Love of Jesus wins over co-founder of SA Satanic Church

Riaan Swiegelaar

Co-founder of the South African Satanic Church (SASC) Riaan Swiegelaar says he has left Satanism after he had an encounter with Jesus.

In a Facebook video [see below] he posted on Monday in response to many questions he received about his spiritual about-turn, Swiegelaar, who was the presiding reverend of SASC, said the unconditional love shown to him by a Christian woman played a part in his change of heart.

He said that during a Cape Talk radio interview two months ago, he told the interviewer: “I don’t believe in Jesus and I don’t believe Jesus Christ exists.”

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Afterwards, a lady staffer came to him “and she hugged me and she held me in a way that I’ve never been loved”.

“That’s all she did. She just said it was nice to meet me in person. A week later, I saw on WhatsApp that she is a Christian. I’ve never had a Christian showing me so much love and acceptance unconditionally. That stayed with me,” he said.

After his interview, Swiegelaar had a meeting with Satanic Church council members about conducting an occult ritual that would help him “ascend” and gain more influence and power. 

“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 recognised it immediately because that woman at the radio station showed it to me. That’s how I recognised the love of Christ.”

Swiegelaar said he didn’t think he was worthy of God’s love because he has been living a gay life. For the past month, he said he has been having “real conversations with God, and the Kingdom of God is not a gated community, it is open to everybody.”

He also said he will not be joining any church “because I’ve never experienced Christ’s love in a church, in any of the churches. I will not go there.”

“I’ve been hurt so badly by it. The thousands of applications for membership to the South African Satanic Church that I’ve seen was, majority was, ‘I’ve been hurt by Christians, I hate God’ because that’s been their experience. That’s how people get lost.

Instead, he said he will focus on “healing people and having a space for people who were hurt by other religions and people.”

“I was very sad and very broken, without realising it. I think a lot of people resonate with 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 we all have in common,” he said.

“God’s grace is available for everybody but it is our choice if we want it or not but we constantly get opportunities for that. This was my opportunity and I took it. I made the choice. I choose light. I am living for light and it is because of that grace that I can do that.”

“My prayer is for everyone to ask if you are a believer, ask God to show you that grace.”

In a follow-up video he posted on his Facebook page he assures Christians who have questioned whether his conversion is real, that he is a real Christian. But he says it is not about religion but about love.

A Christian woman, Heid-Adele Vrey, who has been reaching out to Swiegelaar in love for some time, also posted a video on his Facebook page today, in which she encourages Christians to display Christ’s love to the outcasts as Jesus did Himself.

A statement on the SASC website said Swiegelaar resigned as presiding reverend of the church on May 30 and stepped down from the church council “as well as dissolved his membership with the organisation”.

“We as the SASC Council would like to thank him for his contribution both as the Reverend and Co-Founder of the Satanic Church. We wish him success with all his future endeavours,” the church said.

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