THUNDER BAY — A group of Thunder Bay residents claiming to represent the city's Satanist community is telling city council it supports a local man's complaint about the nativity scene erected in Connaught Square.
The issue first came before city council two weeks ago.
The Knights of Columbus have set up the nativity display in the city park opposite St. Andrew's Roman Catholic Church for the past 65 years.
In a letter to council, four individuals say "the members of the Satanist community of Thunder Bay, as residents, taxpayers and voting citizens, would like to take this opportunity to express our solidarity with the (likely unpopular) message brought forward by Mr. Germaniuk and assure that he is not alone in the desire to see public spaces kept religiously neutral and unbiased toward any one belief system."
In the letter, the writers remind council that Thunder Bay's demographics consist of more than just Christians, "and giving favours to one specific religious organization or creed...is not a practice befitting a public institution which is meant to represent constituents of dozens of different faiths."
They say that now is as good a time as any to review whether allowing St. Andrew's Church the use of a public park is a practice the city wishes to continue.
"We will be carefully monitoring this and ask that an amicable adherence to religious neutrality be upheld," the letter concludes.
It is signed by Chris Chenette, Sarah DiBiagio, Kevin Cernjul and Ashley Stechyshyn.