The First Satanic Church of South Africa has become the focus of our national discourse after it was announced that they were open for business. Despite registering their religious institution in February, the co-founders have gone public this week – and they’ve enjoyed a great deal of attention, both good and bad.
Their teachings may surprise a few: The group preaches kindness as much as they do vengeance. They also distance themselves from The Church of Satan, explaining that there are big differences with the “Satanic” model of belief. However, the complex history of this particular religion is proving to be too much for some South Africans.
A recently-launched petition condemning the Satanic Church – which is officially based in Century City, Cape Town – has already gathered more than 1 000 signatures. That figure is likely to expand throughout the week, but according to the organisation’s Twitter feed, they won’t be going away any time soon.
In fact, during a discussion held on Wednesday, SA’s Satanic Church leaders (Riaan Swiegelaar and Adri Norton) stated that they plan to open new chapters, in both Bloemfontein and Durban.
@FunWithPrimus We have chapters in CT & Joburg. Within 2 months time Durban will have a chapter too, and we’ll see one in Bloemfontein before the end of the year#SatanicChurch #Satanism #southafrica https://t.co/8aCscLlGS7
— SA Satanic Church (@SatanicChurchSA) June 23, 2020
TV STARS, HIGH-PROFILE BUSINESS FIGURES AMONGST THE FOLLOWERS…
The news of their possible expansions comes after Swiegelaar fielded questions this week about the practicalities of joining the Satanic Church.
Due to the ‘stigma’ around this particular religion, many followers keep their faith a secret. In fact, discretion is key: According to the Reverend, a number of their congregants are actually ‘well-known personalities‘, some of whom make regular TV appearances:
“Please understand that many of us, many Satanists, are not that accepted by their families. Therefore, we have become like a family. You’re either a Satanist or you aren’t…”
“I personally would protect my family at all times. We have very well-known personalities, people who are on TV daily, in our congregation … as well as prominent businessmen. So, to protect their identity, we’re certainly not going to allow members of the public to come to satanic rituals.”