The term Satanism represents a broad range of religions, world views, and literature that all look favourably on Satan or similar rebellious figures.
The Telegraph (UK) reports on the worship of this fiend:
Satan first appeared in the Hebrew Bible as an angel who challenged the religious faith of humans. In the Book of Job he is called “the Satan” (“the accuser”) and acted as the prosecutor in God’s court.
A character named Satan was described as the cosmic enemy of the Lord and tempter of Jesus within many of the Gospels of early Christians. He is the bringer of Armageddon and Apocalypse as featured within the Book of Revelation.
Christians and Muslims have portrayed Satan as an evil competitor to humans and Jesus, characterised as a fallen angel or demon ruling the Underworld.
The Christian church’s tendency to label all those who did not agree with it as agents of evil led to the persecution of numerous non-Christian groups, leading to the Crusades and witch-hunts and the Inquisition. It would also eventually lead to the destruction of many indigenous cultures, such as the Mayan civilisation, in the name of Christ.
Famous satanists over the ages include Gilles de Rais, a 15th century French nobleman, was tried and executed for the murders of hundreds of children in quasi-Satanic rituals.
The late 17th century campaign against alleged satanism known as the Poison Affair under Louis XIV, involved accusations of widespread poisonings, infanticide and forgery committed by an alleged satanic social network.
Modern Satanist groups fall into two major trends: Theistic Satanism, which venerates Satan as a supernatural deity, and Atheistic Satanism, which regards Satan as symbolic of purely certain human traits.
The Church of Satan, established in San Francisco in 1966, preaches the Nine Satanic Statements, which include “Satan represents indulgence instead of abstinence”, “Satan represents vengeance instead of turning the other cheek” and “Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification”.
In 2004, the Royal Navy approved its first ever Satanist, despite opposition from Christians.
There is now a growing movement of theistic Satanists, who believe in and revere Satan as a deity.
One is the Temple of Set, which identifies the Christian Satan with the ancient Egyptian god Set.
In the 1980s, there were a series of alleged cases of Satanic ritual abuse in the United States, leading to moral panic but only a tiny number of crimes were recorded.
Those who walk in the light have no business with those who adore this murder, walk in darkness and dabble in the occult.