Naga society faced with teenagers into ‘satanism’

Part I

Morung Express News
Dimapur | June 8  

Reports of young people, mostly in their teens, seeking spiritual expressions and identity through ‘satanism’ continue to haunt Christ believers in the Christian dominant state of Nagaland.  

Although there are different understandings of the ‘devil’ in different religions and cultures of the world, this particular allegation of devil worshipping in the State among a section of the teens appear to be pointed towards the biblical Satan, the fallen angel.  

Spine chilling stories of alleged ‘Satan’ followers’ performing blood-sucking rituals, self-mutilations, midnight worship in graveyards, or paranormal activities like flying or walking in the air, have permeated the Church congregation and homes.  

Since 2012, reports of ‘hundreds’ of teenagers submitting themselves at the devil’s altar have been putting the spooks on the family, community and Church. Battle lines were drawn; crusades and revivals were organized in the dozens by churches and Christian groups alike in a renewed zeal to fight against, what they perceived it to be as the rising influence of Satan in Naga society.  

As the scale of this ‘Satan’ worshipping phenomenon among teenagers continue to tilt high, worried parents ever increasingly turn their faith to the innumerable prayer centers, ‘prayer warriors’ and ‘spiritual counselors’ dotting Nagaland’s landscape to drive off the influence of the dark spirits from their kith and kin.  

Chathe Christian Prayer Centre, a renowned prayer centre located outskirt of Dimapur, have been receiving hordes of teenagers, the usual Satan worshipper suspects, escorted by terrified parents since 2012. Once inside the prayer center, ‘spiritual counselors’ there said they are usually locked-up in rooms with hands handcuffed and legs in chains, depending on the aggressiveness exhibited by those possessed by the devil.  

“The bondage is unavoidable and for their own good because they (Satan worshippers) turn violent and tend to self-mutilate themselves,” a woman ‘prayer warrior’ and counselor at the prayer centre said while defending the action. Accounts of her experience in dealing with cases of ‘Satan’ worshippers brought to the prayer centre for healing sound incredible, and of the supernatural realm. Stories of witchcraft, prophecy tellers and invisible thieves among the followers, superhuman deeds of breaking handcuffs and chains, ‘Satan’ worshippers coming to the prayer center to commune with their ‘gods’ for power, slitting wrist and drinking blood during their communion are some of the unbelievable reports the counselor had to say.  

She is also quick to point out. “It is neither a gossip nor rumors. Such things are happening around here.”  Most of the worshippers are aged between 18-22 years and studying in classes between IX to XII, the counselor revealed. The yarn in the account of ‘Satan’ worship is similar elsewhere in the State.  

In Mokokchung district, multitudes of alleged ‘Satan’ worshippers were recently taken to the Kodak prayer center, Longjang Village, for ‘healing and counseling.’ According to the Longjang village pastor, most of the worshippers, aged between 13-18 years, reportedly worshipped their entity in the graveyard. There are more than 200 followers of Satan in Mokokchung, a confession from the worshippers claimed.  

In 2013, pastor of Koinonia Baptist Church claimed there were more than 3,000 Satan worshippers in Kohima alone and the cult was spreading like “wildfire.” He stated that teenagers and youths were easily influenced by the alien culture through social websites and friends, adding several parents had approached him to rescue their children from such practices.  

The practice of ‘Satan’ worshipping or the semblance of it are recurrently reported from different parts of the State, fuelling more alarm. Recently, in Duncan Bosti, Dimapur, a shopkeeper narrated how half a dozen people- all attired in black clothing, with faces masked, walked past by his shop in the late evening.  

According to the shopkeeper who was in the process of closing his shop, the apparent leader of the pack who was leading the strange march sported a black knape, long black coat and holding a large lighted candle.