Over the course of his career, Nergal has gone about offending folks in a variety of manners (with one instance involving him tearing up a Bible on stage while performing a concert). Another incident involves a photo he posted on social media where his foot is seen stepping on a painting of the Virgin Mary (which he uploaded back in 2019); it is due to this incident in particular that the Behemoth singer is being summoned to court (you can find this picture involving Nergal and the painting below).
As reported by Notes From Poland, Nergal will appear in court on the charges of offending religious feelings; this hearing will be taking place in Poland, and if found guilty, the Behemoth frontman could serve a prison sentence for up to two years.
The thing is, this issue is not something new, for legal action has been taken against Nergal in the past regarding this matter.
The prosecutors involved in this case were notified of Nergal’s photo by the ultraconservative legal group Ordo Iuris, as well as the Patriotic Society; these groups claimed that Nergal had “offended the religious feelings of four people.” Among those who have reached out to prosecutors, one of those individuals happens to be a politician from Poland’s conservative ruling coalition.
Those who were upset by Nergal’s act were interviewed and an expert in religious studies was consulted – after these conversations, prosecutors found that the crime of offending religious feelings had occurred and Nergal was indicated.
Back in 2021, the Warsaw-Mokotów district court – using a form of ruling that does not require a full trial – found Nergal to be guilty and fined him 18,500 zloty (or $4,169.43, per Google). However, Nergal denied these charges, and he and the prosecutors appealed the case for a full trial.
Per a past report from state broadcaster TVP, back in August 2021, a different arrangement of judges – although, still within the same court – ruled that the proceedings should be discontinued on the basis that Nergal had provided a heads-up to social media users that his social media profiles may contain religiously offensive content. Come September 2021, news came out that the case had been dismissed.
However, this ruling was challenged by Ordo Iuris and in December of that year, the Warsaw district court approved the appeal and decided the case should go to trial.
However, come the first hearing (which took place in January 2022), judge Rafał Stępak said there should be consideration of whether the proceedings should be discontinued yet again. In regard to this point, Stępak noted a 2022 ruling which found the conviction of a pop star, who had also been charged with “blasphemy,” had violated her human rights.
However, per the Polish Press Agency, the Warsaw-Mokotów district court found that the European Court of Human Rights jurisprudence (who issued that ruling pertaining to the case involving the pop star), requires certain findings to be established. So with all that said, Nergal is still set to arrive in court this May.
More on this story as it develops.