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How do anti-conversion laws and blasphemy laws differ, and why does it matter?

How do anti-conversion laws and blasphemy laws differ, and why does it matter?

January 3, 2024 10:29 AM
January 3, 2024 10:29 AM


By Katey Hearth | January 3, 2024

International (MNN) — Do you know the difference between anti-conversion and blasphemy laws?

Greg Kelley of Unknown Nations, formerly World Mission, explains, “Anti-conversion laws boil down to proselytizing. Blasphemy is where people are thrown in jail over what somebody said they heard.”

For example, in the case of blasphemy laws, “There will be third-party accusations that have no merit, yet [they become] actionable,” Kelley says.

“[Believers are] thrown in jail, or beaten, or mobs show up and burn your house down.”

Authorities often use these laws as tools to persecute Christ-followers around the world. Vigilante mobs accuse Christians of breaking these laws and then use the supposed violation as an excuse to attack believers.

“The biggest issue is that there’s no accountability; the government doesn’t do anything to hold these people accountable,” Kelley says.

In one location where Unknown Nations trains Christian leaders, “They (assailants) were attacking a group of Christians in their home,” Kelley says.

“The mob is outside chanting, ‘Death to Christians’ and dragging people out of this home, beating them.”

A recent United States Commission on International Religious Freedom report found that nearly one in four countries has a national anti-conversion law on the books. Often, these countries are home to unreached people groups, or communities without access to the Gospel.

Partner with Unknown Nations to help change this reality.

Unknown Nations is “distributing Bibles, training leaders, doing strategic humanitarian projects” in strategic locations, Kelley says.

“99 percent of our resources, our dollars, are going into places where the Gospel is already established. We need to begin prioritizing places that have never heard of Jesus.”


Header image is a representative stock photo courtesy of Christine Roy/Unsplash.

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