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You're smarter for 10; As the Church of England announces it is getting rid of the Devil from christening services, we bring you some hellish facts about Lucifer.

What the devil is the church thinking of? In a bid to make baptisims more inclusive, priests will no longer ask parents and godparents to reject Satan.

So how many of us actually believe in Beelzebub? One in five of us, according to a recent poll, believe in the Prince of Darkness.

Where does the term "devil" come from? It originated from the Middle English devel, which in turn derives from the Ancient Greek diabolos meaning "slanderer".

The devil is considered a supernatural entity, the enemy of God and mankind and the personification of evil.

How do different religions view Old Nick? In Christianity, the Devil is known as Satan (which comes from the Hebrew ha-Satan, meaning "the opposer") or Lucifer. He was an angel who rebelled, along with a third of the angelic host who became demons. Thrown out of heaven, they were condemned to the Lake of Fire.

What does the Koran say? In Islam, the devil is referred to as Iblis or Shayatan. According to the Koran, God created Iblis from "smokeless fire" but was expelled from God''s grace for not paying homage to Adam, the father of mankind, as he believed man was made of earth and therefore inferior.

It must be a devil of a part to play on screen. Tim Curry certainly looked the part in Ridley Scott's 1985 movie Legend, while Al Pacino was a suited and booted evil one in the Devil's Advocate in 1997. Liz Hurley brought glamour to the role with her sexy Satan in 2000 remake of the movie Bedazzled.

Does every religion have a baddie? There is no devil in Judaism or Hinduism. Some religions have a trickster or tempter. For instance, Buddhists believe in Mara, who tempted Buddha with visions of beautiful women - others believe the devil is merely a concept, symbolising man''s own sinfulness.

Can he really make our life hell? In 1971 Gerald Mayo filed a civil rights action in the US District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania claiming: "Satan has on numerous occasions caused the plaintiff misery and unwarranted threats, against the will of plaintiff, that Satan has placed deliberate obstacles in his path and has caused plaintiff's downfall".

The case was lost on procedural grounds.

Don't we know him as a horned figure with a tail? Traditionally he is portrayed as a horned monster with a pointed tail, cloven hooves, and carrying a trident or pitchfork. This vision was first dreamed up by medieval Christian artists who drew on pagan imagery, such as the Celtic "horned god of the underworld" Cernunnos, and half-man, half-goat god Pan.

What other names are there for Satan? Over the centuries the Devil has had many names, including the Deuce, the Great Deceiver, Mephistopheles, the Father of Lies, the Prince of Darkness, Old Mr Grim, Old Scratch, Old Splitfoot, the Black Spy, the Gentleman in Black, El Diablo and Bogey.

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Liz Hurley made for a seductive Satan in the 2000 remake of Bedazzled

Al Pacino in the Devil's Advocate
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jan 11, 2014
Words:505
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