Satanists have condemned an attack on an 18th century Daventry church saying vandals who scrawled anti-Christian symbols across the building were "idiots".
Mark Bickley, a spokesman for the Church of Satan, told the Chronicle & Echo that it denounced criminal acts and the organisation only spread its message within the rules of the law.
He added: "These idiots who cause our name to be dragged into these moronic endeavours have little understanding of Satanism as a religion.
"Aside from the religious aspect, we really have better things to do than spray paint the property of others."
The Church of the Holy Cross in Church Walk was vandalised in two consecutive attacks late last month.
Symbols associated with satanic cults were splashed on the church door and the word "Satan" was painted on the stone steps.
Mr Bickley said people often misrepresented Satanists by spraying anti-religious symbols on buildings, which they had picked out of books.
He added: "This kind of vandalism goes back to ancient Egypt. People daubed things of Egyptian buildings.
"It is a way of making your mark and announcing to the world that you are there.
"The law is not strict enough and the reason for that is that it is based on Judeo-Christian values.
"The people who did that to the Daventry church should be sent every Saturday to clean up graffiti and repair vandalism, so they understand the consequences of what they have done."
He went on to explain that the Church of Satan was simply a group of like-minded people who shared a philosophy and they did not carry out violent rituals or animal sacrifices.
He added: "Satan is a metaphor that represents human nature.
"We oppose Christianity as a philosophy and we believe in the separation of the church and the state."
The Church of Satan was founded in 1966 and has thousands of members across the world including American rock star Marilyn Manson and the late Sammy Davis Junior of 1950s Rat Pack fame.
Founder Anton Szandor LaVey, who was born in Chicago, said the philosophy of the organisation was to follow human urges such as lust, revenge and the drive for material possessions, instead of suppressing them.