Denmark is one of the least religious countries in the world; a poll has found that barely one in five Danes considers faith to be a really important factor in daily life. Yet as of this week, it looks as though Denmark may be one of the very few countries in the Western world where a blasphemy law is in active use.

The country's state prosecution service has emphatically defended its decision to bring blasphemy charges (and the suggestion of a fine, not a prison term) against a 42-year-old man who burned a copy of the Koran in his garden and then posted a video of the deed on an anti-Islamic Facebook group. "Such an act may be a violation of the blasphemy section of the Criminal Code which concerns public mockery or scorn with reference to a religion," a prosecutor said.

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