It will seem a total paradox to traditional Christians, but Swedish heavy metal fans who have an equally passionate love for Jesus Christ now have a special congregation all of their own where they can worship. Known as Metal Sanctuary, the church is billing itself as “Sweden’s first church for metal heads.”
A statement by its founders says the church was established from a constantly growing network of Christians who “love hard rock and want to see the metal world transformed by God’s power.” The concept was inspired in 2003 by the experiences of American “hard rock pastor” Goran Jacobson, who happens to come from Norrkoping in eastern Sweden.
Jacobson told Sveriges Radio (SR): “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.” The rest, as they say, is history.
However, at present the Metal Sanctuary doesn’t actually have a dedicated building where they can praise God to the riffs of distorted guitars. They are meeting in small groups in members’ homes, which are scattered all over Sweden. But the group hopes to have their own permanent house of worship some day soon.
“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,” said Jacobson to SR. Anyone interested in their dogma can check out the Metal Bible, a mix of New Testament scripture and personal testimonies by head bangers.