The Church of Satan has responded to the sexual misconduct allegations against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore by telling its followers that "Christians love pedophilia."
Moore, who served as chief justice of Alabama's supreme court, is facing pressure to drop out of the race, following allegations that he had sexually pursued five women when they were all teenagers.
In response to the allegations, Moore's wife, Kayla, shared a letter on Facebook over the weekend to indicate support from more than 50 Alabama pastors.
In the letter, the pastors described Moore as an "immovable rock in the culture wars," and stated that the candidate has met attacks with a "rare unconquerable resolve."
AL.com noted that the social media post appeared to be a recycled version of the letter that was released before the GOP primary, and several pastors have claimed that they were never asked to sign the original letter.
The accusations against Moore has prompted the Church of Satan to release a statement on Twitter, saying: "Child abuse is directly forbidden in the 11 Satanic Rules of the Earth. Christians however have been abusing children for centuries. They own this." In another tweet, the organization wrote: "Christians love pedophilia."
In an interview with Newsweek, Reverend Raul Antony of The Church of Satan criticized the Christians who are supporting Moore and accused them of using the Bible to excuse the candidate's behavior.
"Many of the people coming to the defense of Moore [will] decry the horrors of moral relativism but then equivocate when one of their own is cruising shopping malls for underage prey. Many of the comments we see from Christians even take the allegations as a given and excuse his behavior through the teachings of the Bible," he said.
Earlier this month, Alabama State Auditor Jim Ziegler invoked the Biblical Mary and Joseph to suggest that Moore had done nothing wrong even if the accusations against him were proven to true.
He noted that Mary was still a teenager when she had married the much older Joseph, although the Bible does not state the couple's specific ages.
Several evangelical leaders have blasted Ziegler's defense of Moore, including Pastor Ed Stetzer, who said that it was "blasphemous" to compare Mary and Joseph's situation to the scandal.
Moore, a Southern Baptist, had denied the accusations, claiming it was just a "desperate political attack" by the Democrats. Despite his denials, members of his own party have joined the calls for him to drop out of the race.