The refugees, George Rene Lungange and Ngendo Brangsto from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Busy Mana Thenetse from Rwanda are being held at the Mutare Remand Prison while their deportation papers are being processed.
Police said the refugees will not be charged for breaking any laws in the country but will simply be deported.
“The best we can do is to separate them from others and we have achieved that,” said Superintendent Reuben Zimondi. “We are facilitating their deportation by following proper procedures.”
The trio was staying as refugees at Tongogara Refugee Camp in Chipinge but they offended authorities after they applied for permission to open a church that promotes Satanism as a religion.
Zimbabwe is predominantly a Christian oriented country. Islam and other religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism are tolerated.
But Satanism is largely unacceptable in communities in Zimbabwe.
The refugees argued that Satanism was a popular religion back in their countries of origin hence they saw nothing wrong in promoting it as a religion in Zimbabwe. But authorities could not take any of that and arrested them.
Lungange, who appeared outspoken, said they applied for the licence to open the church at the refugee camp but they were surprised when law enforcement agents and social welfare officials came to the camp to question them about their intentions.
“You people in Zimbabwe believe that Satan is evil, yet he is just an ordinary person like you and me,” Lungange said from the remand prison in Mutare. “Why do you persecute people who follow him?”
He added: “Satan is a spirit and so is God but the fact is Satanism is more powerful than Jesus since it is a mere spirit like God.”
The Congolese, who claim to be a leader of a political party in the eastern DRC’s North Kivu, claimed the Satan offered more riches than God.
Cases of cannibalism are common in eastern DRC stoking speculation that the Satanist religion is rife in that troubled country.