London, Aug 9 (IANS): An Austrian bishop has described the stampede at a German music festival that left 21 people dead as a sinful event and said the incident was god's punishment for losing faith.
Andreas Laun, the Roman Catholic bishop in Salzburg, described the Love Parade and participation in it as a "rebellion against creation and against God's order, which are sins and an invitation to sin", Sky News reported.
Twenty-one people died and over 500 were injured in a stampede as revellers tried to get in to the festival in the German city of Duisburg July 24.
Writing on the German-language website kath.net, Laun linked the deaths to God's right to punish apostates - those who turn their back on the true faith.
A memorial service was later held for the stampede victims, which was attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.