Welcome to the Church of Metal

Actually interesting/good Christian music?  It’s a miracle!

When one thinks of Brazil, heavy metal probably isn’t the image that comes to mind.  Samba music, the Amazon rain forest, the carnival, beautiful women… Yeah, metal really isn’t something that pops into your head.  Much less “Christian metal.”

That’s right, horrified grandparents everywhere, Christian metal exists!  In fact, there’s an entire church dedicated to it down in Rio.  The Metanóia chapel is a small second-story church in Rio de Janeiro which attracts a small but dedicated following.  The church is decorated with skulls, black crucifixes, swords and daggers, and a large banner declaring “Jesus Christ is Lord of the Underground.

The church is led by Pastor Enok Galvão. “Here in the underground, in our own way, we welcome God into our hearts,” the tattooed preacher declares to his congregation, who raise their fists to the heavens and declare, “Praise be to the Lord.”

Of course, as many previously mentioned grandparents will attest, this may seem like horrifying sacrilege.  Pastor Gavão believes this is untrue, however.

“Yes, it’s possible to have sacred heavy metal. The important thing is to do it for God,” says Galvão

“The essence of God’s word are the same as any other church. The differences are just stylistic and cultural. We put the message of God in the music, which is a very powerful tool.”

After the sermon each Sunday, several bands perform, and the mosh pit begins.  Metanóia is not the only metal church in Brazil.  There are several in Rio as well as Saõ Paulo.  Pastor Galvão said that he was heavily influenced by Christian metal bands in from the United States.

My only question is what does a “Christian” mosh pit look like?  How do you leave enough room for a Bible to fit between yourself and someone of the opposite gender?  Also, do people scramble to get out of the mosh pit early to try and get out of the parking lot first?