The co-founder of a Satanic movement in South Africa shares his decision to leave the cult after being overcome by the love of Jesus in his heart.Former priest Riaan Swiegelaar left his post with the South African Satanic Church (SASC) in May. On July 4, he shared his testimony on Facebook.
“I’m doing this live video because many, more than 100 people, on WhatsApp and almost 200 on Facebook, are sending me messages wanting to know why did I leave the South African Satanic Church as well as why did I turn my back on Satanism,” Swiegelaar said. He continued, “To be very honest, I initially thought I will slip out the back door quietly and I didn’t really think that people would be this interested in why I am doing what I’m doing. I’m going to talk about my experience. I’m going to talk about my choices.”
According to Swiegelaar, he wanted to engage with people in “personal space but with an open heart. I actually feel it’s time more people just start talking, speaking their truth, so I’m certainly encouraging people to do that as well by doing this video,”.Swiegelaar, who was active in Christian ministry 20 years ago before converting to atheism, recalled what initially pulled him to Satanism four years ago.
“I got involved with Satanism because at the time it resonated with me, being very broken and sad without realizing it. I think the reason a lot of people resonate with Satanism is they come from a very broken place. I have met thousands of Satanists over the last three years and I’m not saying the intentions are bad, they are extremely broken and extremely hurt … that’s the one thing we all have in common,” he said.
Swiegelaar, who was fighting back tears, revealed that his recent encounter with unwavering Christian love led him to reject Satanism. “To show someone love is everything. It is not a simple thing. You have showed me everything. You have showed me the love of Christ. I have seen it in you,” Swiegelaar added
Swiegelaar aired his final interview on the CapeTalk radio station in mid-May, marking his departure from the SASC. After the interview, a station employee whose name he would not give came to him and showed him an astonishing act of God’s love.
“I told her, ‘I don’t believe in Jesus and I don’t believe Jesus Christ exists’ because I didn’t. She came to me after the interview, after I said that and she hugged me and she held me in a way that I’ve never been loved,” Swiegelaar said.
Swiegelaar was executing a satanic ceremony by himself a week later, which he claimed was intended to increase his power and influence as a Satanist.
“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.”
He assured his viewers at the end of the video that he would be posting current writings he has done on his relationship with Christ. Swiegelaar’s resignation was accepted, and the Satanic Church of South Africa praised him for his assistance.
“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.”
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