Authorities find and confiscate demonic items
Daily Star (Lebanon), Mar. 24, 2003
Maha Al-Azar, Daily Star staff

Police have arrested four young men on charges of belonging to a devil worshipping cult.

The Internal Security Forces said in a statement Saturday that the young men had admitted to partaking in “shameless feasts,” in which they listened to blaring music and met girls, with whom they had sexual intercourse.

The ISF said that the four, had tattoos in the shape of a well-known satanic symbol ­ the Sigil of the Baphomet. The Sigil of Baphomet is a pentagram or an inverted, five-angled star with the image of a two-horned goat, representing Satan, in its midst.

The ISF did not release the names of those arrested, identifying them only by their first names: Sharbel A., Artin T., Sarkis T., and Rony M.

The four were reportedly caught in Bourj Hammoud and Nabaa, after detectives had monitored their activities and gathered evidence against them.

According to the statement, demonic items were allegedly found and confiscated from their houses. Pictures of Satan, a skull with a snake emerging from it, a picture of an inverted cross, as well as a prayer which calls on the forces of evil were found. The four were referred to the judiciary.

Over the past few weeks, more than 50 young men and women were arrested on suspicions of devil worshipping, but only seven were actually charged with cult-related crimes, like desecrating corpses and carrying out orgies in cemeteries, according to State Prosecutor Adnan Addoum.

In Lebanon, no devil worship-related murders have been committed to date.

Devil worship rituals in Lebanon are restricted to offering animal sacrifices, particularly chickens and cats. Cult members are said to drink the animals’ blood and make blood pacts with the devil, as well as desecrate cemeteries and have sexual orgies, sometimes with the corpses.

Once a year, a ceremony involving human sacrifice is held. It is believed that female members of the cult offer their unborn babies often the result of ritual orgies ­ as a sacrifice.

“No one was caught red-handed, but we were able to obtain confessions from those we arrested,” Addoum told The Daily Star. All those arrested until now are under 25.

Devil worshipping is thought to offer people what they are denied in a Christian or a devoutly religious culture ­ self-indulgence. That is why the rituals, and particularly the Black Mass ritual, are a parody of the holy Catholic Mass. One ritual is the Catholic Mass performed, either entirely or in parts, backward. This Mass may include inverting the cross, spitting and stepping on the cross, stabbing the Host and other obscenities. Urine, supposedly, was at various times substituted for holy water, or wine.

According to Father George Rahme, the worshippers are recruited by getting them hooked on drugs at an early age. Rahme first learned about the existence of a cult in Lebanon a decade ago and said he has helped some 800 youngsters from straying into cults.

Additional reporting by Youssef Diab

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Religion News Blog posted this on Tuesday March 25, 2003.
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