Christian fundamentalists are calling for Switzerland's Eurovision Song Contest entry to be banned because of its allegedly satanic content.
On Tuesday the Federal Democratic Union (FDU) handed in a 49,000:signature petition to the government condemning DJ Bobo's "Vampires Are Alive" as an affront to people's religious convictions.
The controversy is something of a setback for the former baker's apprentice who is a household name in Switzerland and known for his squeaky:clean image.
The 39:year:old, who had a worldwide smash hit with "Chihuahua" in 2003, rode to the country's Eurovision rescue at the end of last year after a string of Swiss flops at the event.
The FDU petition accuses DJ Bobo ? real name René Baumann ? of trivialising hell and Satan and says his "occult lyrics" are beyond the pale. The offending lyrics include lines such as "Free your spirit after midnight, sell your soul" and "From heaven to hell, enjoy the ride".
"The song is bad from our point of view," Thomas Feuz, head of the FDU's petition committee, told swissinfo. "We have nothing against DJ Bobo but the song has a destructive meaning and we want it stopped."
"Occult and Satanists"
The petition also states that the Eurovision Song Contest, which takes place in May in the Finnish capital Helsinki, has increasingly become a platform for "the occult and Satanists".
It makes reference to last year's surprise winners Lordi who wooed fans with their "monster rock" and also faced accusations of being a satanic group ? something they denied.
Government officials confirmed that a petition bearing 49,082 names had been submitted by the FDU on Tuesday. It has not yet been decided which ministry will deal with it.
Earlier this month the song also came under fire from the Swiss Evangelical Alliance, which appealed to the singer to change the lyrics. It warned that the song might send young people who were mentally unstable over the edge.
The alliance, which claims to have around 250,000 followers, said the lyrics were irresponsible in view of Switzerland's high suicide rate and called on Interior Minister Pascal Couchepin to intervene.
In a further blow, a number of Swiss:German radio stations are refusing to play "Vampires Are Alive" ? not because of the religious storm but because they say it's rubbish. One station said it would be "commercial suicide".
Yet the song, which has clearly been influenced by Lordi's winning mock:horror formula and whose video recalls Michael Jackson's "Thriller", last week entered the Swiss charts at number three,
DJ Bobo's successful brand of Eurodance has seen him sell 13 million records around the world. He has won more than 80 awards, including a record:breaking ten World Music Awards as the best:selling Swiss recording artist.
Last year he became a World Food Programme Ambassador against Hunger, joining the likes of Brazilian football star Ronaldinho. DJ Bobo recently travelled to Ethiopia to highlight food shortages in the north of the country.
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