A court in Spain has ordered a man to pay a fine to a church for offending its sentiments by face-swapping himself with Jesus on Instagram.

On Wednesday (7 February), Daniel Cristian Serrano was found guilty of an "offence against religious sentiment" and was ordered to pay a fine of €480 ($666). Initially, he was asked to pay €2,160 but the amount was reduced after the 24-year-old accepted his responsibility.

Serrano had photoshopped image of his face on a statue of revered Cristo Despojado - Christ Disrobed – and posted it on the social media platform in April 2017. He had completed the look by putting a ring through the septum of his nose and beneath the crown of thorns.

The young man had captioned the picture: "Words are short, face says it all, makiaveli I am your god." The act then sparked a controversy after a Christian group – Hermandad de La Amargura de Jaén – which was also in charge of the statue noticed it and filed a complaint against Serrano, who twice refused their written requests to remove the image.

The group members claimed the image was "a disgraceful manipulation of the image [of Christ]" that had been "designed to offend the religious sentiments of the members [of the brotherhood]".

But Serrano said: "It was just a joke, I had no intention of offending anyone" and showed his shock after the outrage.

"I wasn't going to delete it because I have the right to freedom of speech. Even though I didn't intend to offend," he was quoted as saying by The Local at the time charges were brought against him.