Taylor Swift-themed church service attracts over 1,000 worshippers

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About 1,200 Taylor Swift fans reportedly flocked to a historic church in Germany last weekend to attend worship services featuring the megastar’s music.

The Church of the Holy Spirit in Heidelberg held two Swift-themed services on Sunday entitled, “Anti-Hero — Taylor Swift Church Service,” according to a report from the Deutsche Welle. Organizers at the 600-year-old church said they came up with the idea to attract younger visitors and to contemplate the religious messaging in Swift’s lyrics.

“The Church of the Holy Spirit has always been a place of encounter and exchange. That’s why a pop-music religious service fits so perfectly,” Pastor Christof Ellsiepen said in the report. “With it, we are giving space to the questions and issues that occupy the younger generation.”

Parish Pastor Vincenzo Petracca pointed to Swift’s lyrics addressing social justice causes like feminism and racism as ways she exhibits her faith.

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“Theologically speaking, she points to the justness of God,” Pastor Petracca said. “For her, faith and action are inseparable.”

The services were well attended with about 1,200 people showing up. The audience skewed younger and more female than typical, the report said. 

While the church only initially planned to hold one Swift-themed service, all 423 seats were quickly reserved, so they decided to run a second service as well.

In front, a band led worship with six Swift songs. A rainbow banner behind them on stage let visitors know the church welcomed “all sizes, all [colors], all cultures, all sexes, all beliefs, all religions, all ages, all types, all people.”

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Taylor Swift church service in Germany

Pastor Petracca said the songs stirred an emotional response from those in attendance. There were tears in the eyes of visitors when the band played a song Swift wrote after her mother had been diagnosed with cancer, and joyful dancing at the service’s conclusion when the band played her hit song, “Shake It Off.”

Because of the event’s success, the church plans to hold additional pop music services in the fall featuring music by Billie Eilish and Beyoncé, according to The Independent.

Swift opened up about her Christian faith in the 2020 Netflix documentary “Miss Americana.” She emotionally explained how her faith pushed her to jump into the political fray and speak out against Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn from Tennessee.

“It’s right and wrong at this point, and I can’t see another commercial and see her disguising these policies behind the words ‘Tennessee Christian values.’ Those aren’t Tennessee Christian values,” she said, crying. “I live in Tennessee. I am Christian. That’s not what we stand for.”

The pop star has also received criticism from some evangelical Christians over her religious lyrics in her latest album.

In her song “But Daddy I Love Him,” on “The Tortured Poets Department,” Swift sings about judgmental churchgoers, and in the song “Guilty As Sin” she uses religious imagery to describe a romantic relationship. These lyrics and others have led some critics to accuse the singer of being “anti-Christian.”

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