Eurovision is an international singing contest held annually in Europe. It started in 1973 and features winners from participating European countries who hold national competitions to select their representative.
It differs from North American singing competitions like The Voice in that participants must sing an original song. But it doesn’t have to be written by the people singing it. In fact, the major emphasis seems to be the song over the performers, though obviously they need to be talented as well.
With a growing Evangelical population, Spain will be represented at this year’s competition with a song written by two Evangelical Christians, Sylvia Santoro and her nephew Raul Gomez. Sylvia wrote the words and Raul supplied the music.
The love song entitled, Tu Canción, won the Spanish leg of the event with 43% of the vote, beating out eight competitors. It was sung by a group called Almaia, composed of two singers Amaia and Alfred.
So far the song has over 750,000 views on YouTube.
Married with two children, Sylvia is a popular gospel singer among Spain’s Evangelical churches and has produced her own gospel album. She works at a Christian university and teaches Sevillana dance, a colorful Spanish folk dance styling from the 19th century.
Raul, who now attends a Hillsong church in London, England, is a talented music composer who had previously won another song event “El Numero 1” in 2013.
Speaking about the win, Sylvia said, “I believe God has put things in the right place and time.” She described her nephew’s music composing ability as a “gift from God.”
Eurovision has a huge following in Europe with between 100 million to 600 million people watching the event each year. This year’s finale will be held May 12, 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal.
There have been notable winners in the past. The Swedish pop music group ABBA won the contest in 1974 with their song Waterloo. They were basically unknown up to that point. Curiously, a Canadian even won it in 1988, when an unknown French Canadian singer Celine Dion sang “Ne partez pas sans moi” on behalf of Switzerland.
According to a report released by the Spanish government’s Observatory of Religious Pluralism, there are 4,025 Evangelical places of worship in Spain, surpassing 4,000 for the first time in the country’s history. The number of Evangelical churches in the country has grown steadily over the past several decades, but has shown a marked increased in recent years.
This is part of a strong Biblical tradition where God raises up believers at key moments in history such as Joseph in Egypt, Esther in Persia, Daniel in Babylon and Nehemiah in the court of Cyrus the Great.
- Spain’s Eurovision song composed by two Evangelical Christians: Evangelical Focus
- Spain surpasses 4,000 evangelical places of worship for the first time: Evangelical Focus