'Hail, Satan!' – former Christian pastor registers Satanic Church in SA
Satanism is, arguably, the most misunderstood religion practised in South Africa today.
For one, practitioners don’t believe in Satan, as most Christians do.
They don’t practice animal sacrifice and they’re not against Christianity – they have as a goal the promotion of religious plurality.
The South African Satanic Church conducts services, does (Satanic) Bible study and performs community service (women’s rights and animal welfare are priorities).
Lester Kiewit interviewed Riaan Swiegelaar, cofounder of the South African Satanic Church.
We are a registered religious organisation…Riaan Swiegelaar, cofounder - South African Satanic Church
The main philosophy of Satanism is living free from guilt… there is nothing wrong with our natural instincts. It’s about knowing yourself and becoming the optimal version of who you are.Riaan Swiegelaar, cofounder - South African Satanic Church
I grew up in the 80s, at the beginning of the ‘Satanic Panic’ era, in a very Afrikaans, Christian house… Satanism gets confused with Devil Worship… we do not even acknowledge the being that people refer to as the devil. We see Satan as an archetype… an opposer of religious tyranny…Riaan Swiegelaar, cofounder - South African Satanic Church
We do not condone animal sacrifice… We believe, as the inheritors of the Earth, that we should be looking after animals and their rights.Riaan Swiegelaar, cofounder - South African Satanic Church
I was a pastor in a Christian church… When I read the Satanic Bible, I recognised myself… coming from the point of questioning things, never feeling you belong in a religion that revere external deities…Riaan Swiegelaar, cofounder - South African Satanic Church
We [Swiegelaar and his devoutly Christian family] agree to disagree… We completely respect each other. You’ll never find a Satanist disrespecting another belief. We believe all religions have their place… We are here to promote religious plurality in South Africa.Riaan Swiegelaar, cofounder - South African Satanic Church
The majority of our members remain anonymous for fear of persecution…Riaan Swiegelaar, cofounder - South African Satanic Church
Hail, Satan!Riaan Swiegelaar, cofounder - South African Satanic Church
Listen to the interview in the audio below.
In the video below, Swiegelaar and Adri Norton discuss the beginning of the church and what Satanism means to them.
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