Satanic Capital of Britain? Feb 15, 2015 19:44:06 GMT -5
Post by Joanna on Feb 15, 2015 19:44:06 GMT -5
Satanic Capital of Britain?
BOLSOVER, Derbyshire, U.K. – With a long-serving MP nicknamed the Beast of Bolsover, it should perhaps come as little surprise. But if the latest census survey is to be believed, the former mining town (pictured above) in Derbyshire is a hotbed of Satanism.
The district has the highest concentration of Satanists in England and Wales, according to the countrywide survey, with 17 people out of a population of 75,866 residents claiming Satanism as their religion at the 2011 survey. The figure gives Bolsover – represented by left-wing firebrand Labour MP Dennis Skinner, whose nickname comes from his outspoken and belligerent manner – a higher proportion of Satanists than Bristol, which topped the census table with 34 Satanists out of a population of 428,234. This means the number of Satanists in Bolsover works out as 0.02 per cent of the population, compared to 0.008 per cent of the population in Bristol.
Bolsover District Council urged caution when interpreting the census results for its district, which is on the edge of the Peak District and home to Bolsover Castle. Ken Walker, chairman of the council, said he had not heard of Satanic activity in the area, adding: “There’s the usual traditional harvest festivals or flower festival, but that’s more or less a fundraising job for the churches. I think it’s a load of rubbish.” Bolsover district includes a number of outlying villages as well as the towns of Bolsover and Shirebrook.
The Church of Satan also heaped scorn on the figures, suggesting many people may have lied on their census forms because “they think it is funny.” The organization was founded in the US in 1966 as the first “above ground organization” dedicated to what it describes as man’s true nature of “carnal beast.”
Priestess Serena Malone, administrator for the Church of Satan, said: “We tend to think someone is playing a prank here. While we have many members throughout the UK, that area does not have any exceptional concentration of our adherents.”
The Church of Satan said it does not provide statistics on where its members are based, because “many bigoted people still see us as some form of threat.”
In the 1990s, US shock-rocker Marilyn Manson became a card-carrying member of the church, while flamboyant pianist Liberace was said to be one of the church’s earliest devotees. It describes Satanists as “self-centered” atheists who do not worship the devil but consider all morals and values as “subjective human constructions.” The Church says it does not believe in Satan as a being or person. However, Satanism is a broad term and many other people may identify themselves as Satanists.
Derbyshire Constabulary said it was not aware of any incidents reported in Bolsover – or anywhere else – which could be connected to Satanism.
A total of 1,893 people wrote Satanism as their religion in the 2011 census. County Durham, with 31 Satanists out of a population of 513,242, was second in the census Satanist survey. The religious question in the census was first introduced in 2001 as a voluntary option. Most people answered it even though they did not have to do so. In some other countries such as France, state questions about race, ethnicity or religion are not permitted.
According to the 2011 census, England and Wales boasts 180,000 Jedi Knights – down from 390,000 people who described themselves as Jedi ten years earlier – and 60,000 Pagans.
Bolsover, which was mentioned in the Domesday Book, is less well known as the birthplace of the “forgotten geographer” Peter Fidler, the first person to map parts of Canada and the first to find coal there. Although its castle sits on a hill which was once home to a Norman castle, Bolsover Castle is actually a 17th Century mansion.
Source: Andy Dolan, The Daily Mail, February 3, 2015.