Polish musician Adam Darski, known by the pseudonym Nergal, faces charges of blasphemy. He recently shared a photo on Facebook of him stepping on a picture of the Virgin Mary. For this crime, the frontman of the metal band Behemoth faces up to two years in prison in a strongly Catholic country.
Last September, Adam Darski published a picture of his foot trampling on the image of the Virgin Mary on his Facebook page. A judge in Warsaw assessed the gesture as a criminal offense of blasphemy and ordered a musician known by the pseudonym Nergal to pay a fine of 3,340 euros (less than 90,000 crowns).
However, the frontman of the Polish metal band Behemoth appealed against this verdict, so he now faces up to two years in prison. In order to afford court costs, he collects money from his supporters through a crowdfunding campaign, which is also aimed at other Polish artists accused of blasphemy. The BBC news website informed about it.
“The Polish judicial system has been persecuting and suing me repeatedly for more than ten years. The time has come for me to stop liking it,” the musician wrote on his Twitter account. “Polish politicians are trying to ruin my career and are abusing the concept of blasphemy to censor anyone who does not comply with the archaic religious laws of this country,” he added on the crowdfunding website.
According to him, the Polish judiciary pushes artists into protracted trials, which cost them a lot of money and therefore need financial donations in order to defend themselves. In the campaign, which started less than a week ago, 370,000 crowns have so far been collected. Nergal’s accusation came after the conservative Ordo Iuris accused him of insulting four people.
“According to an expert in the field of religious studies, stepping on a picture of the Mother of God is an attack on religious faith,” commented Aleksandra Skrzyniarzová, a spokeswoman for the Warsaw Public Prosecutor’s Office.
Darski has faced charges of attacking religious identity several times over the past 13 years. Polish courts dealt with incidents in which he tore the Bible, set fire to crosses during a concert or praised the murderers of the Polish patron Saint Adalbert in one of his songs.