A daylight rave held on the grounds of an ancient monastery has drawn sharp complaints from religious leaders in divided Cyprus, and also from the US ambassador to the country.
The grounds of the Armenian Monastery of St. Magar (or Sourp Magar) was the site for a “live techno party” on March 20, 2021, according to In-Cyprus. The monastery dates back to the 11th century and was founded by the Coptic Orthodox Church, but was transferred to the Armenian community in Cyprus in the 15th century. St. Magar’s is “an important place of worship and pilgrimage for the Armenian community of Cyprus and the only Armenian Monastery in Cyprus,” according to the publication. Wikipedia’s entry on the monastery calls the buildings “the best-preserved and most extensive examples of late medieval domestic building on the island, even in their ruined state.”
It’s not often that bad dancing to bad music can lead to ethnic conflict but in Cyprus — an island partitioned between Turkish and Greek Cypriots by the UN-monitored Green Line — it certainly could.
The March 20th event was recorded in part and uploaded to YouTube and appears to be the most lifeless, boring and awkward rave the ancient island of Cyprus has ever seen, with about 30 attendees in danger of being trampled by numerous event photographers.
If you think this is unfair, well, here it is:
The event was DJ’d by the exceptionally well-groomed but tragically tone-deaf HUSER and promoted by “Technoport,” a Cypriot promoter which claims it “organises and broadcasts electronic music events with different concepts at various locations.” Screenshots show several people milling about inside the ruins.
Not lost on anyone is that the most boring rave in the world had obvious political and religious significance, taking place as it did on the grounds of an historic Christian monastery. It’s not often that bad dancing to bad music can lead to ethnic conflict but in Cyprus — an island partitioned between Turkish and Greek Cypriots by the UN-monitored Green Line — it certainly could.
A statement by Cyprus’ five religious leaders representing Orthodox Christians, Catholics, Muslims, Armenians and Christian Maronites condemned the party and “any misuse, disrespect and desecration of places of worship and cemeteries in Cyprus, irrespective of intention, religion, dogma and denomination.”
An act like throwing the party at a Christian monastery creates “pain,” the religious leaders statement continued, “nurtures mistrust and becomes an obstacle to peaceful existence.”
The most boring rave in the world has also been condemned and disavowed by international observers. US Ambassador to Cyprus Judith G. Garber on behalf of the embassy issued a statement slamming the event as an attack on freedom of worship. “The US Embassy strongly condemns the misuse of Saint Magar Armenian Monastery,” a tweet posted on the ambassador’s account reads. “Freedom of worship is a fundamental value, and we echo the call from religious leaders that all places of worship, in use or not, be protected against misuse, vandalism, and desecration.”
The U.S. Embassy strongly condemns the misuse of Saint Magar Armenian Monastery. Freedom of worship is a fundamental value, and we echo the call from religious leaders that all places of worship, in use or not, be protected against misuse, vandalism, and desecration.
— Ambassador Garber (@USAmbCy) April 7, 2021
Photo: Screenshot via YouTube.