Europe – The rise of the Horned god. Be afraid!

Last week saw the opening of the Gotthard Tunnel – the deepest and longest tunnel in the world, running for an amazing 35.7 miles beneath the Alps. Something to celebrate? Definitely!

Switzerland thought so too, and they pulled out all the stops, staging a glittering two part extravaganza before an audience of 80,000, which included a host of world leaders such as German Chancellor, Angela Merkel; President of France, Francois Hollande; Prime Minister of Italy, Matteo Renzi, and many others.  But the overtly pagan and satanic content has both puzzled and amazed spectators, provoking not a little stunned complaint.

If this is the first time you have heard of the event, the ceremony opened with a group of orange-clad zombies marching towards the tunnel entrance. There they were seemingly sacrificed, before re-emerging as scantily clad veiled spirits, followed by an actor dressed as a goat, who began ritualistically to consume and mate with the veiled dancers. During this, the huge image of the goat/Satan’s face was displayed on a massive screen, overlooking the proceedings with apparent relish, while three Eygptian scarabs floated in front of his face. There was much more of the same, including partial nudity and a giant winged baby, but you get the picture. (If you’d like to see for yourself, with commentary, go to:

The point is, this wasn’t a celebration of human endeavour. Nor was it about the conflict of good and evil, with the triumph of light over dark; in fact Christ, and any idea of transcendent good, was markedly absent from the entire event. Rather, it was a straight and unredeemed exultation of the Horned god: a calling forth of Satan from the underworld, symbolised by a projected image of the yawning mouth of the tunnel itself.   So let’s call this bizarre ceremony what it was – pure and simple worship and glorification of Satan, honouring him as lord and calling for his return.

In their defence, the Swiss maintain the performance was no more than a celebration of national identity, drawing on myths and folk tales derived from Alpine culture. Describing the event, and responding to criticism, Swissinfo commented, ‘Switzerland has countless traditions in which people dress up in old-fashioned and wild costumes and express their “dark side”.’–dancing-haystacks-not-whirling-dervishes/42211774. Which may well be true, but does not, one would have thought, constitute justification.

Consider for a moment, if a card-carrying Druid camped outside Stonehenge, or a witch (of which, we are told there are a growing number in the UK), suddenly announced, ‘I’m going to carry out a human sacrifice tomorrow because I’m celebrating my pagan roots!’ – what would be the reaction? Would we really say, ‘Oh, fine, that’s okay then. Understood. Go ahead’?

Admittedly, this is a rather extreme analogy, because the many sacrifices included in this ‘celebration’ were only simulated, but the underlying principle is the same.   This is glorying in a world-view that Christianised Europe, for good reason, rejected wholesale a long time ago. And, as such, it constitutes a species of devil worship – a straight invocation to the defeated Prince of this world to resume his rule.

So the Swiss – the mild mannered, eminently sensible Swiss, who we all love for their clocks and chocolate – appear to be claiming that they are at root a nation of Satan worshipping pagans.   In the 21st century, is this really what it means to be European?

Let us make no mistake, we are caught in that same spiritual war started by the snake in Eden, and the choice is still between life and death, with men and women the prize. In the last few years we have seen globally a marked rise in hostility to Christians and the gospel – and not just on the part of Islam. So-called Secularists, duplicitously claiming neutrality, have sort to suppress any and all public manifestation of faith, on the grounds that it is unacceptable indoctrination.   At the same time they have sought to rebrand not just morality, but the ground blocks of our creation, claiming that we can be and do whatever we want; it’s all about choice.

It’s the ancient challenge of the devil to God, and it’s all about power. But when we are beguiled and take up the chant, we don’t find freedom. Instead we become bound to the prince of darkness, in whom there is no mercy or care, and certainly no love. So it is about choice – but not perhaps the one we assume – and we’re all on either one side or the other … and it’s our eternal destiny that’s at stake.

So this bizarre ceremony staged by the Swiss to mark the opening of the tunnel should not be seen as a neutral (if rather unusual) re-telling of Alpine myth. Indeed, the original legend on which the presentation was based had the devil being defeated by a young girl who placed the cross in his path – something in this version that the Swiss have left out. No, it should be seen for what it is – a naked and blatant declaration of war from forces growing in strength that are hostile to God. It is irrelevant that the Swiss, in choreographing this spectacle, had no intention of taking part in devil worship; for good or ill, they are proclaiming themselves to be non-Christian and inviting Satan to take the crown. He will not be slow to respond.

That same choice is laid before all of us. Throughout the Western world, people are rejecting Christ and standing on their pagan roots, claiming the absolute right to determine their future, free of all constraint. Or, horrified at what they see as growing depravity, some turn to other gods who deny the divinity of Christ, and become similarly enslaved.   The truth is, individually and collectively, we are at a spiritual crossroads. The choices we make now will affect not just our future, but our very survival … in this world and the next.












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