The co-founder of a satanic movement in South Africa is telling his personal story of how he decided to leave the cult after his heart was overwhelmed by the love of Jesus.
Riaan Swiegelaar, a former reverend of the South African Satanic Church (SASC), resigned from her position in May and took to Facebook on July 4 to share her testimony.
“I am 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 I left the Satanic Church of South Africa and why I turned my back on it. Satanism,” Swiegelaar said.
He continued, “To be very honest, I initially thought I’d walk out the back door quietly and I really didn’t think people would be that interested in why I’m doing what I’m doing. I’m going to speak up.” from my experience. I’m going to talk about my choices.”
Swiegelaar noted that he wanted to address people from a “personal space but with an open heart.”
“I actually feel like it’s time for more people to start speaking up, speaking their truth, so I’m certainly encouraging people to do that as well by making this video,” he said.
Swiegelaar, who was involved in Christian ministry 20 years ago before becoming an atheist, recalled what led him to Satanism four years ago.
“I got involved with Satanism because at the time it resonated with me, I was so broken and sad without realizing it. I think the reason a lot of people resonate with Satanism is that they come from a very broken place. I’ve met thousands of Satanists … over the last three years and I’m not saying the intentions are bad, they’re extremely broken and extremely hurt… that’s the one thing we all have in common,” he said.
Fighting back tears, Swiegelaar explained that he turned against Satanism after recently experiencing unconditional Christian love.
“I have never known unconditional love in my entire life and to this day, there are only four Christians in my entire life who have shown me what unconditional love is. I want to thank those four people. Words cannot express it.” what they have done for me,” he said.
“Showing someone love is everything. It’s not a simple thing. You’ve shown me everything. You’ve shown me the love of Christ. I’ve seen it in you,” Swiegelaar added.
He noted that love was shown to him during a time when he was a “freak” and an “ugly person”.
In mid-May, Swiegelaar gave his last interview as a SASC member on CapeTalk radio station. After the interview, a woman who worked for the station, whose name he did not want to reveal, approached him and showed him God’s love in an unexpected way.
“I told him: ‘I don’t believe in Jesus and I don’t believe that Jesus Christ exists’ because I didn’t believe it. He came to me after the interview, after I said that and he hugged me and hugged me in a way that I have never been loved.” Swiegelaar said.
“That’s all he did. He just said it was nice to meet me in person. A week later, on WhatsApp, through his status, I saw that this woman is a Christian. I’ve never had a Christian do that,” he said. . “She had never seen a Christian show so much unconditional love and acceptance…after I said the things I said, she did that. That stayed with me.”
A week later, Swiegelaar was performing a Satanic ritual for himself that he said was geared toward gaining more power and influence as a Satanist.
“I did this ritual and I opened up and Jesus showed up and I was extremely arrogant and said, ‘If you are Jesus, you have to prove it.’ And he flooded me with the most beautiful love and energy and I recognized him right away because that woman on the radio station showed him to me. This is how I recognized the love of Christ.”
Swiegelaar said he didn’t think he was worthy of God’s love because he has been living a homosexual life. Over the past month, he has had “real conversations with God, and the Kingdom of God is not a closed community, it is open to everyone.”
He concluded the video by assuring his followers that he will post material he has recently written about his connection to Christ.
The Satanic Church of South Africa confirmed Swiegelaar’s resignation and thanked him for his contribution.
“We, as the SASC Council, would like to thank Swiegalaar for his contribution, both as a pastor and co-founder of the Satanic Church SA. We wish him success in all his future endeavours.”