Sepultura Banned From Playing Lebanon For Being ‘Devil Worshippers’
Something that set Brazilian thrashers Sepultura apart from the pack back in the day was that they didn’t harp on satanic horror the way bands like Slayer and Possessed did. The band was much more concerned with societal change and the ills of mankind than any fictional demon or monster. Unfortunately, the government of the Lebanese Republic doesn’t recognize this, and has banned Sepultura from playing Lebanon over accusations of “devil worship.”
According to Albawaba, concert promoters Skull Session were forced to announced the cancellation of Sepultura’s upcoming show in Beirut’s Hamra district because they are disrespectful to Christianity, and that they have been in Israel.
“We are as outraged and angry as all of you will be,” Skull Session told The New Arab. “Basically what we learned is that they are considered devil worshipers, that they have disrespected Christianity, and that they have performed in Israel…All of which are of course not true.”
While Sepultura have never played Israel, the video for the classic track Territory is set in both Israel and Palestine. Travelers with Israeli stamps on their passports are not allowed entry into Lebanon.
Bassem Daibess, guitarist and vocalist for Lebanese band Blaakyum, said, “[This] begs the question: are the censorship overlords in Lebanon deliberately working to make Beirut the least touristic destination in the region and are actively helping Dubai to be the center of culture and arts in the Middle East?”
This is not the first time Sepultura have encountered these sorts of setbacks. In 2016, the band’s show in Cairo, Egypt, was shut down and its organizers were arrested, also for accusations of “devil worship” among the band members.
Whether Sepultura will be able to perform in Beirut in the future remains to be seen. Until then, enjoy the video for the band’s track Territory.
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