Blasphemy in Denmark

Document Type


Publication Title

First Things - Web Exclusives

Publication Date




The New York Times reports that a local prosecutor in Denmark has brought a blasphemy charge against a forty-two-year-old man who burned a copy of the Quran in his backyard and posted a video of the act on his Facebook page. The Danish penal code makes blasphemy, defined as “publicly insulting the tenets of faith or worship” of a recognized religious community, a crime punishable by a fine or up to four months’ imprisonment. This prosecution, which the country’s attorney general had to approve, is the first of its kind in decades. The last successful blasphemy prosecution in Denmark occurred in 1946.