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    Friday, May 12, 2006

    "Satanism is a philosophy which holds individualism as one of its main values,"


    According to a Web site (www.churchofsatan.com), the Church of Satan was founded in 1966 by Anton Szandor LaVey in the United States. "Satanism is a philosophy which holds individualism as one of its main values," the site says. Its news update section has no mention of Indonesia or a world congress.

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    A rumored upcoming world congress of the "Church of Satan" in the Indonesian Christian stronghold of North Sulawesi has drawn condemnation and scorn from Catholic and Protestant Church leaders.

    Church of Satan members reportedly received information about the event from text messages sent to their mobile phones.

    The existence of the Church of Satan in Manado was first publicized in 1999 by Manado Post in an investigative report about the cult's alleged rites at luxury homes and a local hotel.

    Ronald Dondokambey, a youth who said he once joined a Church of Satan ritual in Manado, told UCA News that during the satanic rite he was asked to drink blood. "I unknowingly joined the rite. I just followed my friend. I did not know why, but I found myself among them. It seems that I had been hypnotized to follow whatever they ordered me to do," he recounted.

    Father Paulus Salabia, parish priest of St. John the Evangelizer Church in Laikit, just east of Manado, told UCA News May 3 that he believes Catholics would not be influenced by the Church of Satan. "On the contrary, it will encourage their faith," he said.

    Moreover, he said "Catholics every day visit each other's home to pray the rosary during May." He dismissed the reported plan for a Church of Satan world congress as just media sensationalism.

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