The Crimes Amendment Bill passed its second reading in parliament this week, and it now looks likely that our blasphemy law will be repealed in the near future. This is great news, and is being mirrored in other countries.
In Canada, repeal of their blasphemy law passed through parliament this week as well. This was followed later in the week by Royal Assent, meaning that the repeal is now official.
Also this week Ireland sought to fast track the repeal of their blasphemy law, after 65% of respondents in a recent referendum voted to remove blasphemy as a crime.
As we’ve talked about before, it’s important for countries like New Zealand to remove blasphemy laws so that we can critique similar laws in other countries being used to suppress freedom of belief. In Indonesia, a recently released app for Android phones that allows people to easily report instances of blasphemy, and two Pakistani Christians have been sentenced to death for blasphemy this week.