- A church in Brasil performs heavy metal music during its sermons
- The congregation was founded in 1998
- The pastor, as well as the parishioners, use their iconic black clothing, piercings and tattoos
A church in Sao Paulo, Brazil is using heavy metal music as a way to spread the word of God. The evangelical Crash Church is led by Pastor Antônio Carlos Batista, who co-founded it in 1998.
He does not wear the usual attire for his position, but rather the required look of a real metal music follower, with tattoos, piercings, black jeans and t-shirts. The church gives its sermons at a garage, which makes it look more like a rock concert venue than a Christian place of worship.
The parishioners also dress the same way as their spiritual leader. Pastor Batista reads the Gospel from a medieval-looking pulpit. TV screens show the passages that are being read, although they also use regular print bibles.
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Batista normally talks to the churchgoers in a very simple street-talk way, and plays heavy metal songs between sermons.
“This is part of God’s plan to cross barriers, which had a very closed-off format and were unable to reach many aspects of society,” Batista said. He is also the lead singer of a Christian death metal band called Antidemon.
The church’s combination of religion and heavy metal has put them at risk of rejection both from normal evangelical, who view them as “devil worshipers”, and normal heavy metal listeners, who see them as too well-behaved.
The church even witnessed an assassination attempt on Batista, when artist Ana Batista came to Crash Church with a concealed dagger to try and kill the pastor. She claims she hated religion back then, but that while she was preparing for the attack, she listened to his sermon, and said “something strange happened”. She decided to join the church instead.