U.S. - The nation's actual Satan worshipers expressed their gratitude Wednesday that the Harry Potter franchise has taken all the heat off of them over the past several years, so they can focus on worshiping the Prince of Darkness without all the negative media attention.
"We're extremely grateful to JK Rowling and her Wizarding World for taking all the accusations of Satan worship and witchcraft in our stead over the last couple decades," one man dressed in a cultic robe said as he prepared a ceremony designed to honor Satan. "It was always a PR nightmare, in the years before Harry Potter came along. We'd be trying to summon demons to do our bidding and devour souls all across the country, and we'd have to deal with the press at the same time."
"Rowling was a life-saver," he added before returning to his eldritch incantations.
Members of thousands of covens and ancient demon-worship sects said they were worried that they'd start to draw the ire of Christian groups once again after Dungeons & Dragons faded away from the limelight.
"But just then, like a miracle from on low, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was released, and we were scot-free for at least the next 20 or 30 years," a prophet of Baal in the remote backwoods of Idaho told reporters as he herded his flock of goats back into the barn for the evening sacrifice.
"We can only hope that we'll be able to use Harry Potter as a cover for our actual Satan worship for the foreseeable future," he added.