A Church which worships a deity in the form of a plate of spaghetti and meatballs has been granted permission to register itself as an official religion.
The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster – whose followers call themselves Pastafarians – had previously been barred from doing so in Poland, but on Tuesday a court overturned a 2013 ruling against it.
Judge Wlodzimierz Kowalczyk rejected the ruling by the Regional Administrative Court in Poland, albeit on a technicality.
Followers of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster worship a deity in the form of a plate of spaghetti and meatballs and occasionally wear colanders on their heads
He said the original decision to bar the group from being officially registered had been wrong because Poland’s Ministry of Administration had not allowed the group a two-month extension for submitting outstanding documents.
The Church had outraged Catholic leaders by demanding equal status.
The ban sparked protests with supporter MP Armand Ryfinski saying: "Just as the Orange Alternative fought Communism, so Pastafarians fight the vast influence of the Roman Catholic clergy."
"If our faith is good enough for one of the other member states, surely it must be good enough for the rest," said the Polish sect.
The Flying Spaghetti Monster is often used by atheists to critique belief in a supreme being, and features in Richard Dawkins' book The God Delusion. Pastafarianism is a movement that parodies religion, and opposes the teaching of intelligent design.
The movement - which began in the USA - mocks orthodox religious teaching by satirising their beliefs.
Worshippers end prayers by chanting Ramen - after Japanese noodles - instead of Amen.
— Caitlin Mac Neal (@caitlinmacneal) January 6, 2014
Schaeffer attended the ceremony wearing a colander on his head
In 2011 one follower of the religion in Austria won the right to wear a sieve on his head in his driving licence photo after claiming it was official religious headgear.
A similar case was also won by a man in the Czech Republic who claimed his religion requires him to wear a sieve on his head and was allowed to use a snap of himself in the bizarre headgear on his official identity card.