Twenty-seven countries consider leaving the religion of Islam or apostasy from Islam illegal. The penalties for apostasy vary, but many nations do have provisions to invoke the death penalty, because of their adherence to Islamic sharia law. The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain published an extensive report called the Political and Legal Status of Apostates in Islam which lists the nations and the penalties for apostasy.
Although the actual constitutions of some of these nations do not prescribe the death penalty for apostates from Islam, many of their constitutions are based on Islamic sharia law which means the nation can put an apostate to death based on sharia law rather than the nation’s laws. Different practices and punishments are carried out between countries and even within the same nation depending on the region.
|Afghanistan||Death (by adherence to Sharia law)|
|Algeria||Apostasy is not a criminal offence, however in 2009 religious leaders declared that apostasy is subject to capital punishment.|
|Bahrain||Death (by adherence to Sharia law)|
|Bangladesh||Death (by adherence to Sharia law)|
|Brunei||Death (by adherence to Sharia law)|
|Comoros||Death (by adherence to Sharia law)|
|Egypt||Not forbidden by state, however Islam is the official state religion and Sharia law the primary source of legislation|
|Indonesia||Death (by adherence to Sharia law)|
|Iran||Death (by adherence to Sharia law and Penal Code draft)|
|Iraq||Death (by adherence to Sharia law)|
|Jordan||Apostasy is not a criminal offense, however the government does not allow conversion from Islam. In cases decided by an Islamic law court, marriages have been annulled; custody of children has been taken away; individuals have lost their property rights, etc.|
|Kuwait||Death (by adherence to Sharia law)|
|Libya||Legal status currently unknown (interim government)|
|Malaysia||Up to 5 years imprisonment, and/or death|
|Maldives||Death (by adherence to Sharia law)|
|Mauritania||Forced repentance, followed by death by adherence to sharia law|
|Morocco||Death (by adherence to Sharia law)|
|Nigeria||Death (by regional adherence to sharia law)|
|Oman||Not a criminal offense, but apostates are stripped of familial status and rights|
|Pakistan||Death (by adherence to Sharia law)|
|Qatar||Death (by adherence to Sharia law)|
|Saudi Arabia||Death (by adherence to Sharia law)|
|Somalia||Death (by adherence to Sharia law)|
|Sudan||Imprisonment or death|
|Syria||Stripped of legal status and/or death|
|Tunisia||Legal status currently unknown (interim government)|
|Turkey||Not a criminal offense|
|UAE||Death (by adherence to Sharia law)|
|Yemen||Forced repentance, followed by death|
If we live in a nation where there is religious freedom we do not have to fear for our lives when we worship God. With a grateful heart – thank Him for this freedom. Pray that we will never take this blessing for granted.
Many nations have groups who try to gradually take away our freedom of religion. Ask the Lord to expose their attempts, reveal their strategies, and cause those in authority to resist their tactics.
Pray for a shift in world agencies such as the UN to refrain from supporting regimes that do not allow for religious freedom in their nation.
Ex-Muslims in each of these nations will most often face severe persecution for leaving Islam. Ask God to watch over them, keep them in safety. Pray they will become grounded and established in His Word and His ways.