FFRF joins in Saturday’s Apostasy Day observance

Apostasy Day

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is participating in the observance of the first-ever Apostasy Day this weekend.

An international coalition has organized this commemoration on Saturday, Aug. 22, in good part to protest appallingly harsh apostasy laws in several Muslim nations. FFRF has enthusiastically signed on to the event and statement. The state/church watchdog has regularly provided significant help to endangered freethinkers who are imperiled as “apostates” or for critiquing Islam as freethinkers. The statement may be read in English, Arabic, Bangla, Dhivehi, Dutch, Farsi, French, German, Malay and Tamil.

On Saturday, supporters of freedom of conscience are asked to take a selfie with the hashtags #HandsUpforApostasyDay #ApostasyDay #ApostasyNotACrime.

Apostasy is the act of abandoning one’s religion, punishable by death in nations such as Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Somalia and a criminal offence in many other Muslim-majority countries. FFRF has long campaigned against apostasy and associated blasphemy laws. Recently, it has denounced a Nigerian court’s imposition of the death penalty on a young composer for the supposed crime of blasphemy and has asked its members, in reaction to the killing of a U.S. citizen in Pakistan, to urge Congress to condemn blasphemy, heresy and apostasy laws around the world.

Aug. 22 has been chosen as Apostasy Day chiefly because it is the U.N. Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief. The coalition behind the commemoration is asking, among other things, for a repeal of the criminalization and the death penalty for apostasy, an end to honor-related violence from families of apostates, and an affirmation of freedom of thought, conscience and belief in keeping with the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights.

“Apostasy laws are horribly outdated holdovers that have no place in our modern world,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “Freethinkers around the globe need to have the right to voice our opinions without fear of reprisal or persecution, much less prosecution. As we say at FFRF: Blasphemy is a victimless crime.”

Among the groups organizing the observance are Atheism Association of Turkey, Atheist & Agnostic Alliance of Pakistan, Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, Ex-Muslims of India and Freethought Lebanon. For more information, visit the Ex-Muslims of Britain’s webpage here.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, based in Madison, Wis., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational charity, is the nation's largest association of freethinkers (atheists, agnostics), and has been working since 1978 to keep religion and government separate.

FFRF is a non-profit, educational organization. All dues and donations are deductible for income-tax purposes.

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