National Council of Churches welcomes MHA’s decision to cancel Watain concert in Singapore

National Council of Churches welcomes MHA’s decision to cancel Watain concert in Singapore

Watain Singapore
A performance by Swedish metal band Watain. (Photo: Facebook/Watain)

SINGAPORE: The National Council of Churches of Singapore (NCCS) on Friday (Mar 8) expressed its appreciation to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) over the cancellation of Watain’s performance in Singapore.

The Swedish black metal band was scheduled to perform in Singapore on Thursday evening, but the concert was cancelled that same afternoon by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), following "security concerns" raised by the MHA.

“NCCS shares in MHA’s serious concerns over what Watain represents and stands for,” its president Bishop Terry Kee said in a statement.

“We fully agree with MHA’s assessment that the band’s history of denigrating religions and promoting violence has the potential to cause enmity and disrupt Singapore’s social harmony.

“We view Watain’s sacrilegious attacks on the Christian faith through their songs as particularly disruptive and hurtful to the cause of religious harmony, and we are concerned that Watain’s open endorsement of satanic violence could have deleterious effects on impressionable and restless youths.”

READ: 'Like a stab in the back': Anger, disappointment after Swedish metal band Watain's concert cancelled

On Thursday Minister of Home Affairs K Shanmugam said that allowing Watain to perform in Singapore would be against "public order interest and affect our religious and social harmony".

He said: “(Over) the last few days, there were lots of concerns expressed, and if you look at the band they do have a history - very offensive towards Christians and Jews, and supportive of violence, including encouraging the burning of churches. 

"They’ve even said they encourage any terrorist acts committed in the name of the band, and various other statements which are quite offensive."

NCCS added that it was relieved that the concert was not given the go-ahead by authorities, even though it had earlier been given the green light by IMDA with a rating of Restricted 18 (R18). 

“Overall, our worry is that the worldview Watain promotes works against the common good and the building up of social order,” it said.

“In light of the common concerns, we were relieved to hear of MHA’s decision. Once again, we wish to express our appreciation to you and MHA for deciding in the interests of the general public.”

Source: CNA/rw