This page has statements by:
- Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, 4 February 2015
- Barack Obama, president of the United States of America, 5 February 2015
Selected news items:
- Center for Inquiry Applauds House Resolution Calling for Repeal of Blasphemy Laws Worldwide, June 3, 2015
- Coptic Solidarity Supports Global Repeal of Blasphemy Laws, Aug 5, 2015
Archbishop of Canterbury
The Telegraph, February 4, 2015
Justin Welby says Christians must stand up for religious freedom of atheists and Muslims as much as themselves.
“We must speak out for others persecuted for their beliefs whether it be religious or atheistic. Taking responsibility for someone else’s freedom is as important as my own.”
Archbishop Welby went on to detail personal accounts he had been given of religious persecution and told of an email he received on Tuesday from the Anglican Bishop in Peshawar reporting how a school had been raided and attacked.
During a question-and-answer session afterwards, he thanked the former MP Evan Harris, a humanist, for his efforts to abolish the blasphemy laws in the UK and said he opposed all restrictions on freedom of speech concerning religion which did not constitute hate speech.
President of the United States
February 5, 2015
“…central to that dignity is freedom of religion — the right of every person to practice their faith how they choose, to change their faith if they choose, or to practice no faith at all, and to do this free from persecution and fear.”
“We will keep standing for religious freedom around the world. And that includes, by the way, opposing blasphemy and defamation of religion measures, which are promoted sometimes as an expression of Religion, but, in fact, all too often can be used to suppress religious minorities.”