UPDATE: The statue was revealed in what appears to be unusual circumstances. Click here for the story and VIDEO.
DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - A group is planning to unveil an 8-foot-tall bronze statue featuring a goat-headed Satan in Detroit during a gathering that's being billed as the "largest public satanic ceremony in history."
The Satanic Temple has said Saturday's private event will be open only to people with tickets, $25 each. Invitations to "The Unveiling" summoned guests to prepare for "a night of chaos, noise, and debauchery... Come dance with the Devil and experience history in the making." The event location is not being announced publicly and is known only to those with tickets.
The group said the bronze Baphomet monument, which weighs about one ton and has never been seen before in public, "is not only an unparalleled artistic triumph, but stands as a testament to plurality and the power of collective action." The statue, which backed by an inverted pentagram and flanked by statues of two young children gazing up at the creature, shows Satan with horns, hooves, wings and a beard.
The group went on to say the unveiling event "will serve as a call-to-arms from which we'll kick off our largest fight to date in the name of individual rights to free exercise against self-serving theocrats."
Photography is strictly prohibited at the 18-and-older event unless, of course, you're a $75 VIP ticket holder. Those partygoers will have an exclusive opportunity to be photographed seated on the Baphomet monument.
The event originally was to take place at a Detroit restaurant, but the venue's owner said he canceled it after learning of the statue's unveiling and of the Satanic Temple's involvement. The group said they were very transparent, though, signing the contract as the "Satanic Temple."
Many wonder how Christians will respond to the ceremony. Minister Todd Sanders, of Strictly Biblical Bible Teaching Ministries in Detroit, says this is a great opportunity for the church.
"The church can benefit from this because we can view this as an opportunity to get at the truth in terms of what the Satanic Temple believes," Sanders said. "I don't think it's anything we should be afraid of at all, we don't need to cower in fear -- we have the truth on our side as Christians."
Sanders said that this satanic unveiling is indicative of the end times spoken of in the Bible.
The statue had been planned for the state Capitol in Oklahoma City until Oklahoma's Supreme Court banned a monument of the Ten Commandments on Capitol grounds.
Detroit was ultimately selected for the unveiling because The Satanic Temple in the city has a "strong congregation," with more than 200 registered members.
The Satanic Temple says it advocates for the separation of church and state. It now wants to erect it outside Arkansas' Statehouse where a Ten Commandments monument also is planned.
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