Aviva Directory » Faith & Spirituality » World Religions » Esoteric Religions » Satanism

Throughout Christian history, various religions, sects or individuals have been accused of worshipping Satan. However, for the purposes of categorization here we will use the term to refer to ideological or religious beliefs that are based upon the character of Satan, and which self-identify as being Satanic or which use Satanic iconography, Satan being the angel who led a revolt against God, and was cast out of heaven along with his allies, the fallen angels, who are generally believed to be the same entities as those known as demons thereafter. Satan is also known as Lucifer or the Devil. For the purposes of categorization, this category does not refer to organizations or religions that are believed by opposing organizations or religions to be in league with Satan, but those who identify with Satan. Although they may include several churches and groups, these will fall into two general groupings or trends, which may be known as theistic Satanism and atheistic Satanism. Theistic Satanists venerate or worship the entity known as Satan, Lucifer or the devil as a supernatural deity, while atheistic Satanists regard Satan as a metaphor or symbol of various human traits which they admire and support. Religions, churches, or groups which self-identify as Satanic are appropriate for this category, while those that are accused of being Satanic are appropriate for this category only when they self-identify as Satanic or Luciferian. Satanism might also be grouped into three trends: reactive, rationalist, and esoteric. Reactive Satanists would be those whose primary motivation is a symbolic rebellion against Christianity. In placing themselves in opposition to Christianity, they might identify with Satan as the adversary of Christ. Rationalist Satanists would be the atheistic, skeptical, materialistic and epicurean Satanists who view Satan as a metaphor rather than a real entity. Esoteric Satanists venerate Satan as a deity, but draw upon other forms of religion.

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