The Satanic Temple (TST) has announced its second convention to be held in Boston, Massachusetts this spring is sold out, according to a post on its website.
The convention known as "SatanCon 2023" will be held on April 28-30 at the Boston Marriott Copley Place. It is being promoted as "a weekend of blasphemy and remembrance in Boston" and will also celebrate TST's 10-year anniversary.
The group also claims the convention will be the "largest Satanic gathering in history."
As CBN News reported in January, the theme of the convention is "Hexennacht in Boston" or "Witches Night," an ancient German holiday that occurs annually on April 30. The SatanCon event includes a "Satanic Ball" on the opening night, April 28,
Lucien Greaves, the Satanic Temple's co-founder, and spokesperson is set to deliver the keynote address of the conference along with co-founder Malcolm Jarr on Saturday morning.
Other scheduled sessions include "Satanic Panic in Brazil," "Hellbillies: Visible Satanism in Rural America," "Deconstructing Your Religious Upbringing," "Reclaiming the Trans Body: A/theistic Strategies for Self-Determination and Empowerment," and "Sins of the Flesh: Satanism and Self-Pleasure."
The convention will also offer a Satanic marketplace for those in attendance, but vendors have not been announced.
TST claims it has a Boston-area membership of 2,449 people.
According to the event's website, the gathering is dedicated to Boston Mayor Michelle Wu for "her unconstitutional efforts to keep TST out of Boston's public spaces."
Based in Salem, MA, the group had requested to fly a Satanic flag over Boston City Hall after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last May that the city violated the free speech rights of a conservative activist seeking to fly a Christian flag on a pole outside the downtown building.
TST tweeted a copy of their request filed with the city property management department to raise a flag marking "Satanic Appreciation Week" last July.
There has been no response from the city on TST's flag request. The city has said it stopped flying flags in 2021.
TST also sued the Boston City Council in January of 2021, arguing that the council violated the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the free exercise clause of the Massachusetts Constitution by not inviting the Satanists to "pray" before their meetings.
In Boston, city council members are allowed to invite any religious leader of their choosing to offer an opening prayer. The city contends that it is perfectly legal for council members to select specific individuals to pray, and in 2021, a U.S. District Court agreed with the city on that issue.
Christian Ministry Responds to TST Announcement
A Christian ministry called Intercessors for America (IFA) responded to the announcement of the Satanic group's second convention, saying, "Our prayers will make a difference yet again. While TST plans and promotes, we will pray and fast that these efforts will actually backfire and instead embolden and empower the Church. They promise a weekend of 'blasphemy and remembrance in Boston.' Let's pray for a weekend of holiness and seeking God."
The IFA also said TST is an adversary to the Christian faith.
"This is no neutral, 'intellectual,' quirky advocacy group. It is an adversary to the Christian faith and its free exercise in public spaces, to the protection of life, and to the advancement of Bible teaching in the public schools," the IFA said. "These rituals, practices, declarations, and beliefs are the gateway to allowing satanic footholds in people's lives. Tarot cards, voodoo dolls, hexes, and spells seem harmless to many, but we know that there is real satanic power behind those activities, and this power will ensnare anyone who participates in such things."
SatanCon has not gone unnoticed on social media platforms. While there are promoters and advocates of TST's Boston event, there are also users standing up for God.
One user tweeted, "While @CityOfBoston is getting ready to host @SatanCon God has brought revival to Asbury University. Lord, bring conviction and repentance to the city Boston and set people free by the power of your Holy Spirit. Save and redeem those who are planning @SatanCon. #asburyrevival."
While @CityOfBoston is getting ready to host @SatanCon God has brought revival to Ashbury University. Lord, bring conviction and repentance to the city Boston and set people free by the power of your Holy Spirit. Save and redeem those who are planning @SatanCon. #ashburyrevival https://t.co/4n9fNWATd6
— Mary Ellen Siegler (@SieglerME) February 19, 2023
WE'LL HAVE MUCH MORE ABOUT HOW CHRISTIANS ARE RESPONDING TO SATANCON IN A FOLLOW-UP STORY FRIDAY, INCLUDING ANALYSIS FROM AN EX-SATANIST AND AN EX-WITCH – SO BE SURE TO CHECK CBNNEWS.COM FRIDAY.
Satanists Targeted Scottsdale Last Year
As CBN News reported, last year, TST chose Scottsdale, Arizona as the site their first public convention after it lost a lawsuit against the city in 2018 for not being allowed to give an invocation at one of the city council meetings in 2016.
But a U.S. District Court judge ruled in the city's favor in early 2020 saying the temple had not proven it was discriminated against because of its religious beliefs, according to AZ Central.
TST Claims It Advocates for Secularism, Has 'Abortion Ritual'
The Satanic Temple is separate from the Church of Satan, which was founded in the 1960s.
Founded in 2013, TST says it doesn't believe in Satan but describes itself as a "non-theistic religious organization" that advocates for secularism. On its website, under the question "Do You Worship Satan?" in the Frequently Asked Questions section, TST answers: "No, nor do we believe in the existence of Satan or the supernatural."
However, TST claims it has its own "abortion ritual." The group describes its Satanic abortion ritual as a "spiritual experience designed to instill confidence and self-worth in accordance to TST's religious beliefs."
TST has long argued its members' religious rights are exempt from any state laws or any regulations that might block access to abortion services.
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The satanic group claims its abortion ritual is exempt from any existing abortion regulations on the basis of religious liberty. They point to the 2014 Supreme Court ruling that declared Hobby Lobby as a business had the right not to cover birth control, including abortifacient drugs, as a part of its health care program for employees, because of its religious beliefs.
"The Satanic Temple, on behalf of its members, objects to government interference with abortion access and contests that laws that impede our faith in bodily autonomy and our ability to perform our Religious Abortion Ritual violate the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act," the TST said in a statement.
Promoting Satan as an 'Imaginary Friend' to Children
The group also made headlines over the few years as it has worked to install its "After School Satan Club" in several elementary schools across the country, drawing the anger of many parents.
The Satan clubs began to gain national attention in 2016. As CBN News has reported, in a scattering of communities from California to Virginia, parents have protested the Satan clubs, asking their districts to not approve their applications to meet. That's left school administrators with a difficult decision: accept all clubs no matter the viewpoint or shut down after-school clubs altogether.
After School Satan Club (ASSC) organizers say they'll only open a club to counteract other religious groups that are already meeting on a school's campus.
As CBN News has reported, a catchy, semi-animated promotional video from the group included a song encouraging young children to embrace Satan as an imaginary friend.
The video repeatedly states "there is no hell" and tries to convince children that "Satan doesn't actually exist, he's an imaginary friend..."