Share →

Section 140 of the Danish Penal Code on “blasphemy” should be abolished, says the Danish Humanist Society, Humanistisk Samfund and a coalition of humanist organizations in the Nordic region.

The outdated Danish law has again been put into use this year, with “blasphemy” charges brought against a North Jutland man who burned the Koran in his backyard and filmed it. The Danish left wing party, Enhedslisten, has said it will issue a proposal to abolish the blasphemy law.

Last week, representatives of the Danish Humanist Society handed a resolution to the Justice Minister and legal representatives of all parties in the Danish parliament, calling for the abolition of “blasphemy” laws in the region. The resolution has the backing of all major Humanist organizations in the Nordic region.

This map from the End Blasphemy Laws campaign shows how the handful of countries with “blasphemy” laws in Europe are outliers. Four countries (marked in green) have repealed “blasphemy” laws since 2015: Iceland, Norway, France and Malta.

The resolution follows below.


The Nordic Humanist Associations call upon the Danish government to abolish §140 of the Danish Penal Code.

 As humanists we hold that both freedom of speech and freedom of religion and belief must be protected at all times.

It must be remembered that these are rights of human beings, i.e. human rights. Legislation should protect the individual freedom of speech as well as individuals against hate-speech and hate-crimes. Hateful and critical utterances directed at ideas, religions and ideologies should be fought with words and debate, not legislation. Any individual should be able to criticize all points of view, even if the critique isn’t very polite or very tasteful.

As Nordic secular democracies we have an obligation to say loud and clear that we do not find it acceptable to punish people because they offend gods or religions. In other parts of the world this is punishable by death and by not taking a stand against such laws we participate in the sanctioning of this kind of legislation.

Denmark, Finland and the Faroese Islands still upholds blasphemy laws and we hereby encourage the abolishment §140 of the Danish Penal Code as well as the blasphemy laws in Finland and the Faroese Islands.

Freethinkers Association, Vapaa-ajattelijain Liitto ryFritänkarnas Förbund rf, Finland
Finnish Humanist Association, Suomen Humanistiliitto, Finland
Swedish Humanist Association, Humanisternä, Sweden
Norwegian Humanist Association, Human-Etisk Forbund, Norway
Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association, Si∂mennt, Iceland
Faeroese Humanist Association, Humanistafelag Føroya, Faroe Islands
Danish Humanist Society, Humanistisk Samfund, Denmark

De nordiske humanist-organisationer opfordrer hermed den danske regering til at afskaffe § 140 i den danske straffelov.

Som humanister mener vi, at ytringsfriheden og friheden til at have og udøve hvilket som helst livssyn bør beskyttes for enhver pris. Det bør dog bemærkes eksplicit at disse rettigheder er knyttet til det enkelte menneske og derfor en del af menneskerettighederne.

Lovgivning bør beskytte den individuelle ytringsfrihed og det enkelte menneske mod hadefulde ytringer og forbrydelser baseret på hadefulde forestillinger. Dette dækkes udmærket af andre paragraffer i den danske straffelov. Hadefulde og kritiske ytringer, som er rettet mod ideer, religioner eller ideologier bør bekæmpes med argumenter og debat, ikke lovgivning. Ethvert individ bør have ret til at kritisere alle synspunkter, også selvom kritikken hverken er smagfuld, høflig eller empatisk.

Som sekulære demokratier har vi i Norden en særlig forpligtigelse til at gå forrest og vise, at vi ikke finder det acceptabelt at straffe mennesker, fordi de fornærmer guder eller religioner. I andre dele af verden bliver kritik rettet mod religion, straffet med døden og ved ikke at tage afstand fra og afskaffe lignende lovgivning i vores egen straffelov, sanktionerer vi denne praksis. Både Norge og Island afskaffede deres blasfemilovgivning i 2015.

Danmark, Finland og Færøerne er de eneste af de nordiske lande, som endnu har en blasfemilovgivning og vi skal hermed opfordre den danske regering til at afskaffe §140 i den danske straffelov.

Vapaa-ajattelijain Liitto ry – Fritänkarnas Förbund rf, Finland
Suomen Humanistiliitto, Finland
Humanisterna, Sverige
Human-Etisk Forbund, Norge
Si∂mennt, Island
Humanistafelag Føroya, Færøerne
Humanistisk Samfund, Danmark

More News from IHEU

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *