Religious vilification

Other Names:
Religious smear campaigns

Blasphemy is the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence to a deity, or sacred objects, or toward something considered sacred or inviolable.

Some religions consider blasphemy to be a religious crime. As of 2012, anti-blasphemy laws existed in 32 countries, while 87 nations had hate speech laws that covered defamation of religion and public expression of hate against a religious group. Anti-blasphemy laws are particularly common in Muslim-majority nations, such as those in the Middle East and North Africa, although they are also present in some Asian and European countries.


The interaction between rival religious groups tends in part to be characterized by vilification of one by the other, whether or not this is communicated to the rival group. Attributing negative qualities to a rival group is a natural means of ensuring the coherence and motivation of a group. In the case of religious groups this can typically extend to labelling the activities of the other as "works of the devil".

Problem Type:
D: Detailed problems
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
Date of last update
24.06.2019 – 19:14 CEST