Christians Fill State Capitol with Prayer After Satanists Hijack Christmas Decorating


If you’re paying attention, you know current conflicts represent a spiritual battle.

We’re fighting over biblical issues like homosexuality and killing unborn children, not to mention basic aspects of humanity like what determines who is a man and who is a woman.

One facet of that spiritual battle recently showed up in Des Moines, Iowa.

There in the land of black soil, expanses of corn, Midwestern values, and the memory of a young Ronald Reagan sportscasting on local radio, the Satanic Temple of Iowa has erected a holiday display in the state Capitol building.

Representatives of the “temple” refused to speak to reporters, according to WHO-TV, instead referring them to their website, which advocates for, among other things, “abortion as a religious rite.”

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While state officials said the satanists followed proper procedures for putting up the material, a small sign on the satanic decor states, “This display is not owned, maintained, promoted, supported by or associated with the State of Iowa.”

The state may want to distance itself from the Satanic Temple, but a group of Christians refused to look away.

A prayer group that has met weekly at the Capitol for 30 years addressed the display on Tuesday.

“[There are] about 40 of us in that room, and not only do we love all people, including those who put this satanic display up at Christmastime, but … Jesus loves them as well,” member Kathy Barnette said.

Pastor Joel Tenney of Alpha Pneuma Ministries prayed directly in front of the display: “Lord, restore our state. Restore our nation to godly principles and values. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Is there a spiritual battle happening in America?

Having come from Tiffin, Iowa, to view it, Tenney said, “A display like this is a travesty to see in our Capitol. I don’t know why it’s allowed to be here. … I’m going to work to hold whoever put this up accountable, and whoever allowed this to be put up accountable as well.”

Prayer group leader Paul Dykstra, a retired farmer and pastor, said, “God uses all evil to good. He’ll turn it to good, and so if people become aware that these things are out there, they become more alert to watch for it.”

Indeed. The conflicts we face — on so many levels — are spiritual.

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And the Iowa Capitol prayer group knows that well.

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Mike Landry, PhD, is a retired business professor. He has been a journalist, broadcaster and church pastor. He writes from Northwest Arkansas on current events and business history.
Mike Landry, PhD, is a retired business professor. He has been a journalist, broadcaster and church pastor. He writes from Northwest Arkansas on current events and business history.