Adam Nergal Darski, frontman for Poland's heavy metal band Behemoth , has been formally charged for destroying a copy of the Bible over two years ago.
While it is a crime in Poland to destroy any religious iconography, there must be at least two formal complaints before a charge is laid. The first charge was made in 2008 – and recently an undisclosed number of additional complaints were lodged against
At the first hearing Darski said what he does on stage is part of artistic license and it wasn't intended to offend religious feelings. This was countered by an expert on religious history and studies from Jagellonian University in Krakow, who stated
that every copy of a Bible could be considered a religious icon.
The case will now go to court, and if found guilty, Darski could face two years in prison.
Last month it was reported that the national conservative Polish political party Prawo i Sprawiedliwosc (PiS), was orchestrating efforts to prosecute Darski for offending people's religious beliefs.
One of Poland's leading pop stars faces trial for suggesting that the Bible was written by people who liked herbal cigarettes and were drunks . Dorota Rabczewska, aka Doda, could face two years in jail over her youthful remarks.
A Warsaw court has cleared the way for criminal proceedings after it rejected an appeal by Doda against attempts to prosecute her for insulting religious feeling.
Doda's troubles relates to comments she made during a television interview in 2009 when she said that she had little faith in the Bible because it is hard to believe in something written by people who liked herbal cigarettes and were drunks
Rabczewska has argued that her remarks were youthful and off-the-cuff, and that she had never intended to insult religious feelings. She also attempted to argue that she meant medicinal cigarettes.
But the comments riled conservative Catholics in Poland already angered by the singer's willingness to bare all in Playboy, and her raunchy videos.
One of her critics, Stanislaw Kogut, a senator in the Poland's upper house of parliament, called Doda's comments an insult to Christians and Jews , while Ryszard Nowak, the chairman of the Committee for the Defence Against Sects, an ultra-conservative
organisation dedicated to upholding Catholic values, appealed against an initial decision by prosecutors to drop the case. His argument that Doda had broken Polish law protecting religious sensibilities and, therefore, her actions merited official investigation
triggered legal proceedings against her.
A judge in Poland has ruled a death metal singer who tore up a Bible during a show was entitled to do so as an artist acting in a way consistent with the genre. Adam Darski, who goes by the stage name Nergal and is the frontman for the death metal band
Behemoth, was charged with offending religion after he ripped up the Bible during a 2007 concert in the Polish town of Gdynia.
He was found innocent by a court last year but prosecutors appealed, and again the court cleared him.
Concert video footage shows Darski throwing the torn pages to the audience and asking fans to burn them. According to Polish news agency PAP, he also called the Bible a deceitful book and the church a criminal sect .
In his ruling Judge Krzysztof Wieckowski said he considered Darski's actions a form of art consistent with the style of his band. He added that the court had no intention of limiting freedom of expression or the right to criticise religion.
The musician said on his band's website : I'm so glad to see that intelligence won over religious fanatics in my home country.
Politicians and bishops across Poland are 'shocked' by the presence of a Satanic rock star on a popular television talent show.
National television station TVP has appointed Adam Nergal Darski, the lead singer and guitarist of death metal group Behemoth, as judge for a talent show for singers. From October onward, Nergal will work as a coach supporting the 12
singers now competing in The Voice of Poland.
Nergal became a hate figure for many Polish nutters after tearing up a Bible during a concert in September 2007. He was just recently acquitted of violating blasphemy laws in connection with the Bible tearing performance.
Nutter clergy are collecting signatures after Sunday masses for a petition against Nergal being on the program.
Bishop Wieslaw Mering wrote to TVP, complaining that:
the engagement of a self-confessed Satanist ... on public television surpasses all limits of decency.
In September, a parliamentary commission dealing with culture and the media adopted a resolution by the nationalist-conservative Law and Justice party condemning the board of TVP for hiring a Satanist who publicly offends Christian values. The resolution was passed by a comfortable majority as members of the governing liberal-conservative Civic Platform party failed to show up at the commission meeting.
Parliamentarian Jan Dziedziczak from the Law and Justice party said:
It is unacceptable that Christians can be insulted in this Catholic country. We demand that this is forbidden in Poland, and definitely not allowed with our money and our licence fees.
In a TVP interview, Nergal said:
I don't think of myself as the messiah of death metal who only stands for the extreme, he said. I simply love music.
A popular Polish singer known as Doda has lost an appeal over offending the religious feelings of two complainants, who objected to her saying in an interview that the Bible was written by someone who was hammered on wine and who'd been smoking
herbs. She has been ordered to pay a 5000 zloty fine (1170 euro), in keeping with the original verdict.
Dorota Rabczewska (Dosa) had been brought to court after complaints were filed by nutters Ryszard Nowak of the Nationwide Defence Committee Against Sects, and Stanislaw Kogut, a senator for the conservative Law and Justice party.
In her original defence, the singer had claimed that she had not intended to offend anyone, and that the cited herbs were certainly therapeutic ones and the alcohol in question sacramental wine.
Rabczewska has not been given leave to appeal to Poland's Supreme Court, but her lawyer is considering an extraordinary appeal to Poland's Ombudsman on Civil Rights. An appeal to European Court of Human Rights could also be pursued.
At present, the Democratic Left Alliance party is working on a draft bill that will cut the maximum penalty for insulting religious feelings from two years imprisonment to six months.
Catholic nutters in Poland have ludicrously claimed an energy drink branded Demon can
promote evil and somehow lead to the destruction of human souls .
One website, entitled Satanism Shall Not Pass , said that its advertising campaign will lead to billboards dripping with Satanism , and has added its voice to calls for a boycott of all products made by Agros-Nova, the drink's
Franciszek Kucharczak, editor of Gosc Niedzielny , a religious magazine, warned:
We have to fight against evil. We cannot keep quiet and let young people be absorbed into destructive ideals.
Opponents of Demon have taken particular offence at the choice of Adam Darski, former lead singer of the Polish death-metal group Behemoth, to front the campaign. Darski, who goes by the stage name Nergal, has long been the target of
conservative, religious vitriol since he was accused in 2007 of insulting religious sentiment by tearing up a Bible on stage.
Darski will promote the drink, which originated in New Zealand, under the slogan: No limits. No laws.
Martin Scorsese's 1988 film The Last Temptation of Christ has fallen under the suspicion of Russian prosecutors on the wave of recent global fuss over religious sentiment.
The investigation was initiated at the request of Viktor Grin, deputy general prosecutor, who claims the film:
insults the feeling of millions of [Christian] believers and has a negative impact on public morals.
A spokesperson said that the Prosecutor's Office:
is currently conducting a psychological and linguistic probe of the film's concepts.
Experts of the Russian Institute of Culturology engaged in probing the film for extremism say they haven't found anything unlawful in it. The Institute's director, cinema critic and historian Kirill Razlogov said:
Our institute has come to the conclusion that such works should not be subjected to investigation, as this is a work of art and not a political statement.
The Last Temptation of Christ is based on a controversial 1953 novel by Greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis. The film interprets the life story of Jesus Christ and offers a disclaimer, saying that the storyline is not based on the Gospels and thus
differs from the commonly accepted view on Jesus' life.
Poland's Supreme Court has ruled against against a legal argument used in the defence of a rock musician who tore up a Bible on stage.
Adam Darski, front man with a heavy metal group named Behemoth , ripped up a copy of the Bible during a concert in 2007, called it deceitful and described the Roman Catholic church as a criminal sect .
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. Lawyers for Darski, argued that he had not committed a crime because he did not intend to offend anyone.
The lower court will now decide if he is guilty. The maximum sentence is two years in jail, under Poland's criminal code. However, it is extremely rare for anyone convicted of this kind of crime in Poland to serve prison time.
When it comes to bishops' opinions on controversial social issues, I listen to them, but I
In one indication of the changes in society, the blasphemy trial does not appear to have harmed Darski's show business standing. He is one of four judges on The Voice of Poland , a talent show broadcast on national public
Update: EU speaks out against blasphemy prosecution
The European Commission has said that Poland's prosecution of a rock group for blasphemy is against European values.
It said in a written statement for EUobserver that national blasphemy laws are a matter for the domestic legal order of the member states. But it added that EU countries must respect international pacts. It cited the European Convention
of Human Rights, a Poland-signatory treaty attached to the Strasbourg-based rights watchdog, the Council of Europe, on freedom of expression:
This right protects not only information or ideas that are favourably received or regarded as inoffensive or as a matter of indifference, but also those that offend, shock or disturb.