Veteran Brazilian metal act Sepultura were set to perform a concert in Beirut, Lebanon, on April 28th, but that show has now reportedly been canceled after the country’s General Security Forces refused to grant the band a visa following accusations of devil worship.
Local concert promoter Skull Session, who stated they were “outraged and angry” over the decision, told the news outlet The New Arab that although they haven’t seen the official ban order, they were told of the details by officers who saw the document.
“Basically what we learned is that they are considered devil worshipers, that they have disrespected Christianity, and that they have performed in Israel,” Skull Session said. “All of which are of course not true.”
According to the news outlet Albawaba, people who have traveled to Israel or have an Israeli visa on their passports risk arrest when entering Lebanon. While Sepultura have not performed in Israel before, a full statement from Skull Session (in the Facebook post below), points out that the band did film the 1993 video for the song “Territory” in Israel and Palestine, but also specifies that the clip actually shows scenes of “repression” by Israel.
The statement also added, “We would like to point out that the band is socially active as it tries to shed light on corruption in societies without adopting any ideology or being inclined towards any thought. On the contrary, through their lyrics, they ask people to return to God and to reject an abnormal automated society, not to worship Satan as interpreted by some.”
The New Arab also mentions that Sepultura’s scheduled show in Cairo, Egypt, three years ago was canceled by police after local media had claimed it would be a party for “devil worshippers”.
Sepultura are currently touring behind 2017’s Machine Messiah album, with dates in Mongolia, Turkey, and Dubai on their schedule in the coming days.