Tens of thousands of Christians have signed an online petition directed at Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett to stop a ceremony in which satanists plan to pour blood over a Virgin Mary statue on Christmas Eve.
Satanist Adam Daniels has received a permit allowing him to pour costume blood over a Virgin Mary statue outside of St. Joseph Old Cathedral on Christmas Eve as a sign of protest against the Roman Catholic Church.
"The purpose of the blood is to add another layer of corruption to Mary, which is an emblem of the Catholic Church," Daniels asserted.
What is more, the satanist also said he is planning to cover the statue "in sulfur powder and ash."
Several petitions have started up against the planned event, however, with one by the TFP Student Action, which is a project of American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property, attracting over 12,000 signatures as of Tuesday morning.
Addressed to Cornett, the petition reads: "I respectfully urge you to revoke the permit issued for this public sacrilege which will only incite hatred against God and His Church, injure the name of Mary, disturb the peace and harm the community. Stop this religious persecution."
Catholic groups, such as America Needs Fatima, have said that they will also hold a rally in front of Oklahoma City's City Hall on Wednesday, looking to have their voices heard in protest against the planned satanic ceremony.
America Needs Fatima's own petition has garnered over 10,000 signatures, and tells Oklahoma City's mayor: "I am outraged by this attack on our Catholic Faith and vehemently protest it. I respectfully urge you to rescind the display permit recently granted to the Satanist Adam Daniels."
The letter adds: "This is pure provocation; seemingly government 'permitted' religious persecution against Catholics."
The Catholic groups insist that the planed event amounts to religious persecution that has received City Hall's "stamp of approval," and have called it an attack on every Catholic in America. Satanists from different groups around the country are holding various events this Christmastime, claiming that they are seeking to participate alongside other religions in the holidays, and arguing for the separation of church and state.
The Satanic Temple revealed that it is planning to unveil its 9-foot bronze statue of the devil in Detroit in a separate event, which is supposed to "complement and contrast the Ten Commandments monument that already resides on Oklahoma State Capitol grounds."
"The statue will serve as a beacon calling for compassion and empathy among all living creatures," the satanists say about the statue.
Other Catholic voices, such as Bill Donohue of the Catholic League, have said that there is a "surge in Satanic attacks" in America, responding to the planned ceremonies.
"In a world where Christians are routinely being murdered and raped in the name of God, even non-believers must be curious about the rise of Satanism," Donohue wrote.