The Church of… Kopimism?

Or, as it’s called in its native language, Det Missionerande Kopimistsamfundet is now formally recognized as a religious organization in Sweden.

The Swedish government agency Kammarkollegiet registered the Missionary Church of Kopimism as a religious organization in late december, just before Christmas, the group said in a statement today. Members of the church applied three times in their more than year-long quest to have the religion formally recognized in Sweden.

Sweden is now the first and only country to recognize Kopimism as a religion, the group said.

“For the Church of Kopimism, information is holy and copying is a sacrament,” it said in a statement. “Information holds a value, in itself and in what it contains, and the value multiplies through copying. Therefore, copying is central for the organization and its members.”

Philosophy student Isak Gerson, spiritual leader and founder of the Church of Kopimism, said being recognized by Sweden is a big step towards removing the stigma around copying.

“Hopefully, this is one step towards the day when we can live out our faith without fear of persecution,” Gerson said in a statement.

The Church of Kopimism, which holds CTRL+C and CTRL+V as sacred symbols, was founded in 2010 with the hopes that file-sharing would be given religious protection. Followers of the church, who are called Kopimists, organize so-called “kopyactings,” or religious services where members copy and share information with each other.

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