The first Satanic Church was launched in February 2020 and has now officially been registered in Pretoria, South Africa.
The church’s mission is to reportedly educate the public visitors on the Satanic Religious Board and to address common misconceptions about Satanic rituals and practices, as well as ease what they term as “Satanic panic” which is a common general fear that South Africans have of anything that appears voodoo-like.
The co-founder of the Satanic church in South Africa, Riaan Swiegelaar, says that the registration for the church has taken four exhausting years, but it is registered and ready to roll out their service to the public.
The church has a council of seven dedicated people for representing Satanism in South Africa.
Speaking to local radio stations, Riaan Swiegelar said, “When I discovered Satanism by myself, it wasn’t really an organized organization. And there was no representation so I had to find my way, through the dark, so as to speak, till I met fellow Satanists and we became a very close-knit set of people. So it’s important to have a group that resonates with the philosophy and be able to meet”.
According to Swieglar, who grew up in a strong middle class Christian household “the main philosophy of Satanism is undefiled wisdom of oneself and living completely free of the guilt invoked by other religions as a result of natural human instinct”.
Swieglar claims his family hold no grudges and have accepted his choices.
On Social Media, many South Africans expressed shock and fear, while several others celebrated the new Satanic church registration, claiming it was a win for the freedom of worship.
South Africa is a secular republic that is meant to guarantee freedoms for all. However, this concept is often misunderstood.
The country’s neighbor, Zimbabwe, has a specific clause in its constitution that makes it illegal to perform satanic practices and worship the devil. In the past, the country even had laws that made witchcraft illegal, similarly to Scotland’s capital punishment on witchcraft – the Witchcraft Suppression act in Zimbabwe made it illegal to engage in practices commonly associated with witchcraft, and calling anyone a witch was also illegal.
However, while the witchcraft law as abolished, the satanism law remained, without much resistance.
There are no public plans stating whether or not the Church of Satan in South Africa will look to grow its members and expand into other countries.
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