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Greek singer Elena Tsagrinou is due to represent the island nation in Rotterdam in May with the dance-y pop song “El Diablo”. She rose to fame in 2009, reaching the semi-final of “Greece’s Got Talent” at just 14 years old.

According to the competition’s official website, the song is about “falling in love with someone as bad as El Diablo.”

The controversial entry includes lines such as “Tonight we are going to burn at a party, it is heaven in hell with you” and “I gave my heart to El Diablo … because he tells me that I am his angel. “

The Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus released a strongly worded statement on Tuesday in which it expressed “its deep disagreement and frustration” with the position of the national television station Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (CyBC) on the selection of the song.

He said the song “promotes our global ridicule by advocating our surrender to the devil and promoting his worship,” while praising the “fatalistic submission of humans to the power of the devil.”

In a statement released by his label, Panik Records, Tsagrinou told CNN: “‘El Diablo’ is clearly an allegorical song! It tells the story of a woman who manages to come out of a toxic relationship and sends a message. by force to the public. Music unites us all, it does not divide us! “

She said that she and her staff “remain committed to our goal: to represent Cyprus with dignity in the music competition”.

Church of Cyprus calls for Eurovision Song Contest ‘El Diablo’ to be dropped for promoting devil worship

CyBC president Andreas Frangos told local reporters the broadcaster has no plans to remove “El Diablo” from the competition.

The company told CNN in a statement, “The song tells the story of a girl who finds herself trapped in an exploitative relationship with a villain, hence she calls her ‘el diablo’. the eternal struggle between evil and good. Through this problematic Stockholm Syndrome relationship and despite the paranoia she experiences, in the end the truth still shines, and she seeks help to break the ties along the way of freedom. “

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

Rejecting CyBC’s “metaphorical interpretation”, the church described the lyrics as “provocative and unacceptable” and “completely at odds with the values ​​of our people”.

He said he had been contacted by “thousands” of citizens expressing their dissatisfaction with the choice of song.

Church of Cyprus calls for Eurovision Song Contest ‘El Diablo’ to be dropped for promoting devil worship

“We call on the government which appoints the board of directors of CyBC to cancel the selection of this particular song and replace it with one which expresses our history and our culture, our traditions and our demands,” the church said. .

The call comes days after police were called to the CyBC offices following reports that a 48-year-old man had entered the premises illegally to protest the song.

A spokesperson for the Home Office told CNN that the man “has been charged with trespassing, disturbing a public place, insulting and threatening”.

The affair has even reached the highest levels of Cypriot politics.

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

Church of Cyprus calls for Eurovision Song Contest ‘El Diablo’ to be dropped for promoting devil worship

“At the same time, however, the government fully respects creative intellectual and artistic freedom which cannot be misinterpreted or restricted due to the title of a song, and unnecessary dimensions should not be attributed.”

Running since 1956, the Eurovision Song Contest is the oldest television music competition in the world, according to Guinness World Records.

This week, Eurovision organizers released sweeping Covid-19 health and safety plans to allow the competition to take place in May, after being canceled last year due to the pandemic.

All participants will need to self-quarantine for five days prior to departure for the Netherlands and will need to test negative for the virus 72 hours before flying. Once in Rotterdam, delegations must stay at their hotel, except when in the Ahoy Arena for rehearsals, live performances and other related activities, organizers said.

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