SEPULTURA Banned From Playing In Lebanon Over 'Devil Worship' Accusations

April 22, 2019

According to Albawaba, Lebanese authorities have banned SEPULTURA from performing in the country, accusing the Brazilian/American band of "insulting Christianity" and being "devil worshippers."

Concert promoters Skull Session announced on Friday (April 19) that authorities refused to process the bandmembers' visas, forcing them to cancel a planned SEPULTURA gig in Beirut's Hamra district on April 28.

Skull Session told The New Arab that they had not been allowed to see the group's "ban order" but had been given information by officers who had seen the document.

"Basically, what we learned is that they are considered devil worshippers, that they have disrespected Christianity, and that they have performed in Israel," Skull Session said. "All of which are, of course, not true."

Although SEPULTURA has not performed in Israel before, the band's classic 1993 video "Territory" was filmed in both Israel and Palestine, and it features shots of the band positioned defiantly around iconic sites like the Dead Sea, woven together with footage evocative of the conflict there.

Travelers with Israeli stamps in their passports cannot enter Lebanon. Even if their travel documents currently do not have Israeli stamps or visas, persons seeking entry into the Republic of Lebanon who have previously traveled to Israel may still face arrest and/or detention if this travel is disclosed.

SEPULTURA had previously played in the region, having performed in Dubai around two years ago. The band is set to play the city again next month.

SEPULTURA made headlines in 2016 when the group's scheduled concert in Cairo was scrapped at the last minute over the same "devil-worshipping" accusations.

In the early 2000s, there was strong opposition to heavy metal in Lebanon. People would be arrested in the streets for wearing a heavy metal band T-shirt as many thought it was satanic.

Elia Mssawir, who helps to organize the annual Beirut Metal Fest, told CNN last year that the metal scene is largely accepted in Lebanon now and most people understand it to be a form of art.

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