Logo of The Campaign for Collective Apostasy in Spain, calling for defection from the Catholic Church
States in the world, where there is the death penalty
for apostasy. In many of these states, Islam
is one of the main religions.
Apostasy is a term used in a religious context, for leaving one's religion. Usually it means moving to another religion. Someone who does this is called an apostate. Apostasy is different from heresy: A heretic only questions one (or more) of the traditions and beliefs of their religion. An apostate questions all of them.
The word was first used in Christianity: In the Roman Catholic Church the punishment for apostasy is excommunication. Today, the word is used mostly in the context of apostasy in Islam.
Sometimes the term is used as a metaphor to refer to changing a non-religious belief or cause, such as a political party or a sports team.