'It promotes devil-worship' -Church of Cyprus says as it fiercely demands for country's entry to Eurovision song contest to be withdrawn

 The Church of Cyprus has gone into battle against "The Devil", denouncing the country's pick for this year's Eurovision Song Contest as glorifying Satan.


Dance song "El Diablo" - Spanish for the Devil - is the island nation's offering to the annual music contest for 2021.

Sung by Greek performer Elena Tsagrinou, the song has already triggered an online petition for it to be pulled, and signed by more than 16,500 people who believe it pays homage to the Devil.

Eurovision is a European singing contest held annually and has become a phenomenon in Europe just like America's Got Talent in the US. 

Running since 1956, the Eurovision Song Contest is the world's oldest TV music competition, according to Guinness World Records.

According to the contest's official website, the song is "about falling in love with someone as bad as El Diablo."

The song has lines such as "Tonight we gonna burn in a party, it's heaven in hell with you" and "I gave my heart to El Diablo ... because he tells me I'm his angel."


After hearing the song, The Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus issued a strongly worded statement expressing "its intense disagreement and frustration" with the stance of national broadcaster Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (CyBC) over the selection of the song.



It said the song "favored our global ridicule by advocating our surrender to the devil and promoting his worship,"while praising the "fatalistic submission of humans to the devil's power."

CyBC chairman Andreas Frangos told local journalists that the song won't be withdrawn from the competition.

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Speaking to CNN, the CyBC said in a statement: "The song tells the story of a girl who finds herself trapped in an exploitative relationship with a bad guy, hence she calls him 'el diablo'. It is the eternal struggle between evil and good. Through this problematic Stockholm Syndrome relationship and despite the paranoia she experiences, in the end the truth always shines, and she seeks help to break the ties on a path to freedom."

"Any other interpretation has nothing to do with the meaning of the song," CyBC added, "which especially nowadays should not only be applauded, but also be an inspiration not only for women but for anyone experiencing similar situations."

Dismissing the CyBC's "metaphorical interpretation," the church described the lyrics as "provocative and unacceptable" and "completely at odds with our people's values."

It said it had been contacted by "thousands" of citizens expressing displeasure at the song choice.

"We call on the government who appoints CyBC's board of directors to cancel the selection of this particular song and replace it with a different one which expresses our history and culture, our traditions and our claims," the church said.

Last week a 48-year-old man had illegally entered the premises of cyBC to protest about the song.


Victoras Papadopoulos, director of the Cyprus' president's press office, said in a statement: "We respect the views of the Holy Synod or of those who disagree with the title of the song that will represent Cyprus in this year's Eurovision contest.

"At the same time, however, the Government fully respects creative intellectual and artistic freedom that cannot be misinterpreted or limited because of a song's title, and unnecessary dimensions should not be attributed."

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