MEDIA ALERT: Nontheists To Hold Congressional Briefings On International Blasphemy Laws

Washington, DC -- Beginning this week, the Secular Coalition for America, in partnership with two of its member organizations the Center for Inquiry and the American Humanist Association, will host the first of two briefings for Members of Congress and congressional staff on the global state of blasphemy laws. Blasphemy laws prohibit the expression of ideas that are deemed to be "disrespectful to religion."

The first hearing will take place from 12 - 1pm on Tuesday, October 9th in the House Judiciary Committee Room (Room 2226) of the Rayburn House Office Building.

The list of confirmed speakers includes:

  • Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD-8)

  • Jay Kansara, Director of Government Relations at the Hindu American Foundation

  • Elizabeth Cassidy, Director of International Law and Policy, United States Commission on International Religious Freedom

  • Sarah Haider, Executive Director, Ex-Muslims of North America

  • Matthew Bulger, Legislative Director, American Humanist Association

  • Matias Perttula, Advocacy Director, International Christian Concern

According to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), 71 countries have blasphemy laws in their national legal code. These laws are disproportionately used to silence religious minorities and nontheists. According to the 2017 Freedom of Thought Report, 13 countries still have laws that punish "atheism" as a capital offense.

Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD) introduced House Resolution 349 which calls for the President and the State Department to make the worldwide repeal of these laws a priority, while also opposing any attempts at the United Nations to support blasphemy laws.

This event is open to the public and members of the media.

CONTACT: Casey Brescia
Senior Communications Association and Spokesman
(845) 380-6201
[email protected]


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The Secular Coalition for America is the nation's premier advocacy organization representing atheists, humanists, agnostics, and other nontheists. Its mission is to increase the visibility of and respect for nontheistic viewpoints in the United States, and to protect and strengthen the secular character of our government as the best guarantee of freedom for all. The Secular Coalition represents 19 voting member organizations.

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