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Nations with anti-LGBT laws: 50% Muslim, 44% Christian

Nations with anti-LGBT laws: 50% Muslim, 44% Christian

Many Christian-majority nations dropped anti-gay laws, Muslim nations haven’t


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This article was updated and corrected on Feb. 6, 2024.

Half (33) of the world’s 66 countries that have anti-LGBT laws are nations where a majority of the citizens are Muslims.

By comparison, 29 Christian-majority countries account for 44 percent of the countries that still have anti-LGBT laws on their books.

In recent years, the number of Christian-majority nations with anti-homosexuality laws has shrunk, both through court rulings (Barbados, St. Kitts and Nevis and Antigua and Barbuda in 2022; Trinidad in 2018; Belize in 2016) and through legislative action (Cook Islands in 2023, Singapore in 2022, Angola and Botswana in 2019, Seychelles and Nauru in 2016, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe, and Palau in 2014).

Similar laws have been dropped in Hindu-majority Mauritius (2023), Buddhist-majority Bhutan (2021) and in Hindu-majority India (2018).

However, no Muslim-majority nation has acted recently to repeal an anti-LGBT law.

Map of the 66 countries where sexual relations between people of the same sex are illegal. YELLOW countries have sodomy laws that are currently being challenged before local courts. Sri Lanka, in PINK, currently has a bill before its parliament to repeal its sodomy law. Indonesia, in ORANGE, has laws that criminalize homosexuality only in some subnational jurisdictions. All states in RED have nationwide sodomy laws and no known efforts to remove them.

For technical reasons (keeping the original story’s Internet address unchanged to allow easy online searches), this article mirrors a newly updated Erasing 76 Crimes page, also titled   “Nations with anti-LGBT laws: 50% Muslim, 44% Christian“. 

Here are the nations in each category:

Muslim majority

See Also
Lesbian couple detained by police in Bangladesh

  1. Afghanistan
  2. Algeria
  3. Bangladesh
  4. Brunei
  5. Chad
  6. Comoros
  7. Egypt
  8. Gambia
  9. Indonesia (Aceh Province and South Sumatra only)
  10. Iran
  11. Iraq
  12. Kuwait
  13. Lebanon (law ruled invalid in one court in 2014 and disqualified for use against same-sex intimacy in another court in 2017)
  14. Libya
  15. Malaysia
  16. Maldives
  17. Mauritania
  18. Morocco
  19. Oman
  20. Pakistan
  21. Palestine/Gaza Strip — lacking broad international recognition as a country
  22. Qatar
  23. Saudi Arabia
  24. Senegal
  25. Somalia
  26. South Sudan
  27. Sudan
  28. Syria
  29. Tunisia
  30. Turkmenistan
  31. United Arab Emirates
  32. Uzbekistan
  33. Yemen

Christian majority

Most, if not all, of these countries inherited their laws from the period when they were British colonies.

  1. Barbados
  2. Burundi
  3. Cameroon
  4. Dominica (But see “Dominica leader: No enforcement of anti-gay law” )
  5. Ethiopia
  6. Ghana
  7. Grenada
  8. Guinea
  9. Guyana
  10. Jamaica
  11. Kenya
  12. Kiribati
  13. Liberia
  14. Malawi
  15. Namibia
  16. Papua New Guinea
  17. Samoa
  18. Solomon Islands
  19. Sierra Leone
  20. St. Lucia
  21. St Vincent & the Grenadines
  22. Swaziland / Eswatini
  23. Tanzania
  24. Togo
  25. Tonga
  26. Tuvalu
  27. Uganda
  28. Zambia
  29. Zimbabwe

Other

  1. Eritrea — roughly 50-50 Christian-Muslim. Some surveys give a edge to Christianity; others, to Islam.
  2. Myanmar
  3. Nigeria — roughly 50-50 Christian-Muslim
  4. Sri Lanka

 

 

View Comments (3)
  • Interesting article, thanks! Most of the countries currently considering repeal are also Christian majority countries in the Caribbean region and Namibia. You can remove Barbados from the list of Christian majority nations with a sodomy law as Barbados repealed theirs in 2022.

    • Thanks.

      You’re right about Ethiopia. It’s about 62% to 67% Christian. The article has been corrected.

      Regarding Eritrea, you may be right. I’ve moved it to the “Other” category.

      –Colin Stewart, editor/publisher of this site.

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