laws Saturday evening.
Senate Resolution 458, championed by Senator James Lankford (R-OK) and Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), calls upon the president and the U.S. State Department to prioritize the repeal of blasphemy laws in their relationships with countries that have such laws and to release prisoners who have been accused or convicted of blasphemy offenses.
AHA led a diverse coalition of nearly 70 national organizations in support of the resolutions in both chambers.
“The Senate’s adoption of Senate Resolution 458 solidified Congress’s commitment to ending the criminalization of blasphemy, heresy, and apostasy around the world,” shared AHA Director of Policy and Social Justice Rachel Deitch. “Republicans and democrats working together to get this done underscores our country’s continued commitment to championing the freedom of thought, religion, conscience, and belief for all people everywhere.”
Blasphemy laws exist in more than 80 countries and are the most explicit laws banning the expression of doubts or criticism regarding religion. In several countries, the penalty for being found guilty of violating these laws is death. Blasphemy laws are used to restrict the rights of not just the nonreligious, but minorities of all faiths and philosophies, women, LGBTQ people, and political dissidents.
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The American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other nontheistic Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming worldview of humanism, which—without beliefs in gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity. Learn more at americanhumanist.org.