Church of Satan members belong to an atheistic church that claims inspiration from the Biblical devil. The church teaches a moral code that is deliberately anti-Christian. The Church of Satan is relatively young; it was founded in 1966.
Despite its name, members of the Church of Satan do not actually worship Satan. In many ways, the church is a response to Christianity, which is the dominant religion in the United States. Most of the church's rituals and actives are not done out of religious devotion; they are done for fun and to build bonds between members.
While the church does not enforce its moral code as strongly as dogmatic religious organizations, it teaches the Nine Satanic Statements, many of which are the opposite of what Christian doctrine teaches. Members are encouraged to take vengeance instead of following the Christian Bible's instruction to "turn the other cheek." Indulgence is encouraged, and the church places a strong emphasis on seeking wisdom and applying skepticism instead of embracing faith.
In the 1980s, media reports of Satanic cults were popular, and many people believed that these violent cults were becoming more popular. In reality, the Church of Satan and other similar groups are primarily comprised of non-violent people with no adherence to any specific standard religion.