However, in at least 10 countries around the world, «apostasy,» the act of abandoning religion, is punishable by death. These countries are: Afghanistan, Brunei Darussalam, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. The United Nations Commission on Human Rights considers the revocation of a person`s religion to be a legally protected right under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: many Muslims consider Islamic law on apostasy and punishment to be one of the immutable laws of Islam.  It is a Hudud crime, which means that it is a crime against God, and that the punishment was set by God. Punishment for apostasy includes the forced annulment by the state of their marriage, the confiscation of the person`s children and property with automatic attribution to guardians and heirs, and the death of the apostate.    What does this mean: As a Christian, are you against the laws of apostasy and blasphemy? These laws were most common in the Middle East and North Africa, where 18 of the 20 countries (90%) in the region have laws criminalizing blasphemy and 13 of them (65%) prohibit apostasy. In Saudi Arabia, an Indian citizen was charged with blasphemy in 2019, fined and 10 years in prison for tweeting criticism of Muhammad and Allah, as well as the Saudi government. There are several verses in the Qur`an that condemn apostasy.  [Non-primary source needed] In addition, there are several verses in the hadith that condemn apostasy.  [Non-primary source needed] Despite the mention of apostates, the Qur`an does not mention the murder of an apostate.  Sanctions for abandoning faith also vary from country to country. In Algeria, people who convert from Islam to another religion cannot receive an inheritance. In 2019, Brunei introduced a law allowing death sentences for apostasy from Islam.
Apostasy (/əˈpɒstəsi/; Greek: ἀποστασία apostasía, «an overflow or revolt») is the formal demarcation, abandonment or renunciation of a religion by a person. It can also be defined in the broader context of adopting an opinion that contradicts previous religious beliefs.  Someone who practices apostasy is called an apostate. Apostasy is called apostasy (or apostasy – also known as apostacization). The term apostasy is used by sociologists to refer to the renunciation and criticism or opposition to a person`s ancient religion in the technical sense without pejorative connotations. When the Roman Empire adopted Christianity as the state religion, apostasy was formally criminalized in the Theodosian Codex, followed by the Corpus Juris Civilis (the Justinian Codex).  The Justinian Codex formed the basis of law in most parts of Western Europe in the Middle Ages, and thus apostasy in Europe was pursued to varying degrees during this period and in the early modern period. Eastern Europe also inherited many of its legal traditions regarding Roman apostasy, but not from the Justinian Code.
[Citation needed] In addition to measuring blasphemy and apostasy, the Pew Research Center measures other laws and policies that punish religion-related hate speech and statements critical of religion. As such, laws and guidelines regarding defamation of religion, religious persons or groups are covered by these measures, but are generally not considered anti-blasphemy laws for the purposes of this study, although in some cases there may be overlaps. Although measures from blasphemy and apostasy laws have been included in the study since 2010, these measures do not take into account the values that countries report in the Center`s Government Restriction Index (GRI) and Social Hostilities Index (SHI) and therefore do not affect their scores. In Afghanistan, Maldives, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, apostasy is considered a hudud crime, that is, crimes that are considered to violate the rights of God, which have fixed penalties; According to Islamic law, apostasy is punishable by death. In all three countries, hudud crimes are described as illegal in the penal code. Although apostasy is not a federal crime in Malaysia, it is considered a Hudud crime in two regional states, Kelantan and Terengganu. There are no official laws against apostasy in Iran, but there are cases where religious courts have sentenced people to death for apostasy. In many other countries, apostates face social stigma or are actively discriminated against or persecuted by the state (see Humanists International Freedom of Thought Report for more information), even though there is no official law stating that «apostasy» is illegal.
For example, apostates in Kuwait may lose certain rights, such as the right to inherit property from Muslim parents. In addition, the government does not issue documents indicating a change in religion or belief unless the person has converted to Islam, making de facto apostasy illegal. As TGC board member Russell Moore recently stated, «The question of religious freedom is who should have regulatory power over religion. If you believe that religion should not be regulated by the state, then you believe in religious freedom» (emphasis added). The logical consequence of this is that if you do not believe in religious freedom, you think it is acceptable for religion to be regulated by the state. If you are against religious freedom, you have no reason to oppose the laws of apostasy – even in Islamic countries. A new analysis by the Pew Research Center found that 79 of the 198 countries studied around the world (40 percent) had laws or policies prohibiting blasphemy in 2019, which is defined as speech or actions considered contempt for God or for people or objects considered sacred. Twenty-two countries (11%) had laws against apostasy, the act of abandoning faith. The analysis builds on the Center`s broader research on global boundaries related to religion. We call on governments that use these laws to release all those imprisoned for such reasons and to abolish blasphemy, apostasy and other laws that impede the exercise of freedom of expression, religion or belief in a manner inconsistent with international law.
We remain committed to working with our partners to address issues such as bigotry, discrimination and violence based on religious intolerance in a manner that respects fundamental freedoms, including freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief and expression. In 2019, 40% of the countries surveyed had laws or policies prohibiting blasphemy. More than one in 10 had laws against apostasy. The term apostasy is derived from the ancient Greek ἀποστασία from ἀποστάτης, which means «political rebel» as applied in the Hebrew Bible to rebellion against God, his law and the faith of Israel (in Hebrew מרד). Other expressions for apostates, as used by rabbinical scholars, are mumar (מומר, literally «the one who is changed») and poshea yisrael (פושע ישראל, literally «transgressor of Israel») or simply kofer (כופר, literally «negationist» and heretical).