A pastor in eastern France insists his church will continue to host pole dancing shows despite receiving death threats.
The events, accompanied by church music, are scheduled at Saint-Guillaume church in Strasbourg for Wednesday (May 31), June 8 and June 9.
They feature former French and European pole dancing champion Vincent Grobelny.
After Mr Grobelny performed at the same church in April, pastor Daniel Boessenbacher received death threats.
But Mr Boessenbacher has remained defiant, saying “giving in to the threats would have sent a very bad sign”.
He added “we often think of cabaret, strip teases and other things” when talking about pole dancing “which is not the case at all”.
Mr Grobelny agreed saying: “Pole dancing is a sport and an art. There is nothing at all suggestive. It is a circus activity, like juggling or the trapeze. All art is welcome in a church, we see paintings, hear music, writing, dance is part of that”.
According to radio station France Bleu Alsace, the police will increase patrols around the church.
It is not the first time the Lutheran church of Saint-Guillaume has attracted controversy. It hosted a drag queen cabaret “The 12 tasks of Hercules” last year and projected the classic film “The Exorcist” during a Strasbourg film festival in 2018.