Ireland’s 188 Satanists are more interested in worshipping themselves than Satan, a Satanist has said.
In the popular mindset, Satanists are those who have forsaken God in favour of his evil archrival.
However, Church of Satan member Karl Walsh said that is usually no longer the case.
“Certain groups will worship a Satan but the group that I’m a part of, it’s all about worshipping yourself,” he said.
“The whole thing is [about] looking after yourself and making sure you come out on top.
“I know that sounds kind of selfish but it’s not like you’re just putting all your care into yourself; you’re putting yourself first and then others.
“Whereas other religions will look after everyone and make sure everyone is okay, you kind of put yourself first.”
When asked about his philosophy towards helping others, Mr Walsh said only the strong have the ability to look after the weak.
“You have to be strong enough yourself to take care of the ones you care about,” he said.
“There’d be no point in me trying to look after someone if I can’t walk or if I can’t do anything like that.
The Church of Satan has existed for centuries and - like other religions - its emphasis has evolved over time.
“Back then it was all kind of black magic stuff,” Mr Walsh said.
“The people nowadays kind of stay away from that.”
There is a Satanist version of Mass but Mr Walsh says there is currently no Satanist Church in Ireland and he does not know many of his coreligionists.
“I would only know one or two others that I would be close with,” he said.
“I wouldn’t go to events or stuff like that.”
The number of Satanists in Ireland is 188, which is roughly stable since the last census - unlike the number of Catholics, which has dropped by 10%.
Main image: Paradise Lost, by John Milton: Satan in Council. Picture by: Alamy.com