a total desertion of or departure from one’s religion, principles, party, cause, etc.
Contemporary Examples

Nasser al-Omar, an influential cleric, called for him to be tried in a Sharia court for apostasy, which is punishable by death.
Saudi Writer Hamza Kashgari Detained in Malaysia Over Muhammad Tweets Mike Giglio February 9, 2012

Khartoum says Meriam Ibrahim, a Christian, must hang for “apostasy.”
Obama Adds Insult to Injury for Sharia-Condemned Young Mother in Sudan Nina Shea June 3, 2014

He is likely to face charges for apostasy, which is punishable by death.
Writer Hamza Kashgari Handed Over to Saudis for ‘Blasphemous’ Tweets Mike Giglio February 11, 2012

It’s for the crime of apostasy (in this case, writing a novel) that Ayatollah Khomenei sent death squads for Salman Rushdie.
Don’t Let the Maccabees Win Matt Lerner December 3, 2013

And positions which were once American apostasy are the new reality.
The Real Budget Warriors Mark McKinnon November 9, 2010

Historical Examples

At Burnham there is the case of Margery Hedsor, who was excommunicated at intervals for apostasy between 1311 and 1317.
Medieval English Nunneries c. 1275 to 1535 Eileen Edna Power

And he averted his head from her, as though from a temptation to apostasy.
Sacrifice Stephen French Whitman

His family tries every means to bring him back and to punish his apostasy.
Contemporary Russian Novelists Serge Persky

Their commander purchased his life by apostasy and a treasonable oath.
Peter the Hermit Daniel A. Goodsell

But it is worse than schism to separate from the universal church: to separate from its faith is apostasy to infidelity.
A Christian Directory (Volume 1 of 4) Richard Baxter

noun (pl) -sies
abandonment of one’s religious faith, party, a cause, etc

late 14c., “renunciation, abandonment or neglect of established religion,” from Latin apostasia, from later Greek apostasia, from apostasis “revolt, defection,” literally “a standing off” (see apostate). General (non-religious) sense is attested from 1570s.


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