Brazilian heavy metal veterans Sepultura have reportedly been banned from entering Lebanon after being accused of ‘devil worship’, which has caused a planned gig in Beirut to be cancelled.
According to a statement by Lebanese promoters Skull Session, the band were denied visas by the country’s General Security. Skull Session said they were “As outraged and angry as all of you will be.”
Expanding on their statement to The New Arab, Skull Session said: that they had been given information about a supposed ‘ban order’ 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, all of which are of course not true,” Skull Session said.
Travellers with Isreali stamps in their passports are banned from entering Lebanon, but according to Skull Session Sepultura have never played there.
Lebanese metal musician Bassem Deaibess also commented on the story to The New Arab: “[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?” he said.
It is not the first time that Sepultura have come into trouble. In 2016, the band were due to play in Cairo before the gig was shut down, again over ‘devil worshipping’ claims.