Montenegro

Blasphemy restricted in lawDespite constitutional guarantees on freedom of thought and expression, and despite separation of church and state, the law prohibiting religious hatred also criminalizes the “mockery” of religious symbols.

It is a crime to cause and spread religious hatred. However, this is defined as to include the mockery of religious symbols. This is punishable by a prison sentence ranging from six months to 10 years in some circumstances; for example, if it is the result of an abuse of position or authority, if it leads to violence, or if the consequences are deemed detrimental to the coexistence of people, national minorities, or ethnic groups.

In practice, the wide range of this law appears not to make mockery of religious symbols alone punishable with a prison sentence, the penalty of imprisonment being restrained to acts which actually incite hatred. Nevertheless, the law appears to place a potential criminal restriction on “mockery” of religion, and any de facto blasphemy law inevitably chills free expression.