The co-founder of a Satanic church in Africa has left Satanism after having a personal encounter with Jesus.
Riaan Swiegelaar stepped down from his position as a former reverend at the South African Satanic Church (SASC) in May and recently shared his experience on Facebook.
The former Satanist had been an atheist for most of his life and was even a Christian 20 years ago. He joined SASC at a time he was "very broken."
Swiegelaar's spiritual transformation began in May after he did an interview on a Cape Town radio show, wherein he told the interviewer that he "didn't believe that Jesus Christ exists." After the talk, a woman working at the radio station hugged him.
"She came to me after the interview, after I said that, and she hugged me and held me in a way that I've never been loved. That's all she did. She just said it was nice to meet me in person." he said.
Swiegelaar later learned she was a Christian and was surprised that a Christian showed him love and acceptance. "It stayed with me," he added.
A week after, Swiegelaar was doing a satanic ritual by himself, with the aim of gaining more power and influence. Instead, he opened himself up.
"Jesus appeared. And I was extremely cocky. I said, 'If you are Jesus, you need to prove it.' He flooded me with the most beautiful love and energy and I recognized it immediately because the woman at the radio station showed it to me," the former reverend shared.
Swiegelaar was in Christian ministry almost 20 years ago but said he never really knew the love of Christ. He identifies as gay and believed he was "not worthy of God's grace."
"The kingdom of God is not a gated community. It is open to everybody. It's called grace, people."
Since the spiritual encounter, Swiegelaar said he has been having "real conversations with God."
His former Satanic church has issued a statement about his resignation as presiding reverend, wishing him well.
"We, as the SASC Council, want to thank Swiegalaar for his contribution, both as the pastor and the co-founder of the SA Satanic Church. We wish him success in all his future endeavors."