After experiencing the overwhelming love of God through people and a vision of Jesus, a former Satanist in South Africa is sharing his story of transformation.
Riaan Swiegelaar, a former reverend at the South African Satanic Church (SASC), left his position in May. On July 4 he went on a Facebook Live to share why.
Swiegelaar revealed that he had been in Christian circles for 20 years before deciding he was an atheist. Then in the video, he shares why, four years ago, he tried out Satanism.
"If you are broken you will certainly resonate with its philosophy," says Swiegelaar in the video. "At the time I believed that was my truth and what was real to me, not realizing how broken I was."
He says one thing he and the other thousands of Satanists he met over the past four years had in common was their brokenness.
"I've never known unconditional love in my entire life. Up until today, there have been four Christians in my life that showed me what unconditional love is. I want to thank those four people today. Words cannot express what you've done for me."
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The Christians who showed Swiegelaar love didn't think it was a big deal, but he shares it truly was to him.
"To show someone love is everything, and it's not a simple thing. You have shown me everything, the love of Christ, and I've seen it in you. So Donny and Adele, thank you so much for that. You showed me, unconditional love when I was a monster, an ugly person."
During Swiegelaar's last radio interview talking about Satanism, he said that he didn't believe in Jesus or that He existed. The radio DJ's reaction stunned him.
"She came to me after the interview, after I said that and she hugged me. She held me in a way that I've never been loved. That's all. She didn't say anything other than 'It's nice to finally meet you in person.' A week later I saw on What's App her status, that this woman is a Christian. I couldn't believe it."
He wasn't fully convinced just yet. A week after the interview, Swiegelaar was performing a Satanic ritual when he had a radical encounter.
"I did this ritual and I opened myself up and Jesus appeared and I was extremely cocky and I said, 'if you are Jesus, you need to prove it.' And He flooded me with the most beautiful love and energy and I recognized it immediately because that woman at the radio station showed it to me. That's how I recognized the love of Christ."
Swiegelaar ended his video by sharing he will be posting material that he's written recently about his connection with Christ.