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VIBORG, Denmark (ChurchMilitant.com) - A man who recorded and posted a video of himself burning the Koran is being charged for blasphemy — the first time there in 46 years.
In December 2015, a 42-year-old man posted a video of himself on Facebook, burning the Koran and showing the words, "Yes to freedom — no to Islam," as well as "Consider your neighbor: it stinks when it burns."
Danish Attorney General Jan Reckendorf announced in a press release on February 22, "It is the prosecution's view that the circumstances of the burning of holy books like the Bible and the Qur'an implies that in some cases it may be a violation of the blasphemy provision, which deals with public mockery or scorn against a religion."
While the maximum penalty for blasphemy is four years in prison, the attorney general is expected to levy a fine on the man.
Speaking to Church Militant, Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch said, "The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is in the midst of a years-long effort to intimidate Western governments into criminalizing criticism of Islam under the guise of criminalizing 'incitement to religious hatred.'"
"This action in Denmark is in service of that agenda," he continued. "Denmark authorities are unwittingly playing into the hands of these Sharia supremacists."
Only three other times in Denmark's history has anyone been prosecuted for blasphemy. People were sentenced for the first time in 1938 for posting anti-Jewish posters. In 1946, people were fined for conducting a fake baptism at a party, and in 1971 two radio station workers were exonerated after they aired a song mocking Christianity.
Denmark is nestled between the two most Islamic-friendly European countries: Germany and Sweden.
Between 2013 and 2015, the number of Muslim immigrants to Denmark increased nearly 50 percent, from 7,557 immigrants to more than 21,000, and the numbers keep growing. Since Denmark is a welfare country fully providing the schooling and medical needs of more than 6.5 million people, the influx of migrants has been crushing to the system.
Spencer noted, "[P]ublic scorn or mockery of Christianity has gone unpunished in Denmark for decades; this is the first blasphemy prosecution in 46 years, and there is simply no doubt that there has been public scorn or mockery of Christianity in that span."
Catholicism was established there in the ninth century by St. Ansgar, but once Lutheranism reached the country in the 16th century, the Catholic Church began to lose influence. Although Catholicism became legal again in the mid-19th century, it never regained the influence lost after the Protestant Revolution, and is now only practiced by a tiny minority of Danes.
Currently the official state religion is Lutheranism, but Denmark also holds the distinction of being one of the most atheist countries in the world.