Satan The Devil part 4

by John Thomas Lowe
(Woodruff, S.C.)

part 4
Allegations of worship

A depiction of Santa Muerte
The main Deity in the tentatively Indo-European pantheon of the Yazidis, Melek Taus, is similar to the Devil in Christian and Islamic traditions, as he refused to bow down before humanity. Therefore, Christians and Muslims often consider Melek Taus to be Satan. However, rather than being Satanic, Yazidism can be understood as a remnant of a pre-Islamic Middle Eastern Indo-European religion and a chat Sufi movement founded by Shaykh Adi. There is no entity in Yazidism that represents evil in opposition to God; such dualism is rejected.
In the Middle Ages, the Cathars, practitioners of a dualistic religion, were accused of worshipping Satan by the Catholic Church. Pope Gregory IX stated in his work Vox in Rama that the Cathars believed that God had erred in casting Lucifer out of Heaven and that Lucifer would return to reward his faithful. On the other hand, according to Catharism, the creator god of the material world worshipped by the Catholic Church is Satan.
Wicca is a modern, syncretic Neopagan religion whose practitioners many Christians have incorrectly assumed to worship Satan. In actuality, Wiccans do not believe in the existence of Satan or any comparable figure and have repeatedly and emphatically rejected the notion that they venerate such an entity. The cult of the skeletal figure of Santa Muerte, which has grown exponentially in Mexico, has been denounced by the Catholic Church as Devil-worship. However, devotees of Santa Muerte view her as an angel of death created by God, and many identify as Catholic.
Much modern folklore about Satanism does not originate from the actual beliefs or practices of theistic or atheistic Satanists but rather from a mixture of medieval Christian folk beliefs, political or sociological conspiracy theories, and contemporary urban legends. An example is the Satanic ritual abuse scare of the 1980s—beginning with the memoir Michelle Remembers—which depicted Satanism as a vast conspiracy of elites with a predilection for child abuse and human sacrifice. This genre frequently describes Satan as physically incarnating in order to receive worship.

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