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Grassley on Religious Freedom in Bangladesh

Prepared Floor Remarks by U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa

On Religious Freedom in Bangladesh

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

An op-ed I penned recently mentioned countries that still have blasphemy laws on the books, and it touched a nerve in Bangladesh.

I certainly didn’t mean to imply that it was the worst offender, and I commend Bangladesh for its support of almost 1 million Rohingya Muslim refugees who are fleeing Burma.

Bangladesh’s secular government has also taken steps to prosecute perpetrators of religious-based crimes. 

However, a 2016 report by U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom found that religious and civil society groups in Bangladesh fear increasing religious extremism.

Moreover, some Bangladeshi leaders have warned that violators of blasphemy laws would be prosecuted. 

Bangladesh, and the 68 other countries that still have blasphemy laws on the books, should repeal these laws. 

That’s why I am co-sponsoring a resolution, S.Res.458, calling on the global repeal of blasphemy laws.

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