A Satanic church that fights for animal rights and supports community welfare projects has been founded in South Africa aiming to put right misconceptions about what they really stand for.
Members of the congregation are encouraged to take part in regular Satanic rituals in order to empower themselves and fulfil their desires.
One of the co-founders of the South African Satanic Church, blonde Adri Norton, said she wants to educate the public on Satanism as it “represents our potential that we can reach as human beings”.
The South African Satanic Church (SASC) has now been registered as a non-profit company this year by the founders, Riaan Swiegelaar and Norton.
Swiegelaar said the SASC intends to offer a different way of doing things compared to traditional religions and that they want to educate the public on what Satanism really means.
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.
According to local media, the Church offers both weekly and monthly rituals with its devotees.
One ritual reportedly consists of writing what they want to see either manifest or have banished on a piece of paper, a common method for helping people to realise their dreams.
Swiegelaar said that their service will include far more audience participation than other church services to make sure the congregation feels actively involved.
Swiegelaar and Norton also 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.