As April came to an end, Christians in Boston were preparing for SatanCon, which took place in downtown Boston from April 28th to 30th to mark the Satanic Temple’s 10th anniversary. The event was dedicated to Boston Democrat Mayor Michelle Wu, whom the group is suing for refusing to allow the Temple to deliver an invocation at Boston City Hall. The event touts itself as the “largest satanic gathering in history,” having sold out with over 800 attendants. This year’s theme was “Hexennacht in Boston,” which means “Witches’ Night” in German. The Temple has often claimed to be nonreligious and that it does not believe in a personal Satan, rather saying it means to “encourage benevolence and empathy, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense, oppose injustice, and undertake noble pursuits.” Events at SatanCon included “unbaptisms,” Satanic weddings, and panels with names like “Re-imagining Lilith as an Archetype for Reproductive Justice,” “Deconstructing Your Religious Upbringing,” “Reclaiming the Trans Body: A/theistic Strategies for Self-Determination and Empowerment,” and more.

Christian groups in the area held their own events nearby, and many prayed for the salvation of the event’s attendees. Speaking with The Christian Post, sisters Suzie and Lynn MacAskill, regional leaders of Boston’s Intercessors for America (IFA) chapter, said they are hoping for a harvest of souls. “I initially went to prayer with a preconceived idea that God would want this to be prayed away. It was following this assumption that I was awakened through the night with a clear sense of ‘This is My harvest field,’” Suzie MacAskill said of the event. The “Revive Boston” Conference also took place that same weekend, where they had small groups go in an attempt to evangelize the SatanCon attendees. Christian protestors came prepared with signs that read, ‘Satan has no rights,’ and ‘Stop Public Satanism in America.’ Revive Boston’s leader, Jaymz Sideras warned the SatanCon conference goers saying, “While they think they are coming to ambush Boston, little do they know that God has planned to ambush them.”

Boston’s Catholic population was also responsible for mass prayer during the event. In an emailed statement, Terrence Donilon, director of communications for the Archdiocese of Boston, shared that Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley had encouraged a focus on prayer. “We are finalizing a list of places throughout our whole Archdiocese where we will gather in adoration and prayer. All of our shrines have agreed to be a part of this, and most of our monasteries. Our men and women religious will be invited to more intense prayer during that weekend,” the statement said. Dominican Father Basil Cole, professor of moral, spiritual and dogmatic theology at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, cautioned Catholics to be alert. He called the Temple’s attempt to present itself as a “justice-centered” group a “cover.” “The idea is always to get some phenomenon going in your favor — revenge, a better job. There are a lot of poor souls looking for help, and all of a sudden, the devil comes along in some mysterious way.” He called the devil’s influence a “slow and sneaky process.” “It’s caused in part by superstition, and it also starts with people wanting to commit very serious sins, like abortion, murder and even pornography,” said Father Cole. “That allows the devil to influence one a little more.” IFA is pointing Christians to reflect on 2 Kings 6:15-17, with verse 16 saying, “Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.”

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