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Brussels (AFP) – Dominican fathers in Belgium claim to have received in recent days a flood of hate messages linked to the programming in a church in Brussels from a Swedish artist deemed “satanist” and already in the crosshairs of fundamentalist Catholics in France.
This religious community has, however, decided to maintain the two performances scheduled for Monday evening by singer and organist Anna von Hausswolff, which will be sold out and under police surveillance, one of the Dominicans told AFP.
“We do not accept this kind of diktat”, underlined the latter, Ignace Berten, about “dozens of emails” received by his community for having declared the holding of this concert in a religious building.
“Even if the artist is questionable, our great organ has been restored thanks to public funding and we must therefore also put it at the service of culture,” he added.
At the microphone of the RTBF, a spokesperson for the community referred to “messages from (received) in waves”, “essentially anonymous threats”.
The Dominicans began to be the target when they announced on social networks that they had agreed to host this concert organized by the Botanique, a renowned cultural center in the Belgian capital.
Their church has a Van Bever organ with a romantic aesthetic “which fits very well” to the Swedish repertoire, according to the management of the Botanique.
The 35-year-old artist, native of Gothenburg, is a singer, pianist, organist and songwriter of post-metal and experimental rock.
In one of her songs “Pills”, she evokes drug addiction and metaphorically says to have “made love with the devil”, which earned her to have recently been the target of fundamentalists during her death. tour in France.
Last week, elected officials from Nantes (western France) were forced to cancel one of his concerts. A video broadcast by a local media showed a group of opponents blocking the entrance to the church where it was planned singing “Holy Mary mother of God, pray for us poor sinner”.
In Brussels, the Botanique insisted that the controversial song was not on the program of the two concerts on Monday evening, which were only instrumental.
Due to the threatening messages, the organizer obtained a police presence to ensure the safety of the spectators and the artist.
“We are aware of this concert, we are making the necessary arrangements,” said a spokesperson for the Brussels police joined by AFP, refusing to detail the device.
“In Belgium, Catholicism is much less divided than in France. Everything starts from France”, also affirmed Ignace Berten, questioned on the origin of the threats.
© 2021 AFP