(RNS) — It may soon be a criminal offense to be an atheist in Egypt.
Shortly before New Year’s Day, the Egyptian Parliament considered enacting a law that would make it illegal to profess no belief in God. It is already against Egyptian law to “insult” or “defame” religion, and blasphemy arrests are on the rise. A conviction can bring up to five years in prison.
The new measure would criminalize the act of not believing in God — no insults or defamation of another faith required.