October 10, 2014 Steve Sabz
Handcuffed hands of a prisoner with orange clothes behind the bars - crispy desaturated dramatic filtered look (Photo by ViewApart)

Handcuffed hands of a prisoner with orange clothes behind the bars - crispy desaturated dramatic filtered look (Photo by ViewApart)

Do sacred texts of the world's major religious groups condone the forced conversion, or non-conversion, of its adherents?

According to a 2014 report by The Law Library of Congress-Global Legal Research Center, twenty-three countries in the world retain laws that make it illegal for individuals to commit apostasy, "the act of abandoning one's faith - including by converting to another religion." The consequence for apostasy may include fines, imprisonment, forfeiture of inheritance, annulment of marriage, or death.

Countries with apostasy laws:

Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Brunei, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

Although most of the aforementioned countries provide a stable government by which Christian minorities coexist with their non-believing neighbors, it is illegal for individuals born Muslim to convert to Christianity. Proselytizing and blasphemy are also a crime in these countries.

Sacred texts of both Christians and Muslims, the world's two largest religious groups, permit an individual's personal expression of faith and the freedom to believe.

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me [Joshua] and my household, we will serve the Lord. The commander Joshua to the Israelites in Joshua 24:15 (circa 1400 B.C.)
There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong. So whoever disbelieves in Taghut [idolatry] and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold with no break in it. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing. The angel Gabriel to the prophet Muhammad in Al-Baqarah 2:256  (circa 600 A.D.)

Thus, sacred texts of the world's major religions forbid the implementation of apostasy laws. Penalizing individuals for converting to Christianity is a violation of their God-given, human right.

Sabz, S. (2014, October 10). Abolish apostasy laws. Retrieved from http://scienceandbibleresearch.com/abolish-apostasy-laws.html

Steve Sabz

Steve Sabz

Born again (John 3:3, 1 Peter 1:23) on August 8th 1988, Steve Sabz is a professional educator with a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology from William Paterson University,  where he also completed Graduate level courses in Human Physiology and Endocrinology. Currently, Steve is pursuing a Master of Arts in Systematic Theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary.  Steve founded Science and Bible Research in March 2014 with the goal of edifying the Christian through Science and Bible research in the areas of culture, faith, and reason. In the past, he faithfully served in church outreach ministries such as teaching English as a second language, playing guitar in worship bands, Scripture assembly projects, and inviting people within the local community to hear the good news of the risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In an effort to grow in the knowledge and grace of the Messiah, Steve successfully completed over 100 hours of Association of Christian Schools International-approved lecture courses in Principles of Biblical Interpretation, Doctrine of the End Times, Bible Survey (I - IV), Systematic Theology (I - IV), Apologetics (I & II), Church History (I - VI), Biblical Theology of Covenants, Doctrine of Election, Doctrine of Assurance, Doctrine of the Trinity, and Logic of Creation from Ligonier Ministries.  Steve is also the author of Evolution's Complexity Problem: See How Evolution Falls Apart At Its Beginning and End Time Rewind: An Exploration In Bible Prophecy And The Fate Of The World.