Apostasy Laws

2014 Ramadan Prayer Day 14

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.

 

Nation  Penalty
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

Prayer Points:

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.

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