This shirt is illegal in 52 countries

As I walked into a grocery store yesterday I saw someone wearing a shirt that had a cross on it and said, “This shirt is illegal in 52 countries.”

I’m wondering what the actual number is. In what countries would wearing a shirt with a cross on it get you into hot water with the law. I have no doubt it’s a number far lower than 52.

I would imagine that North Korea would not tolerate such a thing. Saudi Arabia seems a likely candidate as well.

In Iran Christianity is not banned, but promoting it to Muslims is. So the shirt would be in a kind of gray area. It could very well get you into legal trouble there.


It was closer to 52 before communism collapsed. The old Eastern block was not very big on religion. But even then 52 seems high.

You can also get in trouble for wearing a Phil Silvers tshirt in China. Seriously, it’s happened.

Because they think it’s a picture of the Dalai Lama


I think the shirt may be put out by an outfit called Voice of the Martyrs. Here’s the map. If it is them, and these are the countries they have in mind, then I think the statement is simply not true.

Technically the Dalai Lama is merely the reincarnation of Phil Silvers.

For one thing, Mexico is on their list because the Christians are being persecuted by … Catholics. There may be another interpretation of this.

The two aren’t mutually exclusive. An area could be Catholic and persecute other Christian groups.

That’s one of the examples I was thinking of. Every version of the shirt I’ve seen has a cross and perhaps a Bible quote on it. I really doubt any Mexican state is going to ban a t-shirt with a cross and a Bible quote on it (somebody is going to have to provide me a cite on that one before I’ll believe it). I have no idea if evangelicals are indeed being persecuted in Chiapas. But persecution by non-state actors (who are not empowered to make anything illegal) in Chiapas (which is a state, not a country) is not the same thing as banning a t-shirt in a country.

But implying that Christianity or displaying the cross is illegal in Mexico because of this problem in one small area is a vast overstatement. (On edit, what BrightNShiny said.)

Are you questioning the truthiness of the shirt itself?:dubious:

Especially since the people who are doing the persecution ARE Christians, who will happily display a cross themselves.

What is the word or phrase for performing an act of bravery or defiance in a venue that requires no actual danger or sacrifice?


Is Masturbation too many letters to fit?

It is a bit of a handful, yes.

Well sure, but who isn’t?

I count 55 countries on that Voice of the Martyrs map, which is presumably pretty much the same list of countries that the shirt is referring to. So you’d have to show that, in almost every single one of those countries where Christians are harassed in any way by anyone, it’s illegal to wear a shirt with a cross on it.

While Chronos is right about the “shirt is illegal” statement, it’s depressing to read the text for many of those countries. Even if the shirt isn’t illegal there, Christianity and other religions appear to be heavily and brutally persecuted, mostly by Islamic idealists.