Religion News Service
NAGALAND, INDIA, July 2013 (RNS): Christian groups in India's northeastern state of Nagaland are working to quell the rapid growth of Satanism after reports that thousands of teenagers from churches had taken up devil worship in recent months. The Vatican's Fides news agency recently reported that more than 3,000 young "worshipers of Satan" have been identified in Nagaland's capital of Kohima alone.
The actual strength of Satan worshippers is difficult to determine, but such groups also exist in Nagaland's largest city of Dimapur, and they are using social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to expand their network, said the Rev. Wati Longkumer, director of the Nagaland Missionary Movement, a group of mostly Baptist associations and churches.
Longkumer said he has seen membership forms for a group calling itself the Black Bulls and inviting youngsters to become part of devil worship. Longkumer's organization, part of the Nagaland Baptist Church Council, which consists of more than 1,300 churches, has assigned its youth department to conduct a detailed report. More than 90 percent of Nagaland's 2 million residents are Christians, and about three-fourths of those identify as Baptist.
The Rev. Ben Dang Toshi Longkumer, a Nagaland-based representative of the Evangelical Fellowship of India (no relation to Wati Longkumer), said "Satan worship has considerably changed the demeanor and the worldview of the youth, though no criminal activity by them has been reported thus far."
The Rev. Zotuo Kiewhuo, senior pastor of Koinonia Baptist Church in Kohima, said the cult is spreading like "wildfire" due to an identity crisis among the youth of the state plagued with corruption, insurgencies and intertribal conflicts.