Taylor Swift Sunday Service Packs German Church to Overflowing

Taylor Swift performs onstage during "Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour" at La Defens
Kevin Mazur/TAS24/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

A 600-year-old church in southern Germany drew some 1,200 people to a Taylor Swift-themed worship service on Sunday, local media reported.

Heidelberg’s famous Church of the Holy Spirit, originally Catholic and now Protestant, hosted a liturgical service bearing the title “Anti-Hero — Taylor Swift Church Service,” in an effort to attract younger people, Deutsche Welle (DW) reported.

Singer Tine Wiechmann performs in the Heiliggeistkirche during a Taylor Swift service on May 12, 2024, in Baden-Württemberg, Heidelberg. The artist sang six of the pop star’s songs with her band. The two services, titled “Anti Hero” after the song “Anti-Hero” by Swift, were fully booked. (Uwe Anspach/picture alliance via Getty Images)

“The Church of the Holy Spirit has always been a place of encounter and exchange,” said Heidelberg Pastor Christof Ellsiepen. “That’s why a pop-music religious service fits so perfectly. With it, we are giving space to the questions and issues that occupy the younger generation.”

For his part, parish pastor Vincenzo Petracca underscored Swift’s attachment to Christianity in everyday life, highlighting her treatment of women’s rights, racism, and gender equality.

As if to back up the latter, Sunday’s service featured a rainbow banner hung behind the musicians, proclaiming that the church welcomes “all sizes, all colours, all cultures, all sexes, all beliefs, all religions, all ages, all types, all people.”

Sunday’s congregation, which skewed younger and more female than usual, was treated to a live performance of six Swift songs by Tine Weichmann — a singer originally from Hamburg and now a professor of church music in Heidelberg — and her band.

In what was described as one of the most “emotionally stirring” moments of the service, Weichmann and her band performed, “Soon You’ll Get Better,” a song Swift wrote for her mother, who had been diagnosed with cancer.

“Holy orange bottles, each night I pray to you,” read the lyrics. “Desperate people find faith, so now I pray to Jesus, too.”

Swift’s Christianity or lack thereof has been the topic of heated debate among U.S. Christians.

The 34-year-old singer-songwriter was raised in the American Bible Belt and has publicly declared herself to be a Christian, though she has been described as adopting the “‘we don’t do God’ approach to entertainment-world-domination.”

Swift’s latest album, “The Tortured Poets Department,” was sharply criticized by many Christian leaders said the album’s lyrical content “mocks God and Christians.”

The Christian entertainment review company MovieGuide also asserted that the new album “mocks Christianity.”

“While it’s no secret that Taylor Swift is not a Christian, she made her hatred for religion known through her newly released album ‘The Tortured Poets Department,’” MovieGuide declared in its review.

Conservative Christian singer Sean Feucht, founder of the Let Us Worship movement, said on social media that he believes Swift is making fun of Christians in the album.

“Almost half the songs on Taylor Swift’s new album contain explicit lyrics (E), make fun of Christians and straight up blaspheme God,” he wrote. “Is this the music you want your kids listening to?”

“You think I’m just being religious  & overreacting? Read the lyrics & decide for yourself,” he added.

For his part, former evangelical Christian Chris Kratzer has claimed that Taylor is “spreading the light of Christ.”

“I’m beginning to think that all the hatred Evangelicals have towards Taylor Swift is because everyone can see she is far more like Jesus than they are,” he said.


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