Conchita Wurst is reason for Balkans floods, say church leaders
Church leaders have linked the devastating floods in the Balkans to Conchita Wurst, the Austrian drag singer who won the Eurovision Song Contest 2014.
Wurst's real name is Thomas "Tom" Neuwirth but he is also known as the bearded lady for the well trimmed beard he sports alongside his long girly locks and women's attire.
He won Eurovision with his song "Rise Like a Phoenix", impressing judges and the voting public, and reportedly scoring an invite from Lady Gaga to join her on tour.
But his sexuality and cross-dressing persona have been strongly criticised by others and there are reports in the press of church leaders in the Balkans interpreting the vast floods affecting their region as God's judgement for Wurst's Eurovision triumph.
Website e.novine.com quoted Patriarch Amfilohije of Montenegro as saying, "This [flood] is not a coincidence, but a warning.
"God sent the rains as a reminder that people should not join the wild side."
According to the Economist, Patriarch Irinej of the Serbian church said the floods were "divine punishment for their vices" and that "God is thus washing Serbia of its sins".
Earlier in the month, a spokesperson for the Russian Orthodox Church said Wurst's eurovision win was an "abomination" and "yet one more step in the rejection of the Christian identity of European culture".