skip to main content

H.Res. 290 (114th): Calling for the global repeal of blasphemy laws.

We don’t have a summary available yet.

The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jun 2, 2015.

Recognizes that blasphemy laws position governments as arbiters of truth or religious rightness as they empower officials to enforce particular religious views against individuals and minorities.

Calls on the President and the Department of State (Department) to make the repeal of blasphemy laws a priority in their relationships with countries that have such laws.

Encourages the President and the Department to oppose any efforts at the United Nations (U.N.) or other international or multilateral fora to create an international anti-blasphemy norm, or attempts to expand the international norm on incitement to include blasphemy or defamation of religions.

Supports efforts at the U.N. to combat intolerance or violence against persons based on religion or belief without restricting expression.

Reaffirms the decision to designate Saudi Arabia as a "country of particular concern" for detaining and imprisoning people for blasphemy and for imposing torture, cruel or degrading treatment or punishment, and limit the waiver on this designation to no more than 180 days.

Calls on the President and the Department to designate Pakistan and Egypt each as a "country of particular concern" for perpetrating and tolerating particularly severe violations of religious freedom, including abuses flowing from the enforcement of blasphemy laws and from vigilante violence around blasphemy allegations that takes place with impunity.

Urges the governments of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and other countries to amend or repeal their blasphemy laws as they provide a pretext for violence against religious minorities.

Urges those countries that have imprisoned people on charges of blasphemy to release them and ensure their safety and that of their families.