In a rather bizarre news coming out of the United States, a satanic group has added its own statue to a series of displays in the government building of the state of Illinois to mark the festive season.
Placed between a Christmas tree and a menorah, the four-foot sculpture depicts a snake coiled around an outstretched arm holding an apple.
It’s the first display sponsored by the Chicago chapter of the Temple of Satan, and the state government said the temple had the same right as other religious groups to have a display.
“Under the Constitution, the First Amendment, people have a right to express their feelings, their thoughts,” Dave Druker, spokesman for the Illinois secretary of state, told the State Journal-Register. “This recognises that.”
Satanic Temple monument was added to the #Illinois Capitol rotunda displays. They fail to realize that the little baby in the manger has CRUSHED Satan's head and the gates of hell will NOT prevail. https://t.co/xYXEKeRPus #ILRight #ccot
— IL Family Action (@ILfamilyaction) December 4, 2018
The move has been criticised on social media by Illinois Family Action, an anti-abortion pressure group.
Founded in 2012 in Salem, Massachusetts, the Temple of Satan describes itself as a non-theistic group that aims to “encourage benevolence and empathy among all people”.
It says its uses satanic imagery to promote the separation of church and state and to campaign for “practical common sense and justice”.
Earlier this year, members of a Satanic Temple placed a statue of Baphomet – a goat-like deity associated with Satanism – outside Arkansas’ statehouse during a First Amendment rally, BBC writes.
The group also settled a $50m lawsuit against Netflix and Warner Bros last month over a statue of Baphomet used in the TV series The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.