Darski. Uses stage name 'Nergal' as Babylonian god
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VIDEO - A Polish court has found a singer in a heavy metal band, who tore up the Bible during a performance, not guilty of offending religious sentiments.
The judge ruled last week that the ripping of the holy book by Behemoth frontman Adam Darski could be defined as "artistic expression" consistent with his band's style.
Darski, who uses the stage name Nergal as the Babylonian god mentioned in the Book of Kings, is a famous figure in his homeland. He ripped the Bible during a concert in northern Poland in 2007 and called on the audience to burn the pages.
He was already acquitted last year, but the prosecutors appealed the verdict.
Bible ripping. 'Church a criminal sect'
According to Polish news agency PAP, quoted by British newspaper The Guardian, Darski also called the Bible "a deceitful book" and the church a "criminal sect". But members of the audience who testified said their religious feelings had not been hurt despite the fact they were Christians.
Judge Krzysztof Wieckowski said in his ruling that the court had no intention of limiting freedom of expression or the right to criticize religion.
The musician said on his band's website that he was pleased with the verdict.
"I'm so glad to see that intelligence won over religious fanatics in my home country," the 34-year-old singer wrote in English on his band's website, noting that "there's still so much work to be done to make things right."
Darski was not present in court and has been largely out of the public eye recently after being diagnosed with leukemia. He is undergoing chemotherapy and had a bone marrow transplant.
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