May 12, 1997 in Nation/World

Christians Protest Against Rock Band

Compiled From Wire Services

Christian protesters prayed around a cross draped in white cloth and tried to turn away fans gathering for a weekend concert by the rock group Marilyn Manson.

The band performed Saturday after an aborted City Council effort to cancel the show at Richmond Coliseum. The city relented after the American Civil Liberties Union threatened to sue.

Church groups denounced the concert and the city’s decision to allow it. About 75 protesters turned up to confront the mostly teenage crowd that showed up for the concert.

“Manson is a devil worshipper, and he stands for evil,” said protester Chris Russell, a member of the First Pentecostal Church of Richmond. One Marilyn Manson fan wearing a shirt emblazoned with an upside-down cross set fire to a prayer pamphlet a protester gave him. Another fan wearing white face paint and a nun’s habit strutted around in front of protesters.

All the protests were peaceful, police said.

Marilyn Manson, the band’s leader and namesake, is a member of the Church of Satan. The rock group is known for lewd on-stage acts and songs about murder, rape, sodomy and self-mutilation.

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