Patriarch Irinej states that devastating floods were a "divine punishment for their vices"

A Serbian church leader has suggested that floods that killed at least 50 people in the Balkans were a result of Conchita Wurst‘s Eurovision victory.

Wurst, real name Tom Neuwirth, was crowned winner of the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest earlier this month. However, the Patriarch and other senior figures of the Serbian Orthodox Church have claimed the victory has had wider effects on eastern Europe.

Patriarch Irinej of the Serbian church said the floods were an attack on the LGBT community and a “divine punishment for their vices,” reports The Independent. He added: “God is thus washing Serbia of its sins.”

Furthermore, Littoral Head Amfilohije of Montenegro added to the comments, saying the floods were “not a coincidence but a warning,” and urging people in the country to reject the “Jesus-like-figure” Wurst.

The recent Balkan flooding forced almost 150,000 people from their homes in towns and villages across Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia. Homes have been swept away by landslides and electricity cut off with vast areas of land still underwater.

Russian officials previously banned a parade to honour Wurst. The application for the Conchita Wurst March of Bearded Women and Men was denied by Moscow’s security department. It was hoped that the parade would take place on May 27, to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the legalisation of homosexuality in Russia.

Upon winning, Wurst said that she hoped her Eurovision victory would help to spread a message of tolerance and respect around Europe. In Vienna she told reporters that the victory was not just personal, “but a victory for those people who believe in a future that can function without discrimination and is based on tolerance and respect”.