A poll conducted by the SA Vampyre Academy between August and September this year has indicated that the religious identity apparently most popular with SA VC folk is Paganism, which took a clean 50% of the response group. Within that group, 21.43% belongs to Wicca alone, also making Wicca the single largest religious presence within the SA VC.
Still holding on to second place, Christianity is the next most popular religious identity group within the SA VC, which took 22.73% of the total response group.
This poll had a slightly larger response than the previous one in 2013. The outcome of the new poll is discussed and compared to the previous results as shown below:
“SA Vampyre Community Religious Affiliation Poll, August 29 – September 19, 2017.
The goal of this survey was to determine the religious affiliation of participants in the SA Vampyre Community and how the results compare to the earlier survey from 2013.
Links to the survey were posted on a wide range of Facebook groups catering to local and international participants in the SA VC in order to encourage participation from participants.
A 2013 SA Vampyre Academy poll conducted within the SA VC, intended to determine the religious affiliation of participants in the SA VC, received 22 responses. According to the poll, the highest scoring religious affiliations in 2013 were:
- Pagan collective – 6/22 (27.27%)
- Christian collective – 5/22 (22.73%)
- Vampcentric collective – 4/22 (18.18%)
- Other (undefined) – 3/22 (13.64%)
- Eastern collective – 2/22 (9.09%)
- Satanic/LHP collective 1/22 (4.55%)
- Esoteric orders – 1/22 (4.55%) – SA Vampyre Academy
(For detail about the poll, such as which religions, denominations etc were included and in which collectives, please consult the SA Vampyre Academy article about the poll linked to above.)
The 2013 poll showed that out of the 22 respondents to the survey aimed at SA VC participants, the highest number identified with Pagan religions (6 out of 22 or 27.27%), the second highest number (5 out of 22 or 22.73%) with Christianity, while among the other smaller responses, Satanism scored only 1 response (4.55%).
In order to determine what if anything, had changed between 2013 and 2017, a follow-up poll was conducted in August 2017, which received 28 responses.
Outcome of the 2017 Poll:
The highest scoring religious affiliations in 2017 were:
- Pagan Collective 14/28 (50.00%)
- Christian Collective 8/28 (28.57%)
- Other/Something Else 4/28 (14.29%)
- Satanic/LHP Collective 2/28 (7.14%) – SA Vampyre Academy
This poll shows that out of the 28 respondants, the highest number of SA Vampyre Community participants identify with Pagan religions (14 out of 28 or exactly 50.00%), the second highest number (8 out of 28 or 28.57%) with Christianity.
Pagan religious paths still appear to be the most favored within the SA Vampyre Community, with Wicca holding the lion’s share of Pagan responses, as well as being the highest-rated individual group response overall in this poll (6 out of 28 or 21.43% just for Wicca alone). This shows a significant increase in Paganism in the SA VC – nearly double that of 2013, although this could also be an indicator of increased activity in the VC, as borne out by the higher participation figure in the second poll.
Christianity scored a higher number of responses than in the 2013 poll – 8 out of 28 (or 28.57%) in 2017, versus 5 out of 22 (or 22.73%) in 2013, and still maintains second place in the ranking.
“Other/Something Else”, representing religions not covered by any of the options given in the poll question, is also one response greater than in 2013.
Worth noting is that the Satanic/LHP collective only scored a low 2 responses (7.14%), having increased by just one response since 2013. Both respondents indicated were for Levayan or Atheistic Satanism, with no responses for Theistic Satanism.
By this low response rate for “Satanic/LHP”, the stereotype that Vampi(y)res (“most” or “all”) “are Satanists” (even in the SRA hysteria sense) is shown to be invalid – at the very least, in the South African context.
Also noted from the results is the decrease in visible religious diversity in the SA VC: for example, unlike in the previous poll, no responses for Buddhism or Hinduism or other Eastern religions were recorded in 2017. A stark absence of representation for vampcentric religions is also evident in the poll results. Similarly, responses for other religions or belief systems not part of the Christian or Pagan collectives are conspicuously absent.
What happened between 2013 and 2017?
The changes in religious affiliation may be attributed to several different factors, including:
- a continuously shifting membership – people come and go. Community numbers grow or dwindle. Many subcultures experience this due to changing personal circumstances, conditions or factors such as interest or connectivity or availability which may cause a varied response.
- The same participants may also not all have participated in both polls, which could guarantee differing results.
- Some participants who could have participated in both surveys may have changed their religious affiliation in the meantime.
Contrary to popular opinion (or opinions popular among outsiders to the VC), statistics show the predominant religion favored within the South African Vampyre subculture is Paganism, with Christianity in second place.
Poll summary reposted from the SA Vampyre Academy website.