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Polish Death Metal Singer Cleared of Legal Charges After Ripping Bible to Shreds During Stage Performance

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"a deceitful book"

WARSAW, Poland (The Blaze/AP) -- A Polish judge has found a death metal singer innocent of offending religious feelings, ruling that his ripping up of a Bible during a show was a form of artistic expression consistent with the style of his band.

Adam Darski, who goes by the stage name Nergal and is the frontman for the death metal band Behemoth, was charged after he ripped up the Bible during a 2007 concert in Gdynia. Below, watch a video of him ripping the holy book apart:

He was found innocent by a court last year but prosecutors appealed that verdict. The court issued an innocent verdict Thursday.

Darski threw the torn pages to the audience during the concert, and asked fans to burn them, according to video footage from that concert. According to the Polish news agency PAP, he also called the Bible "a deceitful book" and the church a "criminal sect" - strong language in this predominantly Roman Catholic country. Here's another clip of the singer destroying the Bible:

Judge Krzysztof Wieckowski, in issuing his ruling, said it considered Darski's actions "a form of art" consistent with the style of his band. He added that the court had no intention of limiting freedom of expression or the right to criticize religion.

The court said audience members who testified said their religious feelings had not been hurt despite the fact they were Christians.

Offending another person's religious feelings is a criminal offense in Poland, and can carry a prison sentence of up to two years.

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