Furious Christian groups are trying to shut down the ‘largest Satanic gathering in history’ after hundreds of Satanic Temple members descend on Boston.
On Friday, SatanCon kicked off in the Massachusetts town with a bizarre opening ceremony that saw speakers tear up the Bible and perform “unbaptisms.”
The festival is in town to celebrate the organization’s 10th anniversary.
But the arrival of Devil worshipers on the East Coast has drawn backlash from religious groups.
They claim they will respond to the three-day hellish event with “intense prayer” and would be prepared to “ambush” the conference with counter-events.
SatanCon programming director Chalice Blythe pictured tearing up a bible during the event’s opening ceremony
Members of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property demonstrated outside the first day of the event
Unlike similar groups, The Satanic Temple does not necessarily worship the devil, but instead views the character as a symbol for “rejecting tyrannical authority,” according to its website.
But his activism, which also revolves around the separation of church and state, has drawn the ire of several religious groups.
“While they think they’re coming to ambush Boston, they don’t know that God planned to ambush them,” said Dr. Jaymz Sideras, the leader of the Revive Boston faith group.
His organization is hosting a counter event at the Revere Hotel Boston Common, less than a mile from the Satanist Convention at the Boston Marriott Copley Place.
According to its website, the “revival” weekend will include prayer classes before groups are sent to “key locations” in Boston to “flood the streets with worship and the word of God.”
Another group opposed to SatanCon is the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, which told the Catholic News Agency it plans to use “intense prayer” to combat the event.
‘Under the direction of Cardinal [Sean O’Malley]we approach it with a balanced, prayer-centered response,” a spokesperson added.
SatanCon attendees flash the devil’s horns hand symbol while shouting “Hail Satan” during the opening ceremony
Several religious groups protested the event. Pictured: A member of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property outside the conference on Friday
Protesters introduced several counter-events to show their opposition to the conference
A protester holding a sign reading ‘Begone Satan!’ on the streets of Boston at the start of the event
Furious religious protesters gathered outside the Marriott Copley Place to oppose the event
A large police presence has been stationed nearby ahead of the protests
When the event began on Friday, many demonstrators gathered outside, including members of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property, who held signs reading ‘Satan n has no rights”.
A disturbing appearance by white nationalist group The Patriot Front also joined protesters outside the conference, according to the Boston Herald.
“We received threats,” a Satanist participant told Freedom News. “There are protesters, a good number of them are outside. We have no problem with them demonstrating, it is their right to do so.
The conference began with a bizarre opening ceremony in which speakers tore up Bibles and performed “unbaptisms.”
And after Boston Mayor Michelle Wu refused to allow the organization to deliver a satanic invocation at Boston City Hall, the group decided to dedicate the conference in her honor.
On its 10th anniversary at Boston’s Marriott Copley Place, more than 800 mask-wearing attendees reveled in stories from the fiery depths while listening to sermons from speakers.
‘Glory to Satan!’ shouted one of the speakers, Chalice Blythe, who repeated the chant as she tore up a bible and a “thin blue line” police defense flag during the opening ceremony.
In one of the most bizarre moments, another speaker in a big red lab coat smashed a computer keyboard saying: ‘For those of us who can, we have to stand up for those who can’t. “.
A Satanic Market was also on display at the event, where people could purchase a variety of Lucifer-inspired souvenirs.
Satirical “Live Laugh Love” pillows and demonic goat-headed dolls were on display in the market, alongside T-shirts, candles, jewelry and Satanic literature.
A speaker smashed a keyboard during the opening ceremony
A ‘Satanic Market’ Sold a Variety of Lucifer-Inspired Souvenirs
A satirical ‘Live Laugh Love’ pillow was sold at the event which is dubbed the biggest ‘Satancon’
Demonic goat-headed dolls were also on display at the rally in Boston
The group has made headlines in recent years after campaigning to introduce its one-tonne goat-headed idol statue next to any monument commemorating the 10 commandments on public grounds.
Its members claim to not view Satan as evil, but rather see the character as a symbol of questioning authority.
After opening its first official headquarters in Salem, Oregon, in 2016, activists have tried to lead the way in advocating for a separation of church and state.
While Mayor Wu ended up as the subject of this year’s conference, The Satanic Temple has previously dedicated other events to public figures who opposed it.
Ahead of an event in Scottsdale, Arizona, former Republican mayor Jim Lane and former Republican councilwoman Suzanne Klapp also had the rally dedicated to them after they also refused a satanic summons request at a city council meeting. .
The group’s advocacy of Satanism sparked outrage last month after a California elementary school began hosting an “After School Satan Club”.
One parent, speaking to KBAK, called the decision to license the club “disgusting”, while another said it was “a mistake”.
SatanCon was not shy of controversy, however, with a sign seen at an “Education with Satan” booth at the conference comparing it to the “Good News Club”, a religious group allowed in schools.
An “Education with Satan” stand was set up at the conference
The booth included a sign comparing his satanic after-school club to the religious Good News club
A torn Bible, a torn Blue Lives Matter flag and counterfeit US currency lie on the ground during the opening ceremony
The group says its after-school class, unlike the Good News Club, “promotes a rational, scientific, and non-superstitious view of the world.”
The group attempted to distance itself from other satanic groups and insisted that its main goal was the separation of church and state and the teaching of empathy.
“It’s about supporting human rights. It’s about supporting women’s bodily autonomy. It’s about freedom of religion, freedom of religion, SatanCon attendee Richard-Lael Lillard told WBZ-TV.
“Most don’t believe in Satan, not a literal Satan. It’s not a 1980s horror movie.’
Another participant, Suzanna Plum, added: “I understand the confusion, the fear. Really, but at the same time, we’re a very misunderstood band.
“We are like everyone else. We pay our taxes, we want our communities to improve and do better. We love our children like everyone else. We’re just normal people, we just believe a little differently.