Despite Danish repeal, blasphemy laws still common in Europe Lawmakers in Canada, Greece, Ireland among those considering abolition of outdated blasphemy, religious insult provisionsA Pakistani civil society activist cries during a protest in favor of a Pakistani student murdered for alleged blasphemy in April 2017. Despite global condemnation of such incidents, nearly two dozen OSCE member states maintain criminal blasphemy and religions insult laws. EPA/Bilawal Arbab
In voting last month to repeal their country’s centuries-old blasphemy law, Danish lawmakers joined a growing trend in Europe toward securing free speech on matters related to religion.
A comprehensive IPI study on criminal defamation and insult laws published in March by the Representative on Freedom of the Media of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) highlighted that the Netherlands (2014), Iceland (2015), Norway (2015), Malta (2016) and France (2017) had all abolished blasphemy laws in recent years.