Prayer Group Outrage over Church Music Video

The Local
October 16, 2008

A vicar from northern Sweden has been blasted by a prayer group for allowing a rock band to film a video in an area church.

  • (1 Oct 08)
  • (1 Sep 08)
  • (24 Jun 08)
  • “Both suicide and sexual assault are in the video that was recorded in Njurunda Church. That is totally unacceptable,” said Karin Olofsson of the Betel prayer group to the Sundsvalls Tidning newspaper.

    Two years ago, the group Angtoria asked Njurunda Church vicar Olof Lonneborg for permission to record a video in the church.

    The video is for a song entitled ‘God has a plan for us all’, and deals with a 5-year-old girl who is sexually molested by a priest and later commits suicide.

    Olofsson blames church officials for not taking a close enough look at the rock band and its lyrics.

    The vicar doesn’t see the song’s subject matter as reason for not allowing the recording to take place.

    “This is a real problem and where else would we talk about such questions if not in a church?” he told the newspaper Dagen.

    However, Lonneborg feels that members of Angtoria took advantage of his offer by not abiding by the terms of the agreement he made with them.

    In the video, members of the band can be seen playing their instruments while standing on the altar, interspersed with images of a girl and a priest.

    “We were in total agreement that they were not to desecrate the church,” he said.

    “I said that they couldn’t be on the altar; I’d never imagined that they could do this. They also weren’t allowed to wear any liturgical clothing. It was a violation of our agreement.”

    While Lonneborg is sympathetic with those who are upset by the decision, he doesn’t see the point of dwelling on the issue.

    “I agree that it was highly inappropriate. I called them up and told them, but they’d already gotten their pictures,” he told Dagen.

    Mans Berthas, who directed the Angtoria video, is surprised by the reaction.

    He claims the band was straightforward with Lonneborg and that both he and other church officials came by to see the recording session.

    According to Berthas, the prayer group’s reaction demonstrates the importance of making similar videos in the future.

    “It shows there is a need to have a debate about these questions when these types of discussions come up,” he told Sundsvalls Tidning.

    See video below

    David Landes ( 8 656 6518)


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