The Satanic Temple opens 'After School Satan Clubs' for children young as five

The Satanic Temple are a secular organisation with no belief in the supernaturalFacebook/Satanic Temple

The Satanic Temple has caused stirs after the group announced it would open 'After School Satan Clubs' for children as young as five.

The organisation has billed the extra-curricular option as a challenge to evangelical Christian after-school programming which they say has infiltrated America's elementary schools.

"It's critical that children understand that there are multiple perspectives on all issues, and that they have a choice in how they think," said Doug Mesner, the Satanic Temple's co-founder, according to The Washington Post.

But the group insist their plan has nothing to do with devil worship.

The Satanic Temple are a secular organisation and do not believe in any supernatural being. Mesner, who goes by the professional name of Lucien Greaves, says "Satan" is just a "metaphorical construct" intended to represent the rejection of all forms of tyranny over the human mind. He believes that scientific reason is the best way of viewing the world and the after-school club would focus on developing critical thinking and social skills.

"We think it's important for kids to be able to see multiple points of view, to reason things through, to have empathy and feelings of benevolence for their fellow human beings," said the Satanic Temple's Utah chapter head, who goes by the name Chalice Blythe.

But The Satanic Temple are not shy about who their real target is. The secular after-school clubs are being targeted at elementary schools where there are currently Christian programmes known as the Good News Club.

"While the Good News Clubs focus on indoctrination, instilling children with a fear of hell and God's wrath, After School Satan Clubs will focus on free inquiry and rationalism," Greaves said. "We prefer to give children an appreciation of the natural wonders surrounding them, not a fear of an everlasting other-worldly horror."

Franklin Graham, the outspoken evangelist, wasted no time in offering his response to the announcement. He said America was "already seeing the devastating effects of secularism everywhere" and called on followers to pray for Greaves' "eyes to be opened to the truth of the Gospel and his own personal need of a Savior".