Despite winning the Zecchino Rosso award in 2010, the song “Forza Gesù” sung by Simone Deiana, which became very popular in China, was censored. During the last tour in Shanghai and Beijing the Piccolo Coro dell’Antoniano was unable to perform it. Corriere della Sera explains the reason today: the verses were little in line with the principles of a state led by the Communist Party. Although the director of the Antoniano, friar Giampaolo Cavalli, denied everything: “We don’t know the reasons why the song was not included in the program.” The choir, born with the Zecchino d’Oro, has been a permanent presence in China since 2016. The following year it collected eight sold out shows and ten thousand tickets sold between Shanghai and Beijing, conquering the East, dragged by the viral spread of the song “Forza Jesus” on Youtube, which had totaled a million and a half views.
Two more songs censored
“Come on Jesus, don’t worry / If the world isn’t beautiful seen from up there / With Your love we can dream / And have a bit of Paradise / Down here”, say the words of the song that made people turn up their noses. Already in 2017, two songs by Antoniano with a religious theme (Prayer and Alleluia praise the Lord) had ended up under the severe thumb of Chinese censorship, while “Caro Gesù” had passed unscathed, indeed during President Mattarella’s visit to a People’s primary school of Chongquinq had sung it with heartfelt participation.