Tuesday, October 19

Cypriot church calls for removal of “diabolical” song from Eurovision | Cyprus

The Orthodox Church of Cyprus has called for the country’s controversial participation in this year’s Eurovision song contest titled “The Devil” to be withdrawn, claiming that the song internationally mocks the country’s moral foundations by upholding “our surrender to the devil and promote his Worship. “

The Holy Synod, the church’s highest decision-making body, said in a statement that the song “essentially praises the fatalistic submission of humans to the authority of the devil” and urged the state broadcaster to replace it with a that “expresses our history, culture, traditions and our claims.”

The song and its lyrics – “I gave my heart to the devil … because he tells me that I am his angel” – had already caused a stir in the island nation of the eastern Mediterranean, where some have alleged that it is loaded with satanic overtones.

The official church stance came just days after a man was accused of threatening and causing a disturbance when he stormed onto the grounds of the public broadcaster to protest what he condemned as a “blasphemous” song that was an affront. to Christianity.

Ministers of the Orthodox Church of the Holy Synod in Cyprus
The Cyprus Orthodox Church said it had received thousands of complaints about the choice of the song for May’s contest. Photograph: Petros Karadjias / AP

Police said witnesses to Saturday’s incident told investigators the man verbally accosted employees outside the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (CyBC) news department. An amateur video of the man confronting CyBC staff showed him yelling at various employees in the yard, asking them how they could justify their support for such a song.

Vocal critics included a senior clergyman, an organization representing theologians who teach in high schools, a far-right party, and many ordinary Cypriots who took to social media to accumulate contempt and “dislike” for the song. However, many others defended the tune in social media posts as a simple song about a “fiery love story” gone wrong or to label its detractors as religious fanatics.

CyBC’s chairman of the board, Andreas Frangos, insisted that the song would not be retired and that it was not the broadcaster’s intention to insult anyone’s religious sentiments.

Speaking on the station’s noon news program, Frangos admitted that the station should have done a better job of explaining the melody’s central message, which describes an abusive relationship between two lovers.

But the Cyprus church rejected the station’s “metaphorical interpretation” of the tune, which it said “in no way reflects the provocative and unacceptable content of the lyrics that does not cease to represent a terrible subculture that is completely at odds with the values ​​of our people and goes against their Greek and Orthodox traditions. “

The church said it has received a “flood of reactions from thousands” of people expressing “justified disappointment” with the song, including many “respected musicians.”

“From whatever angle you choose to look at it and the explanations given about the lyrics of the song, they don’t send the most ideal messages that should be sent from a semi-occupied homeland that fights for freedom and to avoid its total subjugation. ”Said the statement of the Holy Synod.

Cyprus has been divided on ethnic grounds since 1974, when Turkey invaded after a coup by supporters of union with Greece. For centuries, the church has been considered the guardian of the faith and ethnic identity of the Greek Cypriots.


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