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Blasphemy in Iceland and Pakistan July 7, 2015

Posted by P, J, or J in Uncategorized.
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a non-blesphemous photo from the BBC websiteBlasphemy laws caught my attention twice this week. Firstly, an article on BBC News headlined “Iceland makes Blasphemy legal” and secondly a prayer request from Open Doors calling for people to pray for Pakistan’s blasphemy laws to be repealed.

The BBC article reports:

The Iceland Monitor website said that the Church of Iceland supported the change, and quoted them as saying that “any legislative powers limiting freedom of expression in this way is at variance with modern-day attitudes towards human rights”.

The Catholic Church of Iceland, the Pentecostal Church and the Church of Iceland’s eastern province opposed the changes.

The Catholic Church wrote in comments submitted after the bill was proposed: “Should freedom of expression go so far as to mean that the identity of a person of faith can be freely insulted, then personal freedom – as individuals or groups – is undermined.”

In a 2010 press release about Pakistan, Open Doors USA, CEO Dr. Carl Moeller spoke specifically of the case of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman who has been facing a death sentence since 2010, but said,  “The larger problem is that the blasphemy law exists in the first place,”

Iceland and Pakistan are obviously very different places and their respective laws are framed and used very differently.

Elsewhere in the world governments, institutions, and families struggle with issues of blasphemy and censorship to find a balance between ideas around freedoms to express views and images in ways that others might find offensive, and protecting others from material that might be considered offensive or harmful to individuals or society.

Pray for wisdom and integrity for all who make and enforce laws, and that people of all faiths (and none) should recognize that allowing others to speak against your own beliefs should be seen as a sign of strength and confidence and not of weakness.

Open Doors grew out of the ministry of Brother Andrew, who committed his life to strengthening persecuted believers first in Eastern Europe and now around the globe. The international page will take you to Open Doors websites in 26 countries.

Their UK site currently contains over 50 articles on abuses of blasphemy laws, mostly in Pakistan.

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Comments»

1. P, J, or J - July 22, 2015

Just as I retweeted this I spotted a news report stating that “According to latest updates, the Supreme Court of Pakistan has stayed execution of Asia Bibi on blasphemy charges. The full bench of Supreme Court ordered in today’s hearing issued orders to stop implementation of death sentence till next order. ” http://www.christiansinpakistan.com/supreme-court-stays-execution-of-asia-bibi/

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