Queen of Pop Madonna has been blamed for a boating accident that claimed 15 lives on September 5 in Bulgaria.

Church officials, who insisted that Madge’s decision to perform on a holy day brought them bad luck, were outraged with her plans of staging her Sticky and Sweet gig in the capital Sofia on August 29, the day Orthodox Christians mark the beheading of Saint John the Baptist with a fast.

But, even after protests, she refused to reschedule the date, and religious leaders are now convinced her defiance of their sacred customs led to the disaster on Macedonia’s Lake Ohrid.

“The catastrophe in Macedonia in which 15 Bulgarian citizens died was a sign from heaven,” the Daily Express quoted church leader Nikolay, in the city of Plovdiv, close to Sofia, as having told Britain’s Daily Telegraph.

“The Orthodox Church had called for people not to enjoy themselves on the day marking the execution of John. We should not allow the young to have fun on a day that should be dedicated to spiritual reflection,” he added.

The news comes after the country’s Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, last week criticised sports officials for letting the gig take place at the Vasil Levski Stadium, insisting the concert damaged the venue’s grass pitch.