Riaan Swiegelaar, co-founder of the South African Satanic Church, believed his recent transition to Christianity wouldn't garner much attention. In fact, he figured that he would "quietly slip out the back door" and that people wouldn't be interested in what he was doing.
Little did Swiegelaar know that his Facebook video would go viral and news outlets would tell the story of his miraculous transformation from the darkness to the light, from worshipping Satan to worshipping Jesus.
Swiegelaar says that until a couple of months ago, he had never in his life been shown unconditional love. It was then that he did an interview on the CapeTalk radio station—to promote the South African Satanic Church—and let the interviewer know in no uncertain terms that he did not believe in the existence of Jesus Christ.
After the interview, Swiegelaar says the interviewer, whom he simply calls Amy, came up to him and gave him a big hug.
A week later, he discovered on WhatsApp that the interviewer is a Christian.
"After that interview, she held me in a way that I've never been loved. That's all she did; she didn't say anything," Swiegelaar said. "I've never had anyone, let alone a Christian, do that. I've never had that kind of experience. I never knew a Christian could show that much love and could accept me unconditionally."
What happened next, Swiegelaar says, was astounding.
"I had a meeting with council members after I had done all these interviews, and we affirmed that satanism is growing," he says. "I had to do a ritual by myself to see what was the next step. How do I get more power and influence?
"I opened myself up, and Jesus appeared. I was extremely cocky and I said, 'Whatever.' I said, 'If You are Jesus, prove it.' He flooded me with the most beautiful love and energy, and I recognized it immediately because of what the lady at the radio station did for me. I recognized the love of Christ immediately."
Besides the interviewer, Swiegelaar says he's only known three other Christians that have shown him the love of Christ in his life. He says Adele and Donnie Frey, now his friends in Christ, also showed him love when he was an "ugly monster."
Adele Frey wrote to him, "I just did a simple thing, and that's to show you love." That "thing," Frey says, wasn't so simple.
Swiegelaar responded to Adele, "That's not just a simple thing. You have shown me everything; the love of Christ. I've seen it in you."
Since that time, Swiegelaar says he's had more than 100 people respond to him on WhatsApp and more than 200 on Facebook with messages of encouragement and love. He knows that most likely he will get negative feedback for his life transformation.
As a baby Christian, Swiegelaar says he isn't sure what's next for him, but he knows he will continue to learn more about Jesus and grow in His love. Click here to watch the entire 30-minute Facebook video Swiegelaar posted recently.
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Shawn A. Akers is the online editor for Charisma Media.
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