Speaking at a conference on Satanism in Limassol yesterday, Theodorou said the Council of Europe and European Parliament had both called on their members to confront the problems connected with sects and new religious movements on a political, social and economic level.
“The phenomenon of destructive cults has many facets, which is why different experiences, approaches and analysis enrich our knowledge and allow us to study the problem deeper,” he told concerned parents at the conference.
The minister said the problem’s international dimension and dangerous course was an issue for all states, requiring international cooperation. As a result, Cyprus will be taking an active part in international seminars and conferences on the matter to equip the authorities with knowledge on international developments, he said.
Modern society is “assaulted by a series of serious problems that extend to an international level and try to effect citizens, especially the young, offending human dignity, the family and undermining our society and culture generally,” said Theodorou, adding, “both neo-Satanism and Occultism are groups that belong to the so-called ‘New Age’ and move within society using various masks”.
“These masks are presented as contemporary, scientific, as socially and culturally beneficial and cover all sectors of life, touching every age,” he said. The minister noted that European states were aware of the dangers but had yet to find ways to deal with the problem successfully because these groups were very well organised and used various means to evade control from the state.
He said the best tool against these dangers was prevention through providing correct information and sensitising people to the actions and dangers surrounding these groups.
The conference comes a day after the Church held a press conference to highlight its concern over what it claims is an increase in satanic worship on the island. Father Christoforos Tsiakkas revealed that a satanic temple had already been founded in Limassol for a Satanic group who’s ringleaders attracted troubled teenagers through sites on the Internet as well as books.