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Swedish metal heads get ready to rock for Jesus

David Landes · 12 Jun 2009, 15:38

Published: 12 Jun 2009 15:38 GMT+02:00

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Metal Sanctuary, which launched in mid-May, bills itself as “Sweden’s first church for metal heads”.

The church was formed from an ever-expanding network of Christians who “love hard rock and want to see the metal world transformed by God’s power,” according to a statement by the church’s founders.

“We want to be a safe-haven for Christian hard rockers where they can feel at home and grow spiritually, and where newly-converted hard rockers can develop their faith and be protected,” said the group.

The idea for Sweden's Metal Sanctuary came to life following a 2003 trip to the United States by “hard rock pastor” Göran Jacobson, who hails from Norrköping in eastern Sweden.

During the visit, Jacobson stumbled upon a metal church outside of Los Angeles

“The psalm singing was great, there were distorted guitars, double bass drums…it was just rocking and I just…I was blown away, like they say over there. I almost fell over backwards,” Jacobson told Sveriges Radio (SR).

Currently, the Metal Sanctuary lacks a permanent physical sanctuary in Sweden. Instead members meet in small groups at people’s homes, which are spread around the country.

But the group hopes to eventually secure a permanent location where it can stage hard rock church services.

“We have a place here in town which would work pretty well, with four chimneys and that people refer to as a church. I think it would be a great place for a metal mass,” said Jacobson to SR.

“We could put up black curtains, have a metal band lead the singing and instead of an organ we’d have a distorted guitar, bass, and drums and a gravely-voiced singer.”

A big part of Metal Sanctuary’s mission is to spread the Metal Bible to secular metal heads, something which they did at the recent Sweden Rock Festival in Sölvesborg in southern Sweden, and plan to repeat at other similar festivals and metal shows.

The Metal Bible is a special edition of the Bible for metal fans which contains the New Testament and testimonials from metal heads in which they discuss the importance of God and the Bible in their lives.

According to the Metal Bible’s website, Nicko McBrain of Iron Maiden and Tommy Aldridge of Whitesnake are among the contributors to the book, which has sold around 40,000 copies in Swedish.

An English version of the Metal Bible has been completed and is due to be released in the autumn of 2009.

Story continues below…

Also planned for the autumn is Metal Prayers Day 2009, a September 19th event to be held in Kumla in central Sweden and which the Metal Sanctuary claims will “make Swedish church history”.

Plans call for a day filled with focused prayer, songs of praise led by heavy metal bands, as well as Bible lessons.

“We encourage prayer warriors, pastors and spiritual leaders, and everyone else interested in bringing about a religious revival in the metal world to unite with us on this day,” said Metal Sanctuary.

“Nothing like it has ever happened before in Sweden.”

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:24 June 12, 2009 by Miss Kitten
OMG, they can't possibly expect any metal fans to take them seriously.

This is more my idea of a "religious" heavy metal song:

18:04 June 12, 2009 by spy
'Members meet in small groups in people's homes'

I shouldn't poke fun but I do wonder if they have a large membership?
18:10 June 12, 2009 by Miss Kitten
Nah, don't worry about poking fun. This group of "Christian hard-rockers" is practically begging to be ridiculed.

I'm sure all six of them can fit comfortably in a one-room apartment.
18:51 June 12, 2009 by Sebbe
Jerks!! i am metalhead and i dont care what they say and i am pretty sure other real metalheads just will laugh of them....
19:01 June 12, 2009 by rosycroix
I do not know if "Metal Sanctuary" and the "Street Church" are related but some of the members of the Street Church who were distributing the Metal Bible and praying for the souls of the morally corrupted metalheads at Sweden Rock Festival in Sölvesborg had ulterior motives. Indeed, they were and probably are dealing drugs! We were offered certain pills and weeds that can "get us as high as alcohol intoxication, without damaging our livers" by a young member of the Street Church. He explained to us that they had some solid supply of prohibited substances stored in one of the tents of the Street Church and he was ready to act as a broker /dealer/ and make sure that we get a free sample of whatever we might fancy. I was taken aback by this revelation and I was more than willing to report them to the police. By the time Heaven & Hell had finished playing, the Street Church members had collected all their gear and tents and they had left the Festival Camping as if they were on fire.
19:12 June 12, 2009 by mr.rock
Interesting... so what happened?
19:12 June 12, 2009 by rosycroix

I genuinely regret not informing the Swedish authorities of the possible mission of the Street Church. I would like to use my post to appeal to the editors of "The Local" and all the Swedish people who are reading my ramblings: please, inform the Swedish authorities of the possible "business" of the Street Church. Ask yourselves why it is that they go to rock festivals which abound with tons of young and vulnerable people? Is it because of the possible market? I fully realize the gravity of my allegations and I do realize that it might be that a small group of Street Church members are distributing drugs without the knowledge and/ or the approval of the Church in question. Nevertheless,please, inform the police about these alleged activities!
19:48 June 12, 2009 by Plowbridge H. Broad
Free drugs at a rock festival?. Disgraceful. Hang 'em I say.
20:06 June 12, 2009 by Nemesis
This is perverting heavy metal.

Such disgraceful ideas as there are in the bible, have no place at a metal festival.
20:42 June 12, 2009 by ironman294
How can you take the word of a person who claims they were offered so-called drugs. This would never stand up in a court of law.

I think this si a great idea. Such a dearth of God and belief will only bring down a nation in the long run.

WHy begrudge people who believe in Jesus and want to rock out to Metal. Does someone believing in God scare you taht much?

Perhaps you should be afraid of the black metal fans some of whom who worship satan and went through a burning churches phase in norway. who sacrifice animals and sometimes even people and do pervetre dthings like that or the teens recently who have started killing other teens?

You svensk folk have strange priorities and worries.

Jesus alskar nig
22:42 June 12, 2009 by rosycroix
ironman294, people might take my word because I am a licensed criminal lawyer and I just want to warn the innocent folks and authorities about the possible dangers lurking in the shadows of hypocrisy and false pretenses. Of course my word would not stand in a court of law. My post is just a signal to the relevant authorities who might wish to investigate the case. Upon thorough investigation, my word becomes a legitimate testimony that I am ready and willing to present in any court. And yes, I am not belittling people who praise the Lord and I am not afraid of the teachings of Jesus. But I am afraid of people who sell death to children and sentence you to perdition under false pretenses.
22:49 June 12, 2009 by High Priestess Kang - Slut
Here's a thought (regarding drugs at concerts): Either supervise your children (so they're out of harm's way) or don't let them go to a place where you're fairly certain drugs will be peddled.
23:05 June 13, 2009 by Kiwi
rosycroix.... If you are a licensed criminal lawyer then you know yourself you should report crime to the police. You are spreading slander. Leave these guys alone, they do a good job and you are just giving them a bad name. And for you to ask others to spread rumours (when you ask readers here to tell the police) is a disgrace to your so called profession! I am not a friend of lawyers in general but you are not one I would trust.

Let the Metal Heads make a joyful noise for the Lord! I am sure God would not mind.
23:58 June 13, 2009 by Paulo +fab muscular than Jonnhy
I think only high on drugs someone would actively believe in the teachings, stories and fairy tales of the bible.
13:28 June 14, 2009 by Muttlestar Galactica
Having seen Jesus Christ Superstar, I disapprove of this.
10:48 June 15, 2009 by Paulo +fab muscular than Jonnhy
Wot ye expectz? meLovin' dis rock'n'roll vibez...

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