Court Rules Against Polish Rocker Who Tore Up Bible

October 31, 2012

From Reuters:

Poland's Supreme Court opened the way on Monday for a blasphemy verdict against a rock musician who tore up a Bible on stage, a case that has pitted deep Catholic traditions against a new desire for free expression.

Adam Darski, front man with a heavy metal group named Behemoth, ripped up a copy of the Christian holy book during a concert in 2007, called it deceitful and described the Roman Catholic church as "a criminal sect".

His supporters say it was an act of artistic expression, but conservatives say he offended the sensibilities of Catholics in Poland, the homeland of the late Pope John Paul II and one of the religion's most devout heartlands in Europe.

The Supreme Court was asked to rule on legal arguments thrown up by the musician's trial in a lower court on charges of offending religious feelings.

It said a crime was committed even if the accused, who uses the stage name Nergal, did not act with the "direct intention" of offending those feelings, a court spokeswoman said.

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