Spanish actor Guillermo "Willy" Toledo appeared in court in Madrid over blasphemy charges on Monday, following a 2017 Facebook post which led Christian lawyers to ask for a 22-month long fine.

Toledo is reportedly accused of offence against religious freedom and obstruction of justice, following a July 2017 Facebook post in which he wrote "I shit on God, and I still have enough shit to shit on the dogma of the 'sanctity and virginity' of the Virgin Mary.'"

Supporters of Toledo gathered in front of Madrid's Criminal Courts, as Christian demonstrators called for Toledo to be condemned.

"It's aberrant that in the year 2020 - it doesn't really matter if it's 2020, 2010 or 1990 - the blasphemy crime exists," Toledo said.

"They are not just demanding a fine for this crime, they demand a prison crime, because if I don't pay the 22 months of fine the prosecutor demands, I'd have to go to jail for 11 months for blasphemy. This is the country we are living in today," the actor continued.

"We should not protect pure insults and vexation with freedom of speech, and it's not necessary to trample other's rights, religious freedom in this case, so that this man and others can exercise their freedom of speech," said Christian Lawyers Association spokesperson Polonia Castellanos.

Toledo's 2017 Facebook post was published as he admonished the Spanish court for charges laid against three women in Seville who, in 2014, had paraded a large model of a vagina through the city streets in an imitation of a religious procession, dubbing it the 'Insubordinate P*ssy.'

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Associated Press 11 May 2020 11:44 CEST

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