Rafael Manuel Tovar
(ZENIT News / Boston, 05.25.2023).- Satanists call de-baptism the ritual they carry out in The Satanic Temple for initiates who say they don’t believe in God. As a gesture of rejection of the religious rites they took part in as children, they tear out pages of a Bible in a room illuminated only with candles, which has a sign at the entrance in neon lights identifying it as “The Little Black Chapel.”
The members of this group deny they believe in Lucifer or in Hell, although they have put a large statue of Satan in front of their “Temple.” Their ceremonies are held without names and they admit anyone without asking for identification. There is a raised altar in the “Temple” and a white marble pentagram incrusted on the floor.
The members of this group present Satan as a metaphor that questions authority. Their beliefs are based on science, using arguments of materialism, evolution, and the force of evil of those that impose the will to power. The most committed wear a long cape with a hood and a black face mask. The initiates come with their hands tied with a rope, which is removed during the rite as a sign of liberation.
The United States Government has registered The Satanic Temple and recognized it as a religion. It has ministers and congregations in America, Europe and Australia. For them, to show their sense of community around these shared values makes it a religion.
During the SatanCon convention, held at the end of April, 830 people participated and bought tickets. A youth gave a striking testimony at the convention: “As a gay boy, the fact they said to me that I was an abomination and that I should be destroyed, distorted my way of thinking a lot. To discover The Satanic Tempe helped me to adopt logic and empathy.”
They have satanic principles that respect the right of every individual to choose his belief and they believe that they don’t bother people. Although they also say that they seek to thwart the influence of religious groups that believe in God and exist in the United States.
“We have people who use inverted crosses. And our initiation ceremony includes the tearing into pieces of a Bible, as a symbol of liberation from oppression, especially the oppression that LGBTQ people and women experience. Also the BIPOC (black, indigenous and persons of colour) community and any person who has grown up with religious trauma, as have many of our members.”
The Satanic Temple says its membership has increased from 10,000 in 2019 to over 700,000 at present. Some members of The Satanic Temple don’t admit openly that they belong to it for security reasons. They say that those who did admit it publicly lost their jobs, lost their children in custody battles and found fake bombs under their cars.
It can be said that The Satanic Temple represents a minority group, which calls people’s attention with advertising gestures to entice members. However, Satanism is present in all countries, although usually it doesn’t show itself publicly. The growth of cases that call for exorcists is a symptom of its current spread.