DETROIT (WWJ) - Detroit church leaders are rallying against a Satanic statue that is slated to come to the city.
The Satanic Temple is expected to unveil the statue at the popular Eastern Market later this month.
Calling it a "satire and a mockery," Rev. David Bullock, Pastor of Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church, says this is not an issue of freedom of religion.
"This is not even a real religion in my estimation," Bullock told WWJ's Vickie Thomas. "They're bringing a Baphomet statue to the city of Detroit valorizing, elevating Satan."
"The last thing we need — in a city where we're fighting against violence and fighting against economic problems and unemployment and the water crisis — is a statue dedicated to Satan right downtown," he said.
Bullock, who serves as a spokesman for the group Change Agent Consortium, was joined by Bishop Corletta Vaughn, Sr. Pastor of Holy Ghost Cathedral, and other pastors for a news conference Monday.
"I have never thought that Satan and his people would have the audacity to come into our city and raise a shrine to something that we, as the citizens of Detroit, believe is the anti to our Jesus and to our Christ," Vaughn said. "We will not allow it."
The Satanic Temple made headlines in Michigan back in December, when the organization fought for and gained permission to set up their "Snaketivity Scene" — featuring a snake is wrapped around a Satanic cross — nearby a Nativity display on the Capitol grounds in Lansing.
At that time, a spokeswoman for The Satanic Temple said her group doesn't worship Satan but "promotes individuality, compassion and views that differ from Christian and conservative beliefs."
The Satanic Temple hopes to present the statue at Bert's Warehouse on July 25, and church leaders asking Bert's to cancel the event.
"We're calling on Bert to do what they did in Boston when the proprietor said, look, you guys can't do this at my business," said Bullock.
Bullock invites Detroiters who don't want to see Satanic symbols in the city to join his group for a "counter protest prayer rally" planned in Eastern Market the day of the unveiling.
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