The Holy Synod on Tuesday called on the government to prevent El Diablo, the song chosen by state broadcaster CyBC, from representing Cyprus in this year’s Eurovision song contest and replace it with another one expressing the country’s traditions, history, and culture.

In a statement, the Holy Synod said the Church has been receiving thousands of complaints each day from people “who express their justified dissatisfaction for the song in question, as well as for the way it was chosen.” It added that renowned Cypriot musicians have already expressed their opposition on this issue as well.

El Diablo, performed by Greek singer Elena Tsagrinou, has already provoked a strong reaction from groups of believers who branded it satanic and called for its withdrawal from the Eurovision song contest. CyBC had announced back in November that it had chosen Tsagrinou to represent Cyprus in this year’s Eurovision song contest, set to ta place in May in Rotterdam, in the Netherlands. The song was presented last week.

According to CyBC, it is about a girl who found herself entangled in a relationship with a bad boy, hence she calls him ‘El Diablo’.

The Holy Synod, however, expressed “strong disagreement and disappointment both with the attitude of CyBC’s Board of Directors and the others in charge, who, it said “instead of contributing to the promotion of the rights of our people and of their demands for freedom and the supremacy of moral values through any international forum they preapproved our global ridicule by presenting the proclamation that we surrender ourselves to the devil and that in this way we promote his worship.

“It is essentially a glorification of a fatalistic submission and surrender of man to the power of the devil,” the Holy Synod said. It added that the metaphorical interpretation of the song given by the CyBC officials “in no way reflects the provocative and unacceptable content of its lyrics, which do not cease to represent a sad subculture, unworthy of the culture and of the values of our people and is against its Greek and Orthodox traditions.”

The Holy Synod called for the replacement of the song with another one “which expresses our history, culture, traditions and claims.” It added that El Diablo’s lyrics “do not send the most appropriate messages that should be sent by a semi-occupied country that is struggling to liberate and prevent its complete enslavement.”

CyBC said in response to detractors that it had no intention of withdrawing the song. It said that the song is about the eternal struggle of good and evil. Citing the Stockholm Syndrome, the state broadcaster said the song describes a problematic relationship but despite the paranoia the girl experiences, in the end the truth always shines, and the victim seeks help to shake off the shackles.