There has been much furore over the news of South Africa’s first Satanic Church opening in Century City, Cape Town. Many have questioned the need for the church since it opened in February, while those who conform to the religion have praised the news.

“Satan to us is a symbol of pride, freedom and individualism, and it serves as a projection of our highest potential,” says Riaan Swiegelaar, one of the co-founders of the South African Satanic Church.

Swiegelaar and co-founder Adri Norton are hoping to use the Church as an opportunity to educate the public on what “legitimate Satanism” is, and also address the misconceptions that have caused what the pair refer to as “Satanic panic”. 

The South African Satanic Church bases its teachings on nine statements written by Anton LaVey in the Satanic Bible. These include the following:

  1. Satan represents indulgence, instead of abstinence

  2. Satan represents vital existence, instead of spiritual pipe dreams

  3. Satan represents undefiled wisdom, instead of hypocritical self-deceit

  4. Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it, instead of love wasted on ingrates

  5. Satan represents vengeance, instead of turning the other cheek

  6. Satan represents responsibility to the responsible, instead of concern for psychic vampires

  7. Satan represents man as just another animal, sometimes better, more often worse than those that walk on all-fours, who, because of his ‘define spiritual and intellectual development’, has become the most vicious animal of all

  8. Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification

  9. Satan has been the best friend the church has ever had, as he kept it in business all these years

“Our Satanic family is very large. We are teachers. We are students. We are business owners. We are CEOs of large SA corporations. We are leaders. We work in hospitals, schools, universities and in the police service. Some of us are also parents, your neighbours and co-workers. We live in all cities of South-Africa. We are in rural areas, and in all suburbs,” Swiegelaar says. “We don’t spend our lives living in guilt, or waiting for someone to punish us for who we are. We accept all consequences of our actions. We are the only ones whose forgiveness we need.”

The South African Satanic Church is a registered non-profit company (NPC) and is not at all affiliated to The Satanic Temple, which based in the US town of Salem.

“We do not worship the ‘Devil’, but simply revere Satan as an archetype for our true nature,” Swiegelaar said. “We do not practice, nor condone animal, and/or human sacrifice.”

To visit the Church’s official website, click here.

Picture: Riaan Swiegelaar/Facebook

Article written by

Lucinda Dordley

Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.