A massive protest has been launched to close South Africa’s first Satanic church after it officially opened its doors to worshippers earlier this year.
The Satanic church claims that it is actively involved in community projects and is even getting involved in animal welfare schemes, but the attempt to whitewash its reputation with it’s good works has not gone down well with locals.
The petition was launched on 22nd June by Sfiso Mbatha who believes people are accepting “evil as something that is good for our society when in fact it is not”.
Sallianne Greenfield, a Christian who signed the petition, said: “As a believer in Christ, I cannot begin to think of the harm this Satanic [church] can do.”
Maria Sebole said: “I am signing because the Satanic church is not good for society.”
Meanwhile, Smanga Kubheka claimed that “our kids and community are in danger if we let them continue in our country”.
The South African Satanic Church (SASC) was registered as a non-profit company this year by the founders Riaan Swiegelaar and Norton.
Both founders have taken to responding to questions on YouTube and Facebook to clarify any misconceptions the public may have towards their church.
Swiegelaar stressed that they do not worship the devil or Satan “as a being” but rather as an archetype.
He said: “We review Satan as an archetype that represents our potential that we can reach as human beings.”
Swiegelaar added that the church’s main objective is to help the public practice various rituals which are designed to help empower them.
The founders explained the differences between their church and atheism.
They said: “The big difference between identifying as an atheist, which in essence is saying ‘I believe in nothing’ translates to ‘I stand for nothing’ as opposed to saying ‘I am a Satanist’ which in itself translates to saying ‘this is what I stand for’.
“Satan symbolises action. In South Africa, inaction is the norm, hence why our country is in the state it is. In South Africa, we would certainly gain should individuals stand up for their beliefs and take action for what is right.
“Calling out injustices is an expression of one’s Satanic belief.”
Norton claims that Satanism has been used as a scapegoat for too long and it is their mission is to challenge the public’s misconceptions about their beliefs.
Both founders of the religious organisation, which is not linked to the American Church of Satan founded by Anton LaVey in 1966, said that they do not worship the Devil and are not the enemies of other traditional religions.
The SASC also boasts about how it assists in the community with outreach projects and donations to social and animal welfare groups.
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