Early this year, Behemoth frontman Adam 'Nergal' Darski would endure the legal consequences of a photo he posted to his social media platform which depicted him stepping on a photo of the Virgin Mary.
That image would find its way to conservative Polish groups Ordo Iuris and the Patriotic Society. Shortly thereafter, Darski was brought up on criminal charges for "Offending Religious Feelings," an prosecutable offense according to the Polish Criminal Code.
Nergal's history with the Polish criminal justice system also includes previous blasphemy charges that resulted from an incident in which the frontman ripped the pages from a bible while performing onstage.
It's that heightened level of scrutiny that Nergal says is why he is now going on the offensive. Utilizing his unique platform, Nergal is reaching out to his international following to establish the Ordo Blasfemia Fund, in an effort to raise legal funds to combat criminal prosecution of both he and his fellow Polish contemporaries.
Speaking to The Irish Times, Nergal further explained the constant harassment that he lives through as an outspoken artist residing in Poland.
"I don’t think the public know the details of the level of harassment I have been through. It is getting monstrous, and it is a growing tide of censorship and harassment. Every few weeks I have to check myself in at the police and go for different hearings and spend a fortune on lawyers with all the costs around court cases.
I am being the perfect target. The Polish authorities just pick on me. It is not a secret that a prosecution officer has me as his favourite scapegoat. He follows my Instagram account. Can you imagine that? It’s insane and absolutely unprecedented.
I am being made a criminal for posting a fucking photograph on Instagram. In Ireland you have been through all this before, but now you are a secular state. Now I give Ireland as an example of what Poland should follow in order to evolve."
The GoFundMe campaign details the significance of the legal defense fund,
"Many Polish artists, including myself, have been dragged into court rooms, at our own significant costs, to defend ourselves against nonsensical blasphemy laws made by tenuous Politicans. Their intent is to censor anyone who does not conform to the archaic religious laws of our country. The time has come for Polish artists to fight back - join us in the Ordo Blasfemia."
Among the artists already displaying their support of Nergal include Australian legends Dead Can Dance. Publishing a statement in solidarity with Nergal, DCD issued the following, "We stand in support of Adam Darski of the group Behemoth who faces 2 years in prison if convicted of blasphemy. Poland's antiquated religious laws are shameful and a violation of human rights and secular freedom of expression."
To donate and find more information on the campaign, visit the Ordo Blasfemia GoFundMe page - HERE