Krzysztof Soroka (35) has been fined 2,000 zloty (450 US$) by the Polish Court of Appeal, as he was found guilty of hurting “religious feelings”. The judge furthermore ruled that he has to cover the costs of the judicial process that was started by the Roman Catholic judicial organization Fidei Defensor. Fidei Defensor is involved as a plaintive in over 150 such blasphemy cases in Poland.
Poland is one of the last bastions of Catholicism in Europe. The populist right governing party in Poland relies heavily on the rural Catholic vote, and has in recent year tightened its grip on prosecutors and the courts. As a result, “hurting the religious feelings” of Christians is now enthusiastically prosecuted in Poland.
Soroka had created a painting that shows a cross that is pushed into the genitals of a woman by a clergyman. He took his work to a protest against the tightening of the already very restrictive abortion law in 2021.
As he was accused of blasphemy, Soroka had to appear before a lower court. There, he was acquitted, but the prosecutor appealed that decision by referring to a controversial article in the Polish criminal code that forbids insulting “religious feelings.” Violation of the article can lead to a fine or prison term of up to two years.
The artist can appeal the decision of the appeal court at the highest court of Poland in Warsaw. If the highest court upholds the sentence, the artist has the option to go to the European Court of Human Rights. Earlier, the European Court overruled the conviction of Doda, a Polish pop singer, for having said that the Bible was written by a drunk person who was high from smoking weed.
- How is the painting in question “blasphemous”?
- Why does the almighty God of Christianity need help from worldly courts to protect the sensitive fee-fee’s of His snowflakey followers?
- Why do we see this unholy alliance of Christianity with populist right political movements in many countries? It appears like a “pissing in your pants when it’s cold” tactic to me.