The Cypriot entry for Eurovision 2021 “El Diablo” by Elena Tsagrinou was released on 24th of February and since it’s release it caused a lot of controversy among the Cypriot Christian Community who have openly criticized the song, and have started an online petition, asking for the withdrawal of the song then there were also reactions by the Cypriot far-right political party ELAM who also called upon the withdrawal of their Eurovision entry. After receiving thousands of complaints from people all over Cyprus, The Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus made this statement:
This reflects in no way the provocative and unacceptable content of its lyrics, which do not cease to represent a sad subculture, unworthy of the culture and of the values of our people and is against its Greek and Orthodox traditions. Instead of contributing to the promotion of the rights of our people and of their demands for freedom and the supremacy of moral values through any international forum, they approved our global ridicule by presenting the proclamation that we surrender ourselves to the devil and that in this way we promote his worship.
Following that statement from The Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus the Government was called to react and they replied stating:
We respect any views of the Holy Synod or those who disagree with the title of the song, which will represent Cyprus at Eurovision this year. At the same time, however, the Government fully respects the intellectual and artistic freedom of creation, which can not be misinterpreted or restricted due to the title of a song and should not be given dimensions that are not needed.
The newest reactions came from an important centre of Eastern Orthodox monasticism in northeastern Greece, Mount Athos. On Monday 8th of March the Holy Community of Mount Athos sent a letter of support to the Archbishop of Cyprus and the Holy Synod of the Church of Cyprus According to the information announced by ope.gr the letter states that this song offends the spiritual tradition of Cyprus and the Greek Orthodox conscience of its people. The wish and request of the Fathers of Mount Athos is the withdrawal of this song, especially at a time when Cyprus needs more prayer and faith in Christ in addition to that they congratulated to the Archbishop of Cyprus and the Holy Synod of the Church of Cyprus for the strong stance they took on this occasion.
Elena Tsagrinou is set to represent Cyprus this May in Rotterdam, and she will be performing her entry “El Diablo” in the second half of the first semi final. Listen to it below
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