Portugal

Blasphemy restricted in lawA quasi-’blasphemy’ law criminalizes “offending a person in virtue of his religious belief”.

Article 251 of the Criminal Code defines “Insult motivated by religious belief”:

“Whomever publicly offends another person or derides that person because of his or her beliefs, in such a way as to disturb public peace, will be punished with a prison sentence of up to one year or with a fine of up to 120 days”.

Article 252 further criminalizes “Hindrance, disturbance or insult to an act of worship”:

“Whomever publicly vilifies a religious act of worship or derides such act will be punished with a prison sentence of up to one year or a fine of up to 120 days”.
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The articles do not appear to have been used in recent years.

The conflation of religious offence with the language of “public peace” and “vilification”, as well as a lack of prosecutions producing case law, makes it difficult to assess interpretation of this law. We consider it unlikely that sentencing could result in a prison term without some element of hate crime, however the wording on “public offence” and “derision” based on “beliefs” alone is vague enough that the threat of prosecution remains over acts that should constitute legitimate expression about religion and thus constitutes a quasi-blasphemy law.