The Church of Kopimism is determined that “kopyacting” – sharing files of information through copying – is akin to a religious service.

The Swedish government agency Kammarkollegiet finally managed to register the Church of Kopimism as a religious organisation shortly before Christmas.

The church’s ‘spiritual leader’ said recognition was a “large step” in achieving
its goals.

The church does not promote illegal file sharing, instead concentrating on the open distribution of knowledge to everyone on Earth.

It was created by Isak Gerson, a philosophy student. He hopes that file-sharing will now be given religious protection.

“Information is holy and copying is a sacrament. Information holds a value, in itself and in what it contains and the value multiplies through copying. Therefore copying is central for the organisation and its members,” the 19-year-old saudin a statement.

“Being recognised by the state of Sweden is a large step for all of Kopimi. Hopefully this is one step towards the day when we can live out our faith without fear of persecution,” he added.

According to TorrentFreak, the movement has a couple thousand followers, and the number is expected to rise with its official status.

It has already gained support internationally, with nmessages like the one below appearing on file-sharing website The Pirate Bay.

 “This document reminded me of who I am and why I do the things I do. It’s not about me, it’s not about the files, it’s not about the thrill, it doesn’t matter that I have the money to buy the stuff. What matters is the cause. What matters is that we as a community, yes we are a community, further the cause and teach the world what it means to truly be free.”