Javier Krahe, a prominent Spanish artist, may face up to a year in prison after a Catholic legal group complained his short film, “How to Cook Christ,” violates a little known censorship law.
Javier Krahe has been taken to court by a Catholic legal association, the Centro Juridico Tomas Moro, for “offending religious feelings” – a little-known offence. The Catholic association says the law has never before been applied in Spanish legal history.
Banned under Spain’s strict censorship laws in 1978, Krahe’s 54-second film was finally broadcast on television in 2004 as the backdrop to an interview with the artist.
Krahe’s film shows the audience, in a style much like a cookery program, how to take a figure of Jesus on the Cross, remove the nails from the figure’s hands, prepare for roasting in a dish, and then put the figure in the oven and “after three days inside, he comes out of the cooker by himself!” — a last, broad punchline.
You can watch the so-called offensive video below:
Two previous attempts by religious groups to have Krahe charged ended in failure. This latest attempt has gained traction however and Krahe, with a judge refusing to throw out the charge, was bailed for €192,000 pending trial.
Statements were heard on Monday. The trial, held in Madrid, is ongoing.
Krahe has said he will go into hiding in France if he is convicted, telling the BBC:
“They have not understood me,” he said outside the court about the charges he faced.
He added that he would focus on writing songs about girls in future, although he would not completely stop writing songs about the Church.
While this of itself may seem a trivial matter, this comes as other European countries including the UK have begun a debate over whether to retain “offensive speech” laws.