Satanism is emerging as a disturbing trend among youths in the Christian-dominated state of Mizoram, according to reports.
Its rising popularity is causing grave concern among parents, Church leaders and social workers.
At least three incidents where miscreants draw a star surrounded by a circle – a well-known Satanic symbol – in front of the altar and set Bibles on fire inside it, have come to light in the last 10 days.
On Tuesday, suspected Satan worshipers attacked a Presbyterian church at Kolasib in northern Mizoram in the wee hours.
“A church member Englawma, who lives nearby, saw smoke coming out from inside the church around 4 am. On inspection, he found a heap of burnt Bibles on the dance floor,” Kolasib police said.
A good number of Bibles was stacked on top of a large sign of Anarchy scrawled across the floor and torched.
The burnt Bibles were not from the church alone. There were reports of missing Bibles from other churches, the police sources said.
However, they said other books like commentaries and Oxford Bible dictionaries were lying untouched.
The vandalism came close on the heels of an attack on a United Pentecostal Church in Kolasib in broad daylight on May 2 where Bibles and hymn books were burnt similarly.
Incidentally, burnt copies of Bibles and a disposable cup filled with blood was found in a remote cemetery at Kawnpui in Kolasib district on December 24 last year.
Another incident of Satanism occurred inside the church of United Pentecostal Church (North East India) at Hunthar locality in Aizawl on the night of January 19.
Burnt pages of Bibles were scattered across the floor where an Anarchy sign was written and sacramental cup filled with blood was discovered by people who went to the church.
During the past few years, such incidents have been on the rise.
An increasing number of teenagers embrace cults and indulge in devil worship to receive supernatural powers and perform miracles.
“There are Satan worshipers in Mizoram where about 90 percent of the population is Christians,” said Lalrammawia Ngente, a church elder and college lecturer.
Ngente, who has done research on Satanism in Mizoram and has written a book on occult, said a number of youths had confessed to him that they worshipped Satan.
“They did it to attain supernatural powers and perform miracles. Most of them offered their own blood by cutting their wrist. Some also offered chicken’s blood,” Ngente said.
Rev L H Rawsea, a faculty member of the Aizawl Theological College which had investigated Satanism in Mizoram a few years back, said the cultic practice began as early as 2000 by youths influenced by television shows and films about occult.
According to P C Biaksiama, a Christian scholar, the influence of western pop culture is one of the main factors driving the youths into devil worship.
“Some pop singers in western countries offered themselves to Satan to get fame and money. Those celebrities have influenced our youths,” he said.
Biaksiama, however, observed that Satanism could not be as progressive in Mizoram as in the west due to the influence of Christianity which is still strong in the state.
Source: UCAN India