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Of Blasphemy, from the Narrenschiff (The Ship of Fools); woodcut attributed to Albrecht Dürer

Blasphemy is a word that means speaking badly about a religion, or insulting a god. Many countries with a state religion have laws to make blasphemy a crime. As an example, blasphemy is publishable by the death penalty in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan. In other countries, the punishment for the crime is a fine, or imprisonment. Some countries do not have laws against blasphemy.

There are cases, where people speak badly about religious content, but where this is protected by law: They may do so in a satirical way, for example with a movie that mocks a religion. Also, cursing is often protected by freedom of speech.

Other pages


  • Maledicta: The International Journal of Verbal Aggression (ISSN US 0363-3659)
  • Levy, L. Blasphemy. Chapel Hill, 1993.
  • Dartevelle, P., S Borg, Denis, Ph., Robyn, J. (eds.). Blasphèmes et libertés. Paris: CERF, 1993
  • Plate, S. Brent Blasphemy: Art that Offends (London: Black Dog Publishing, 2006) [ISBN 1904772536]

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