The Orthodox Church of Cyprus has denounced “El Diablo” (The Devil), its country’s entry into the 2021 Eurovision song contest, calling for the song to be withdrawn due to its Satanic references.
The Holy Synod, the church’s highest governing body, said the song “essentially praises the fatalistic submission of humans to the power of the devil” and encouraged the state broadcaster to substitute it with one that better “expresses our history, culture, traditions, and beliefs.”
“I fell in love, I fell in love, I gave my heart to el diablo, el diablo. I gave it up, I gave it up, because he tells me I’m his angel, I’m his angel,” read the song’s lyrics, sung by Greek singer Elena Tsagrinou. “Tonight, we’re gonna burn in a party; It’s heaven in hell with you.”
The Cypriot church contends that the song exposes the nation to “international ridicule” by encouraging “our surrender to the devil and promoting his worship.”
News reports detail numerous complaints about the song’s lyrics coming from a wide variety of people.
Andreas Frangos, chairman of the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (CyBC), has declared the song will not be withdrawn, insisting that the meaning of the tune is being misinterpreted by its critics.
The song does not describe a person’s relationship with the devil, Frangos said, but rather an abusive relationship between two lovers.
The Cyprus Church rejected CyBC’s “metaphorical interpretation” of the song, saying it does not do justice to “the provocative and unacceptable content of the lyrics,” which stand in opposition to the nation’s “Greek and Orthodox traditions.”
“No matter how you frame it and whatever explanations are given of the song’s lyrics, they don’t send the most appropriate messages from a semi-occupied homeland that is struggling for freedom,” the Holy Synod’s statement said, adding that the church has received a “deluge of reactions” from thousands of people who are displeased with the song.