Country music is being overrun with the same evils that rock ’n’ roll has fallen prey to, according to an alliance of Nashville pastors.

Evangelist and former pastor Ray Hughes says there has been a demonic strongman evoking evil and lust in the country music capital of the world. Supporters of Hughes include pastors of some of the most influential churches in Nashville, such as Don Finto of Belmont Church and Christ Church senior pastor L. H. Hardwick, who are calling for prayer, repentance, and spiritual warfare.

Using a complicated and controversial “spiritual mapping” technique developed by missiologist C. Peter Wagner, which claims to identify satanic strongholds in a city using geography, topography, and ancestral movement, Nashville historian Hughes and pastor Stephen Mansfield have compiled a manual, labeling Nashville’s most notoriously demonic hangouts: birthing points of the Ku Klux Klan, Masonic lodges, and a popular shopping mall.

But not everyone is convinced. Rob Morgan, senior pastor of Donaldson Fellowship, says, “The way to confront the evil in country music is by being a witness.” Bill Dyrness, dean of theology at Fuller Theological Seminary, says, “I don’t see any place where the Bible urges us to make [spiritual warfare] a focus of evangelistic ministry.”

Hughes also indicates that contemporary Christian music, headquartered in Nashville, is on the spiritual skids: “As a result of the commercialism [in Christian music] there are quite a few impurities floating around in it.”

The ministerial coalition has gained momentum in recent weeks as a result of this year’s Country Music Awards, where luminaries Tanya Tucker and Reba McEntire surprised the industry with their risque attire. Some artists, though, such ...

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