Don't be surprised if you start seeing Satanic Temple events around the United States - it has now officially been recognized as a religion by the government. The church posted a statement sharing the news on their website.

We are pleased to announce for the very first time in history, a satanic organization has been recognized by the United States federal government as being a church.

 

The Satanic Temple recently received notice from the IRS affirming our status.

 

This acknowledgment will help make sure The Satanic Temple has the same access to public spaces as other religious organizations, affirm our standing in court when battling religious discrimination, and enable us to apply for faith-based government grants.

Founded in 2013 by Lucien Greaves and Malcolm Jarry, The Satanic Temple's mission is more politically charged than worship-based. Their website states its goals are to "encourage benevolence and empathy among all people, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense and justice, and be directed by the human conscience to undertake noble pursuits guided by the individual will."

The church holds weekly congregations in Salem, Mass. It has openly rejected the notions of the Westboro Baptist Church. Additionally, the Satanic Temple is not the same as the Church of Satan, which plays more on the pop-cultural aspects of Satanism and black magic than political awareness. The Satanic Temple instead wishes to separate itself from superstition and being associated with Satan. See a chart that compares the two organizations below.

thesatanictemple.com

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