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in religion, words or actions that display irreverence toward or contempt for God or that which is held sacred. Blasphemy is regarded as an offense against the community to varying degrees, depending on the extent of the identification of a religion with the society at large or the government. Seditionsedition
, in law, acts or words tending to upset the authority of a government. The scope of the offense was broad in early common law, which even permitted prosecution for a remark insulting to the king.
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, an attack on the sovereign, is thus analogous; both it and blasphemy can be seen as subversive of order and authority. Heresyheresy,
in religion, especially in Christianity, beliefs or views held by a member of a church that contradict its orthodoxy, or core doctrines. It is distinguished from apostasy, which is a complete abandonment of faith that makes the apostate a deserter, or former member.
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, on the other hand, is a matter of competing claims for doctrinal correctness; the dominant (orthodox) faction, however, often defines the heretic as blasphemous.

Blasphemy has been a crime in many religions and cultures, wherever there is something sacred to protect. SocratesSocrates
, 469–399 B.C., Greek philosopher of Athens. Famous for his view of philosophy as a pursuit proper and necessary to all intelligent men, he is one of the great examples of a man who lived by his principles even though they ultimately cost him his life.
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 was prosecuted for blasphemy, and Mosaic law prescribed death for cursing the name of God. JesusJesus
or Jesus Christ
, 1st-century Jewish teacher and prophet in whom Christians have traditionally seen the Messiah [Heb.,=annointed one, whence Christ from the Greek] and whom they have characterized as Son of God and as Word or Wisdom of God incarnate.
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 was tried for blasphemy, while Christians regarded the action of the Jews in trying him as itself blasphemous.

Secular modern states often retain blasphemy laws, but they are infrequently enforced. In the United States, state blasphemy laws remain on the books, but the Supreme Court's expansive interpretation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution makes it likely that any blasphemy prosecution would now be regarded as an impermissible establishment of religion. In countries governed under Islamic law, the concept of blasphemy is broad, embracing many kinds of disrespect or denial of religion; the condemnation (1988) of the author Salman RushdieRushdie, Sir Salman
, 1947–, British novelist, b. Bombay (now Mumbai, India). He is known for the allusive richness of his language and the wide variety of Eastern and Western characters and cultures he explores.
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 by Iranian clerics is a recent example of theocratic action.


Law the crime committed if a person insults, offends, or vilifies the deity, Christ, or the Christian religion
References in periodicals archive ?
Earlier, Shahdara police registered a blasphemy case against his cousin, Patras Masih, for allegedly posting blasphemous material on Facebook page Paglon ki Basti.
Lahore [Pakistan], Feb 21 ( ANI ): Scores of activists of religious parties surrounded a Christian colony in Lahore, demanding the arrest of a Christian man who allegedly posted blasphemous content on the social media.
Deputy Attorney General (DAG) told the court during the hearing of the case that approval has been accorded to Prevention of Electronic Crime Act-2016 draft bill and PTA has filed details of blasphemous material and obscene web site in the court.
On Friday, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) also submitted before the court a report on blasphemous and pornographic content on internet.
During hearing ofa blasphemous content case registered against five people, Justice Siddiqui remarked that without credible evidence, no action could be taken against the accused.
ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) told the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday that no evidence was found against the five bloggers accused in cases pertaining to publishing of blasphemous content online.
ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) has warned that if court's orders are not complied with in removal of blasphemous content from the social media case then contempt of court proceedings will be initiated against Prime Minister (PM), federal ministers and bureaucrats.
ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has introduced various steps to curb blasphemous content from social media websites.
dpa Islamabad A senior Facebook executive assured Pakistan's government on Friday that blasphemous content would be removed from the site, amid a state crackdown on some forms of online expression.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has launched an awareness campaign through SMS service about the uploading of blasphemous content on social media.
ISLAMABAD -- Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Islamabad on Thursday extended the judicial remand of as many as four suspects for further 14 days in blasphemous content case.
Criminal Code Section 296 states: "Every one who publishes a blasphemous libel is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.