Riaan Swiegelaar, co-founder of the South African Satanic Church (SASC), has resigned from his post as presiding priest of the controversial church. He also resigned from the church council, as well as dissolved his membership with the organization.
In a live video broadcast on Facebook, Swiegelaar said, “To be very honest, I initially thought I’d quietly slip out the backdoor and I didn’t think people would be so interested in why I do what I do.” “
Swiegelaar revealed that he had been in Christian circles for 20 years before deciding he was an atheist. Then in the video, he shares why, four years ago, he tried out Satanism.
He said he engaged in Satanism because it resonated with him at the time, and because he was “very sad and very broken, without realising it. At the time I believed that was my truth and what was real to me, not realizing how broken I was. I think a lot of people resonate at Satanism when they come from a very broken place.
“I have met thousands of Satanists over the past year and they are extremely hurt and broken—that’s the one thing they all have in common,” Swiegelaar added.
In mid-May, Swiegelaar conducted his last interview as a member of the SASC on the CapeTalk radio station, not knowing it would be his last radio interview as an oldie.
Swigelaar said in the interview that he does not believe that Jesus Christ exists. A lady from the radio team walked up to him after the interview and hugged him in a way he had never been hugged before.
He burst into tears and added, “I’ve never known unconditional love in my entire life. Up until today, there have been four Christians in my life that showed me what unconditional love is. I want to thank those four people today. Words cannot express what you’ve done for me.”
The Christians who showed Swiegelaar love didn’t think it was a big deal, but he shares it truly was to him.
“To show someone love is everything, and it’s not a simple thing. You have shown me everything, the love of Christ, and I’ve seen it in you. So Donny and Adele, thank you so much for that. You showed me, unconditional love when I was a monster, an ugly person.
“She came to me after the interview, after I said that and she hugged me. She held me in a way that I’ve never been loved. That’s all. She didn’t say anything other than ‘It’s nice to finally meet you in person.’ A week later I saw on What’s App her status, that this woman is a Christian. I couldn’t believe it.”
He wasn’t fully convinced just yet. A week after the interview, Swiegelaar was performing a Satanic ritual when he had a radical encounter.
“I did this ritual and I opened myself up and Jesus appeared and I was extremely cocky and I said, ‘if you are Jesus, you need to prove it.’ And He flooded me with the most beautiful love and energy and I recognized it immediately because that woman at the radio station showed it to me. That’s how I recognized the love of Christ.”
A press release by the SASC, whose member number according to Swiegelaar is growing by the day, reads: “We, as the SASC Council, want to thank Swiegalaar for his contribution, both as the pastor and the co-founder of the SA Satanic Church. We wish him success in all his future endeavors.”