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[[quoteright:280:[[ComicBook/{{Preacher}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/preacher_sm_591.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:280:Not exactly all that saintly...]]

->''"By killing her I took her physical life, [[SoulsavingCrusader but]] ''[[SoulsavingCrusader saved]]'' [[SoulsavingCrusader her life eternal]]. You see how all things serve the will and the mind of God? You see, you'' '''''[[YouMeddlingKids meddling little]] [[SophisticatedAsHell shit?!]]'''''"
-->-- '''Reverend Lowe''', ''Film/SilverBullet'' (1985)

Men of the cloth serve a plethora of roles in all branches of media, both modern and ancient. They may be wise counselors, corrupt bureaucrats or confused and bumbling but generally well-intentioned old duffers. But every once in a while, a preacher crops up who is intimidating, charismatic and completely devoid of morality. These archetypal villains typically serve as the BigBad in their respective worlds, controlling vast hordes of starry-eyed True Believers or manipulating the inner workings of their Church. He is often a WhiteAngloSaxonProtestant clergyman, but there's nothing saying he can't not be a white Anglo-Saxon and there's definitely nothing saying he can't be a Catholic (''especially'' if the setting is in the Middle Ages), and is clean-cut and perpetually smiling while delivering sermons that alternate between gentle reminders of the importance of virtue and scalding fire-and-brimstone rants commanding their followers to rise and smite heathens in the name of the Lord, amen.

The Sinister Minister is a one-man CorruptChurch (and it's usually a man in this role, though female examples are not unheard of) in that all power typically ends up resting firmly in his hands and his hands alone as opposed to being shared out within an organization. He seldom employs {{Sidekick}}s or advisors, preferring to rely instead on his own usually very devious brain for scheming while entrusting the main grunt work to the hordes of unwashed and sanctimonious {{Mooks}} who make up the bulk of his followers.

Usually [[DumbIsGood well]]-[[EvilGenius educated]] and [[WickedCultured cultured]], the Sinister Minister is nonetheless unspeakably evil and regularly engages in acts of sexual depravity (or perhaps not; many a Sinister Minister is [[StraightEdgeEvil Straight Edge]]) and, if not outright violence, threats and intimidation. The Sinister Minister usually keeps his own hands relatively clean until late in the game when his power base is secure and he can act with impunity.

The motivations of the Sinister Minister may be as simple as lust for power, though some are examples of the ChurchMilitant and KnightTemplar. A common motivation for the more religious among this trope's subjects is the MissionFromGod, which is often either a personal delusion on the part of the Minister or in reality a mission from a Satanic or otherwise Evil divine power. In the case of those simply out for their own gain, the Minister may be skeptical as to God's existence/power or harbor outright atheistic views.

Unmasking the Sinister Minister is a waste of time, as his followers will believe any lies and fabrications the Minister employs as a cover against the brave heroes attempting to reveal him for the monster he really is. This particular school of villainy usually meets its end violently, not through rhetoric.

The CorruptChurch tends to be rife with the likes of him, but the SaintlyChurch may also prove to have a few black sheep.

Not to be confused with high level government officials in [[UsefulNotes/BritishPoliticalSystem Westminster-style]] governments -- if they're a villain, they'd fall under EvilChancellor.

If the villain is merely ''pretending'' to be a priest or nun, then that's BadHabits. If at least one of the things that makes the minister "sinister" is that fact that he molests children, then you're dealing with a PedophilePriest. For a priest that is simply a lecher, see DirtyOldMonk.

In terms of rank, the AuthorityTropes arguably equal are CorruptCorporateExecutive, IrishPriest, {{Landlord}}, PreacherMan, PedophilePriest, {{Schoolteachers}}, SexyPriest and TheVicar. For the next step down, see StudentCouncilPresident. For the next step up, see DeanBitterman.

Also a song by Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. Contrast GoodShepherd, BadassPreacher.

----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime & Manga]]

* Father Cornello from ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist''.
* Father Enrico Pucci from ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'' is a corrupt priest who works at a prison and uses his status and special ability to gain many of the guards and prisoners as followers. It is revealed later that he set up the protagonist, Jolyne, to get framed at the beginning of Part 6. His ultimate goal was to achieve the power of "Heaven" and create the vampire Dio's perfect universe "[[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans for the good of mankind]]".
* Bishop and High Inquisitor Mozgus of ''{{Berserk}}'' is very much one of these.
* Father Enrico Maxwell from ''{{Hellsing}}'' definitely qualifies, being both self-serving hypocrite and a ruthless KnightTemplar. He thankfully never gets contact with regular churchgoers, though.
** [[spoiler:Alexander Anderson, a Knight Templar UpToEleven, puts him down. That has to say something.]]
** An earlier example in the series is the unnamed vampire priest terrorising the village of Cheddar. No other character looks (or sounds) more overtly villainous in the entire series.
* The Cardinal [[spoiler:Rolo vi Britannia]] in ''Anime/CodeGeass: NightmareOfNunnally'' has shades of this. While the Geass Directorate/Cult was not explicitly religious in the original series, it was much more so in the manga, with Emperor Charles declaring a religious state at the climax. The Cardinal serves as the mouthpiece for the religion throughout, and plans to kill Nunnally, Charles, and Lelouch to become the Demon King.
* Anime/WitchHunterRobin first subverts and then defies. First the Inquistioner is more of a official than a minister and less 'sinister' than 'playing bad cop' to find poetential new hunters. Second is Father Juliano, Robin's foster father [[spoiler: and grandfather]] tried to be this trope, but raising Robin mellowed him out. She's actually harder on herself than he is on her. Instead of condemning her, he blesses her.
* [[PsychoForHire Ali Al-Saachez]] of ''{{Gundam 00}}'' adopts the identity of a Muslim imam in order to trick children into joining his army. Ali himself is an atheist and a mercenary who's doing it [[PsychoForHire for the money]]. [[ForTheEvulz And for fun]].
* Lucas Langeais of ''Manga/BokuraNoKiseki''. He's the only priest besides the Bishop whose {{Reincarnation}} in the main plotline has yet to be revealed, and yet he's already been set up as a villain. Teshimano has [[PastLifeMemories memories of]] Lucas [[spoiler: attacking Veronica]] during the Moswickian invasion, and Lucas's reincarnation is [[spoiler: the prime suspect for the attack on Kamioka]]. Not to mention, when he first appears in a flashback, [[UncannyValley there is something just not right about him]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* Bishop Antony Lilliman in ''ComicBook/VForVendetta'' was a child molester, as well as a cheerleader for the fascist regime.
* All Father D'Aronique, and sundry other clergy of the Grail conspiracy from ''{{Preacher}}''. Apparently entirely sincere in his beliefs. Most of the Grail personnel who appear are {{Knight Templar}}s though.
** While Jesse Custer is used as the page image, he is not, in fact, this trope, and is more of a BadassPreacher.
* Deacon Blackfire from the Franchise/{{Batman}} series ''[[BatmanTheCult The Cult]]''.
* Cardinal Patrick Henry Roark from ''SinCity'', the most nefarious member of the city's CorruptChurch and just one member of the series resident powerful BigScrewedUpFamily.
* The Reverend William Stryker, an ''Comicbook/{{X-Men}}'' villain. He and his CorruptChurch believe that mutants are demons from Hell, and has an army of mercenaries to carry out his will. He first appeared in the graphic novel ''GodLovesManKills'', and became a recurring villain after the success of the movies, as ''X2'' was loosely based on said graphic novel.
** Another example is Reverend Craig, a church leader in a small Scottish hamlet who is introduced leading a mob with TorchesAndPitchforks after Rahne Sinclair (A mutant) to "burn the Devil out of her" (read: murder her) to fulfill God's will. In a later story, he's pulling the same shit on another mutant girl, prompting a now adult Rahne to confront him. She denounces him as a hypocrite and bully who cares nothing for the outside world because he can rule here with impunity. She then speculates that when he decided to "save" her mother, a woman accused of loose morals and possibly prostitution, that he may have in fact sired Rahne.
** Some people like to claim that if there's a priest in X-Men who is not Nightcrawler, chances are he's going to be evil. But that is perhaps more a consequence of Chuck Austen's anti-Catholic Nightcrawler storyline on ''Uncanny X-Men''.
** One aversion in ''X-Men'' is a preacher in Denver whose wife became infected with a brood egg but regained her free will. He was always sympathetic to the mutant cause, but we haven't heard from them in awhile.
*** There is also Dagger's uncle, a Catholic priest, who made a guest appearance in ''New Mutants'' as a sympathetic character.
* The Deacon from ''ComicBook/AstroCity'' is the undisputed boss of all organized crime throughout the city (though he's just a mobster who adopted the "deacon" name for color). This is balanced by his greatest enemy, the Confessor, not only also being religiously themed, but actually being a real priest.
* In ''DeadIrons'', Devin Irons is the utter personification of this trope. This false priest is so reprehensible that he makes ''Series/{{Buffy|the Vampire Slayer}}'s'' Caleb look like a wannabe sinister minister sissy. Not only did he sell the souls of his own four children, turning them into the vicious unholy beasts they are today, for the power to control men's minds; he planned to create an even larger sacrifice to gain immortality from the Plague Bringer Demon by forcing the death of 99 innocent "willing" victims. However, he needed his rogue children to complete the pact. So what does he do? He uses the dark arts to resurrect his own wife, now a mockery of life in the guise of a flesh eating ghoul, as a method of pulling the Iron children's heart strings and luring them back to his cursed town. Did I also mention he was responsible for the death of the hero's father figure, Jonas Keegan, after he came to confront the twisted preacher for tying his son to a statue, bloody and beaten, with the word "sinner" painted onto his chest?
* A couple of chapters of ''NightmaresAndFairyTales'' feature a group of nuns that are anything but holy. They keep a pet demon in the attic of their convent and as for what they feed it? Let's just say that the local adoption rate of orphaned babies has been slipping since they showed up.
* Paulustus Jehustus II, the Pope of Rome and one of the five leaders of [[TheOmniscientCouncilOfVagueness Evil, Inc]] in the Swedish comic ''JamesHund'', an AffectionateParody of thrillers and detective stories. He is obviously meant to be a NoCelebritiesWereHarmed HistoricalVillainUpgrade version of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Paul_II Pope John Paul II]], given that he was born in Poland as plain old Pavel Kalinka. It is not certain whether the Catholic Church is a CorruptChurch in the comic's [[TheVerse Verse]], but given that one of the founders of the non-evil origins of Evil, Inc. was a rather slimy-looking Pope during the Viking Ages, it probably is.
* Cardinal Trebaldi from ''ComicBook/LeScorpion''.
* An inmate called "Preacher" in ''Hard Time: 50 to Life'' was imprisoned for setting fire to an abortion clinic while there were people inside. He continues to be a pyromaniac in prison by pouring out the gasoline he occasionally puts in his mop bucket on a kneeling penitent and lighting the poor bastard up.
* ''ComicBook/HackSlash'' gave us Father Wrath, a serial-killing undead ghoul who was a fire-and-brimstone homophobe that hid his cross-dressing homosexual urges from his congregation in his mortal life. When he tried to make out with his assistant, said assistant stove in his head with a huge crucifix. He is resurrected by an AxCrazy [[CatholicSchoolgirlsRule catholic schoolgirl]] who uses him to kill all the young partygoers at Spring Break. He is later dispatched, but his assistant takes up the cause.
* Cousin Franz, and Pater Filucius (even with a MeaningfulName - "Filou" is French for "crook") from the stories by Creator/WilhelmBusch.
* One the new characters created during the ''Bloodlines'' CrisisCrossover event in TheDCU was Cardinal Sin; a disillusioned priest who gained superpowers and became a villain after being bitten by an alien space parasite. He has not reappeared since the original event. (Presumably he is not to be confused with the real-life Cardinal Jaime Sin of Manila.)
* SerialKiller the Reverand Taylor Stone in ''ComicBook/BeforeWatchmen: Nite-Owl''.
* Pope Innocent XLII in ''ComicBook/{{Grendel}}'', who has turned the '''entire Catholic Church''' into a PathOfInspiration. He's actually [[spoiler:an evil vampire who appeared under a different identity as the villain of a previous arc, and is plotting to blot out the Sun so that he can rule humanity and use them as bloodbags.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Archer Mc Fall in the upcoming Nathanoraptor fic ''FanFic/TheRedChurch''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]

* Deliberately averted ''Disney/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame.'' While Disney's version of Frollo is significantly more evil then the novel version and also religious, his title has been changed to [[HangingJudge JUDGE]] Claude Frollo, with a ReasonableAuthorityFigure taking Frollo's original role as the Archdeacon.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Harry Powell from ''Film/TheNightOfTheHunter'' claims to be a preacher and has long talks with God, but is actually a roaming serial killer.
* In ''Film/TheLawnmowerMan'', the priest who regularly beats Job with a rod. His brother confronts him, calling him a "pious asshole".
* The villainous Bishop of Aquila from the film ''Film/{{Ladyhawke}}'', who put a demonic curse upon Etienne and Isabeau because he wanted the latter for himself and was denied.
* The Bishop of Hereford from ''Film/RobinHoodPrinceOfThieves'', who accused Robin's father of being a devil worshipper and is actually a devil worshipper himself.
* To some extent, ''Film/ThereWillBeBlood'''s Eli Sunday.
* Reverend Kane from ''Film/PoltergeistIITheOtherSide''.
* Father Lucci in ''Film/TheSeventhSign''.
* Reverend Crane, father of the main protagonist of ''Film/SleepyHollow''. Also on a smaller scale, the priest of the town who had sex with the Villainess.
* The terrifying Asa Hawks from John Huston's ''WiseBlood'', based on Creator/FlanneryOConnor's novel. Worth mentioning here because Harry Dean Stanton's wonderfully creepy portrayal of the character comes across as more villainous than in the book.
* The Reverend Fred Sultan in ''TheGreatWhiteHype''. Sort of a NoCelebritiesWereHarmed mashup of the Reverend Al Sharpton and Don King.
* Played mildly in ''OhGod'' with money-grubbing televangelist Rev. Willie Williams.
* Jonah in ''DriveAngry''.
* Pastor Abin Cooper of the Five Points Trinity Church in ''RedState''.
* The priest in ''Goodnight, God Bless''. He begins his killing spree by knifing a woman and shooting a group of young children, all in broad daylight.
* Jeremiah Ketchum ([[ArcWords and kill 'em]]) from ''Film/TheAmityvilleHorror'' remake. He tortured to death Native Americans on the land where the house stands, apparently just ForTheEvulz, and his monstrous spirit (along with those of his victims) continues to haunt the area.
* Preacherman, a member of the CarnivalOfKillers from ''Slashers''.
* Father Jonas from ''Film/PromNightIVDeliverUsFromEvil'' is an overzealous priest who kills "whores and sinners".
* Zachary Malius from ''Film/HappyHellNight'', though inadvertently as he is a corpse possessed by a demon.
* ''TheManWhoKnewTooMuch'': The assassin Mr. Drayton turns out to be a minister in his day job. He's even got a congregation!
* Cardinal Roark in ''Film/SinCity'' harbors a cannibalistic serial killer and admits that he sometimes gets in on the action.
* ''Future Force'' features a crimelord priest. He proves the lesser of two evils compared to the DirtyCop BigBad, and saves the hero's life at one point.
* Preacher Jacob from ''Blood Lake'' convinced his followers to commit mass suicide, claiming he could resurrect them as a new, perfect race enlightened by their deaths. It didn't go as planned, and during the events of the film his homicidal spirit is unintentionally summoned.
* ''Film/KingdomOfHeaven'' takes it to the extreme. Nearly every member of the Catholic Hierarchy is a villain but the particular two examples that stand out and represent this trope are the {{Jerkass}} Priest who antagonizes Balian in the beginning of the film and the Bishop of Jerusalem who is shown to be a DirtyCoward willing to leave people of Jerusalem to die, or convert to Islam.
* Henri Sardis from ''Film/BrotherhoodOfTheWolf''.
* ''Film/{{Anaconda}}'': The human villain Paul Sarone mentions that he was a priest before he decided to become an EvilPoacher. He claims he wasn't even bad at his job, he just wanted to "explore the world"... which apparently involves catching giant, man-eating snakes and feeding people to them.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Father Rodin is a villain from the book ''The Wandering Jew'' by ''Eugene Sue'', he is a [[CorruptChurch Jesuit]] priest and the secretary of Father D'Aigrigny, who has charged him with the mission to get hold of The Rennepont Heritage, which is actually The Wandering Jew's treasure. During the course of the book, Rodin puts various obstacles in the way of The Wandering Jew's true heirs, in order to claim the treasure for The Jesuit Order.
** While he cultivates the appearance of a God-fearing and, whenever his superior is around, subservient old man, Rodin is actually a [[TheChessmaster Machivellian]] mastermind and evil knowledgeable, [[ManipulativeBastard who manipulates everyone around him]], [[DragonWithAnAgenda including]] [[DragonInChief D'Aigrigny]]. Being highly ambitious, Rodin's goal is nothing less than to become the new Pope. In addition to his deviousness, another one of Rodin's assets is his ability to [[GambitSpeedChess quickly adapt to any situation]] and take advantage of it.
* The title character from ''Literature/TheMonk''. Ambrosio's StartOfDarkness was to break his vow of chastity with a [[SweetPollyOliver woman who disguised herself as a monk]].
* ''Literature/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame'''s sexually frustrated Archdeacon, Claude Frollo. He is, however, less evil than just lustful, confused and militant.
* The title character of ''Literature/ElmerGantry'', although he's portrayed more as merely slick and self-deluded than as "pure evil."
* Lysander and Marius Rassianus from the ''Literature/ProphetsHouse'' pentalogy.
* Annias in ''TheElenium'' by David & Leigh Eddings' is a high-ranking clergyman who loudly proclaims his virtue while using bribes, threats, and outright murder in his attempt to seize the throne of the Archprelate (AKA the Pope). Later, it turns out that he's actually working for an ancient, evil god, too.
* Reverend Sunlight Gardner, who runs an OrphanageOfFear in Creator/StephenKing's ''Literature/TheTalisman''.
* The Cardinal in ''Literature/TheThreeMusketeers'', though he's an antagonist because he is the prime minister of France. The religious aspect of his position is irrelevant to his character and the plot.
* The priest in the novel ''Film/{{Chocolat}}''. Changed in TheFilmOfTheBook, which portrays him as a young, idealistic man who is being manipulated by the local Comte.
* Corrupt churchmen occur in most versions of the RobinHood legend.
* Dante and Virgil encounter many corrupt clergymen in the Sixth Circle of Hell in ''Literature/TheDivineComedy''. (To put this simply, Dante ''despised'' such people, and the punishment he portrayed them as suffering was horrid to say the least.)
* The Reverend DrSyn, a "mild mannered clergyman from Kent", also known as the vicious criminal "the Scarecrow", and the feared pirate Captain Clegg.
* Vorbis from the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' book ''Discworld/SmallGods''. Unlike some examples, though, Vorbis believes with absolute certainty that all the bad things he does to advance the church and himself are necessary according to his twisted conception of the religion. A character in the book mentions this trope, expecting that Vorbis maintains his austere image just to hide a life of luxury and indulgence, but he doesn't. It is implied that this makes him worse than a common variety corrupt priest, as Vorbis's crimes are driven by something stronger and more constant than self-interest.
* The 'helpful' clergyman of the Creator/JohnDicksonCarr mystery ''Hag's Nook''.
* Pryrates from ''MemorySorrowAndThorn'' is a priest as well as the most cliched EvilSorcerer one can imagine. He lives in a tower which no one dares to enter, he wears scarlet robes, has a shaved head, [[KickTheDog kills a puppy]] as one of his [[EstablishingCharacterMoment character introduction scenes]] and has such evil vibes that the hero notices him as a bad guy right away. And the [[UnwittingPawn King]] doesn't care at all. It's pretty heavily implied that Pryrates indulges in every Villain Trope he can think of just because [[ForTheEvulz he knows it will creep people out]].
* Fray Emilio [[MeaningfulName Bocanegra ("Black-Mouth")]] from the Spanish series of books ''The Adventures of Captain Literature/{{Alatriste}}'' is an evil member of UsefulNotes/TheSpanishInquisition. He represents TheChurch by himself, although he conspires with representatives of other organizations. Also appears in TheFilmOfTheBook.
* In the New Testament of Literature/TheBible, 3rd John speaks of Diotrephes, a church head who was a malicious gossip and excommunicated members of his church for not adopting gnosticism. Also, Ciaphas, the guy who gets Jesus executed, is a high priest.
* In Creator/PoulAnderson's ''Literature/OperationChaos'', the secretly demon-controlled Johannine Church uses Diotrephes' name as a bogeyman label. Chants of "Down with Diotrephes!" are a BerserkButton.
* ''Literature/{{Safehold}}'s'' [[CorruptChurch Church of God Awaiting]] has its Sinister Ministers, but the standout is its the Grand Inquisitor Zhaspahr Clyntahn, whose crossings of the MoralEventHorizon include the brutal execution of a scapegoat Archbishop, having members of his order instigate a massacre against traders and merchants of the heretic nation of Charis, and [[spoiler:having an allied prince and his sixteen year old heir assassinated when said Prince was about to surrender to the Charisian emperor, Cayleb.]] Making Clyntahn especially dangerous even after all that is he has himself utterly convinced that he's a WellIntentionedExtremist. And the fact that his religion explicitly states that good intentions based in religion justify ''any'' kind of extremism makes him even ''worse''.
* Subverted in the ''{{Illuminatus}}!''-trilogy, where Padre Pederastia (a nickname, obviously) is a CampGay Roman Catholic priest who runs a Satanic sect in his spare time, and routinely steals the sacramental bread from his church to be used in the Satanic rituals. The sect is completely harmless, Padre himself doesn't even believe in God ''or'' Satan, and he is indeed one of the good guys.
* In ''The Jehovah Contract,'' an evil televangelist with some kind of supernatural powers hires the narrator character to assassinate Jehovah.
* In Creator/RobertEHoward's ConanTheBarbarian story "Rogues in the House," Nabonidus, the Red Priest, "who was the real ruler of the city."
** Most of the ''[[ConanTheBarbarian Conan]]'' religious figures land in this category, given that even when the priesthood isn't out for actual political power, the gods they serve usually turn out to be {{Eldritch Abomination}}s.
* Most [[CorruptChurch Church]] authorities in the ''HisDarkMaterials'' trilogy, notably Father [=MacPhail=] and Father Gomez.
* The titular character from Creator/HPLovecraft's short story ''The Evil Clergyman'', a mysterious man with a decidedly Anglican attire who appears to have cast his soul into a matchbox-like object in an act of pre-suicidal sorcery, later attempting to completely usurp anyone that handles said object. The narrator manages to stop him, though not before having his appearance changed to an exact replica of the clergyman.
* Reverend Habit Morgan from the EndersGame book ''War of Gifts'' was a real HolierThanThou piece of shit. He beat his son Zeck regularly and found fault and sin in everyone but himself. When Zeck got taken away by the International Fleet, the IF representative was accused of infringing on the church's freedom to worship as they pleased. The rep responded by tearing open Zeck's shirt to show the congregation his bloody and scarred back. While at battle school, Ender speculates that Zeck's mother divorced her husband now that Zeck was out of his reach.
* A common figure in the writings of Creator/FlanneryOConnor: In ''Literature/WiseBlood'', Asa Hawks preaches the Gospel but doesn't believe any of it; he's only in it for the money. He even faked blinding himself with lye as a very public demonstration of his nonexistent faith.
* Peter Mathews of Enigma Babylon One World Faith and Leon Fortunato of Carpathianism are ''LeftBehind'''s examples of this trope.
* Katherine Langrish's novel ''Dark Angels'' has Brother Thomas, an over-religious and abusive priest who is cruel to the boys at the abbey. [[DraggedOffToHell He gets his comeuppance]] in the end.
* Eric Long from ''FridayThe13thChurchOfTheDivinePsychopath''.
* ''ASongOfIceAndFire'' has many of these:
** Septon Utt is a priest of the Faith of the Seven as well as a mercenary and a notorious serial killer of little boys
** Melisandre is a Red Priestess of R'hllor, a fire god. She's pretty ruthless and has a number of fire related powers, though she does have morals and is simply convinced that what she's doing is for the greater good.
** Aeron Damphair is a priest of the Drowned God of the Iron Islands. He's extremely zealous in a religion that advocates drowning unbelievers and pillaging the mainland.
* The vicar of Altarnun in ''JamaicaInn'', also an [[EvilAlbino Evil Albino]].
* In [[ChaosWalking The Knife of Never Letting Go]], the priest of Prentisstown, a man named Aaron, pursues the main character throughout the entire book. He combines this trope with ImplacableMan, surviving many, many injuries (including ''having his head chewed on by a crocodile'') due to his religious conviction.
* A good portion of the priesthood in Karse in the ''HeraldsOfValdemar'' series. That is, until the god Vkandis got fed up with the CorruptChurch and did some rearranging, with a BoltOfDivineRetribution for starters.
* In the second book of the ''Literature/BardicVoices'' series by MercedesLackey, we have High Bishop Padrik, who took control over the city-state of Gradford with faked miracles (most of which were learned from a rogue Gypsy clan or helped along with his magic) and being a great orator, preaching on such subjects as that woman's place was in [[StayInTheKitchen the home]], that nonhumans were Anathema, and any sort of fun (non-Church music and brightly colored clothing, for example) was a sin.
* The DresdenFiles has a short story about a priest who thinks that it's a travesty that Harry has custody over Swords of the Cross as opposed to finding new users for them (which Harry is actually doing). The guy was once in the military and [[HeWhoFightsMonsters has been staring a lot of evils in the face from his position in South America]] and tries to kill Harry to get the swords out of what he perceives to be enemy hands. Michael is not amused.
* Perry from the Piers Anthony book ''ForLoveOfEvil'' becomes a priest after his wife is killed. He gradually gets seduced by a female demon, and winds up literally [[spoiler: becoming the devil]]. In contrast to the earlier books, in his own book he's shown to not be ''evil'' so much as performing a necessary function.
* ''Literature/SongAtDawn'': [[spoiler: the Arch Bishop]] is behind all the attempts on Dragonetz' life and schemes to undermine Emerganda's authority so he can fill his coffers and make himself a more elaboate church to berate people from. Also, he hates jews.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* ''Series/{{Carnivale}}'''s Brother Justin Crowe is a super-powered example of this trope who turns out to be not only the living embodiment of evil as the Avatar of Darkness, but [[spoiler:the fabled Usher of Destruction]].
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** Caleb, a psychotic misogynist and serial killer who used his sermons to lure impressionable young women to him and then brutally murder them. This was ''before'' he became TheDragon for the UltimateEvil in the universe, who granted him super-strength and an army, then tasked him with massacring the Slayer Potentials and the Watchers. He took to his mission with sadistic glee, reciting twisted prayers and Biblical references as he casually broke arms, [[NeckSnap snapped necks]], and [[EyeScream put out eyes]]. Caleb was, bar none, the single vilest villain in ''Buffy'' canon, even surpassing ''Angelus'' in depravity and pure hatred.
*** His voice and mannerisms are also a direct reference to RobertMitchum's character from ''Film/TheNightOfTheHunter'', whom some might consider to be [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X20XIg38GcE even spookier than Caleb]].
*** JossWhedon defended himself from backlash by pointing out that the Church had kicked Caleb out.
*** And for those who would doubt the above statement about Caleb being worse than Angelus, bear in mind that Angelus is a ''vampire''. He has no soul whereas Caleb has no such excuse for his evil.
** The Anointed One's guardian, Abasalom. ("When She Was Bad")
** A Catholic Priest, Josephus du Lac, wrote a number of books containing dark rituals, resulting in du Lac being excommunicated. ("What's My Line?")
* To a lesser degree and outside Christianity, Baber, the conservative ex-imam from ''Series/LittleMosqueOnThePrairie''.
** Although the Archdeacon, played by Colin Mochrie, fits the trope a bit more closely.
** Thorne.
* The Baby-Eating Bishop of Bath and Wells in ''{{Blackadder}} II''.
** In the first series, [[VillainProtagonist Blackadder himself]] becomes Archbishop of Canterbury in "The Archbishop", while a friar is part of Blackadder's LegionOfDoom in "The Black Seal".
* The warmongering, terrorist Reverend Steve Newland of ''TrueBlood''.
* There's one episode of ''MidsomerMurders'' where the murderer is the local priest, responsible for three murders. The reason for this is that (unbeknownst to his wife and the rest of the village) he'd had a kid some 20 years earlier with an unmarried woman, and said kid had died (in order to join a "club", the members made him stand tiptoe on a chair with a noose around his neck while they went off for a smoke). When one of the victims thought he was dying, he confessed to the priest, who decapitated one, burned another alive, and arrowed the last through the back. Quite a normal {{backstory}} for a resident of Midsomer County.
** Oh, come on, if there's a priest you've got about 50% odds of it being the priest. And there are a ''lot'' of priests.
* An episode of ''CriminalMinds'' had a priest who killed people using drug-laced holy water in his exorcisms, specifically targeting [[spoiler:four people who he believed to have murdered a fellow priest while on pilgrimage.]]
* On ''Series/{{Lost}}'', a prison chaplain refused to absolve Richard for accidentally killing a doctor, in blatant violation of Church doctrine. Richard was about to be hanged, and apparently someone wanted him softened up and scared to be sent to the New World as a slave.
* Kai Winn in ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', who becomes leader of a SaintlyChurch purely in pursuit of personal power, and somehow fools everyone except the main characters. Initially she believes that [[ItsAllAboutMe everything that goes right for her is proof she's doing the Prophets' will, and everything that goes wrong is a test]], but later she decides that if the Prophets don't agree with her they're wrong, and turns to the Pah-Wraiths, the Bajoran equivalent of demons.
** Though, during the GrandFinale, after [[spoiler: Gul Dukat]] has tricked her into releasing the Wraiths and helped him essentially become TheAntiChrist, she helps Sisko stop him. [[spoiler: [[RedemptionEqualsDeath Naturally, she dies.]]]]
** At first, Winn expressed resentment of the Federation's presence due to their secularism. Later, when Sisko starts to embrace his role as [[MessianicArchetype the Emissary of the Prophets]], it's more that she sees him personally as a threat to her power. After all, when the Emissary has arrive, what need is there for a Kai? It's rather akin to a scenario where the Pope is resentful of the fact that Jesus outranks him, which illustrates how much her ambition twisted her religious beliefs.
* Edward Teague on ''{{Smallville}}'' was a WellIntentionedExtremist and former AmoralAttorney who became a Catholic priest to protect a MacGuffin at St. Christopher's church following the death of his [[EvilMatriarch wife]] [[BigBad Genevieve]] and son, [[TheDragon Jason]]. Formerly a firm believer in the cult of The Traveller, he turns on Clark after the revelation that he is unwilling to kill {{Archenemy}} LexLuthor, and tries to put them both out of his misery. One could argue that he's an {{Antihero}}, but no matter how you slice it, he's ''very'' sinister, and given the religious overtones of almost every action he takes, it ain't just an act.
* Jonas from the ''Series/{{Alphas}}'' episode "A Short Time In Paradise." Somewhat subverted as he didn't really want to kill his congregation... it just happened because of his ability. [[KillItWithFire Then he tries to burn them all in an attempt to destroy the Darkness within.]] [[spoiler:Rosen stops him.]]
* ''Series/{{Haven}}'''s Reverend Driscoll is the town's leading agitator for FantasticRacism against the "[[BlessedWithSuck Troubled]]". Apparently believing them to be cursed, he's been working to establish enough influence for he and his followers to one day wipe the Troubled out.
** "Reverend Driscoll" of No-particular-denomination is depicted as a weird hybrid of liturgical and evangelical clergy. As Literature/FatherBrown says in "The Vampire of the Village", this is a portrayal not of any particular priest, but of "a stage parson".
* The Canon on the medieval planet in ''Series/StargateSG1'' made use of ''creative'' interpretations of Literature/TheBible, the fear engendered by the Goa'uld System Lord Sokar's raids for hosts, and a [[AppliedPhlebotinum lightning-summoning ring]] in order to maintain control over his village. When SG-1 arrived, he accused Teal'c of consorting with demons.
** The Priors of the Ori and their head honcho, the Doci, are pretty creepy.
* Sister Jude from ''Series/AmericanHorrorStoryAsylum'' is an AmbiguouslyEvil gender flipped version of this trope. She's basically a KnightTemplar who believes in beating the sin out of her patients (with a rather loose definition of what constitutes "sin" even by the standards of the early Sixties) but thanks to far worse people and things inhabiting Briarcliff plus her own tortured history she can be interpreted as either an AntiVillain or AntiHero.
* Father Kemp from ''Series/BeingHuman''.
* Pastor Young from ''Series/TheVampireDiaries'' who takes over the council as of series 4 and returns it to it's original kill all vampires mission.
* Vicar Oddie from ''Series/InTheFlesh'' is constantly preaching against zombies and who orders the parish council to do less than ethical actions.
* Bishop Hugo in ''Series/RobinOfSherwood'', who is the clerical equivalent of a CorruptCorporateExecutive.
* Reverend Jeremiah Cloutier, a defrocked pastor convicted of embezzlement who begins building his own army of converts inside the prison on ''Series/{{Oz}}''.
* In the ''Series/MastersOfHorror'' episode "The Screwfly Solution", the priest in the Canadian hospital euthanizes female patients against their will while preaching the "fundamentally evil" nature of women.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]

* The Music/{{Genesis}} song (and video) "Jesus He Knows Me" is about a televangelist who enjoys a decadent, corrupt lifestyle funded by the contributions of his viewers.
* "Holy Roller Novocaine" by the Kings of Leon (and possibly about the Followill brothers' grandfather) is sung from the point of view of a itinerant preacher trying to seduce a woman he meets on his travels.
* Music/IronMaiden have "Holy Smoke", which lambasts sinister ministers - "Holy Smoke, Holy Smoke, Plenty bad preachers for the Devil to stoke" - written in response to the very public falls from grace of several anti-heavy-metal (and nearly everything else) televangelists. It alludes to several in a NoCelebritiesWereHarmed way - "Jimmy The Reptile" for Jimmy Swaggart, "The TV Queen" probably referring to Tammy Faye Bakker.
* Music/{{Apocalyptica}}'s "I'm Not Jesus" is about a kid confessing to having been sexually abused by a priest/minister/or some such figure.
* Falconer's ''Enter The Glade'' describes a corrupt evangelist who uses his supposed connection to the divine to enrich himself at his followers' expense.
* The priest mentioned in a few songs from Music/{{Queensryche}}'s ''Operation: Mindcrime'' is one of these; he is a corrupt televangelist who sleeps with nuns.
* Music/OzzyOsbourne's "Miracle Man", a TakeThat toward RealLife Sinister Minister, televangelist Jimmy Swaggart, with whom Ozzy had a feud in the eighties.
* Space's ''[[DysfunctionJunction Neighbourhood]]'' has this to say of the local preacher:
--> ''"In [[NumberOfTheBeast 666]] there lives a Mr. Miller, he's our local vicar and a serial killer."''
* Music/DanielAmos: Several songs from the albums ''ĦAlarma!'' and ''Doppelganger'' lambaste televangelists and other preachers who con money from their audiences.
* Chief Rabbi Kai in ''[[Music/{{Hero}} !Hero: The Rock Opera]]'', working together with DirtyCop Officer Devlin to take down Hero.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Professional Wrestling ]]

* Wrestling/{{ECW}} wrestling manager ''The Sinister Minister'': It's his friggin' '''name'''!
** Wrestling/JamesMitchell, the man behind this gimmick, did much the same act in Wrestling/{{TNA}} under his real name.
* [[Characters/WWEManagers Brother Love]], the evil televangelist/manager.
* Wrestling/TheUndertaker, while leading the Satanic cult-inspired Wrestling/MinistryOfDarkness.
* [[Wrestling/DonCallis The Jackyl]], New Age-inspired charismatic cult leader with an unmatched flair for brainwashing and mind control.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* This is a common characterisation of the Rev Green from ''[[TabletopGame/{{Clue}} Cluedo]]''.
* High Cardinal Krozen from ''{{Eberron}}'', senior cardinal of the Silver Flame and the most powerful individual in Thrane.
* Reverend Ezekiah Grimme from ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}''. A [[ImAHumanitarian humanitarian]] to boot. [[spoiler: The game ultimately comes clean and reveals he's not even human; he's an Abomination, basically a demon that walks around in the real world in the good Reverend's shape. Has been ever since the real Reverend Grimme was murdered and eaten by his starvation-maddened flock, back before Lost Angels was really founded.]]
** From the same game, there's ProfessionalKiller "Deacon" Jim Miller. Unlike the real Miller, who was called "Deacon" just because he attended church and didn't smoke or drink, this version is an actual Methodist deacon when he isn't out bushwhacking people for money.
* In ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'', Elesh Norn, Praetor of the white-aligned faction of New Phyrexia, leads her faction as Grand Cenobite (which is equivalent to the position of Pope) of the ReligionOfEvil called the Machine Orthodoxy.
** The [[CorruptChurch Church of Deals]] Orzhova would necessarily have a few. [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=369006 Pontiff of Blight]], for instance.
* Any cleric, inquisitor, or antipaladin in service to one of the setting's [[ReligionOfEvil Religions of Evil]] is liable to be this in ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}''. Grundmoch from ''Legacy of Fire'' is an interesting example in that he's a ChaoticEvil [[LizardFolk troglodyte]] [[ChurchMilitant cleric]] of [[OmnicidalManiac Rovagug]], yet will actually ally with the PC's against the Adventure Path's greater antagonist, Zayifid.
* There are a few monsters in the ''TabletopGame/YuGiOh'' card game that suggest this, but the most obvious example would be [[http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/Darkbishop_Archfiend Darkbishop Archfiend]]. (Seriously, ''that'' guy is ObviouslyEvil.)
* More than a few SpaceMarine [[ChurchMilitant Chaplains]] in the ''{{TabletopGame/Warhammer40000}}'' setting have fallen to one of several dark sides. Hell, even the loyalist Chaplains are trained with the express purpose for violent xenophobia.
** The {{Literature/DarkAngels}} senior Chaplain Asmodai has a couple screws loose, and not in a funny way. He's a bitter, anti-social jerkass and an in-universe StopHavingFunGuy. And while a Dark Angel Chaplain is expected to brutally torture captive traitors in order to make them repent and thus [[DeathEqualsRedemption redeem their souls]], Asmodai sorta [[ForTheEvulz stopped reading after the words "torture captive traitors"]].
** The Word Bearer Chaplains sort of wrapped back around in an odd way, and eventually landed on ReligionOfEvil. Ironically, the Word Bearers ''invented'' Chaplains in the Imperium, yet were the first to fall to Chaos.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theater]]

* Zoser, the high priest in ''{{Aida}}'', and his {{mooks}} are slowly using arsenic to kill their pharaoh.
* ''HenryVI'' has the Bishop of Winchester, later Cardinal of Winchester, who orders his half-brother's death in an attempt to secure the crown and is noted by all other characters to be a depraved and power-hungry man.
** Interestingly, the current Bishop of Winchester, when Shakespeare was writing, made a substantial amount of his fortune by licensing prostitution. He also [[TakeThat owned the land the Globe Theatre was built on...]]
* ''Theatre/TheDuchessOfMalfi'' by John Webster has the Cardinal, the Duchess' brother (Webster was more into plots than names, it seems). He conspires to have his sister killed and her kids murdered, partly in order to preserve the family honor and partly to get his hands on her wealth. He also pulls strings to have ill-gotten lands deeded to his mistress.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Cardinal Lucius in VideoGame/{{Anno1404}}. [[spoiler: BigBad of the campaign]] and a hard difficulty A.I. in Continuous Mode.
* Cardinal Delacroix from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics''.
* ThePope of the church of Martel in ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia''.
* Wiseman of ''VideoGame/BatenKaitos Origins''.
* Kotomine Kirei of ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'', whose appearance and [[Creator/JojiNakata voice actor]] practically screams 'sinister' despite being the overseer of the Grail War and Rin's guardian -- [[spoiler:and sure enough, he ends up as the BigBad of the first route, the one responsible for much of the grief in the second, as well as being the FinalBoss in the third, even though in this route he is not as evil as in the previous routes]]. In ''FateZero'', [[spoiler:he also usurps several stronger villains and ends up as the BigBad yet again]].
** As detailed in ''Heaven's Feel'', his entire reason for becoming a priest was [[spoiler:to try and live a good life in spite of his own twisted psyche. He hoped that by doing good he would become good, but realized he was simply too broken when he witnessed his wife's death... and only regretted not being responsible for it. [[DesperatelyLookingForAPurposeInLife He really wants to know why]] God [[BeingGoodSucks cre]][[BeingEvilSucks ated]] [[EvilFeelsGood him]].]]
* Bishop Mandible of ''VideoGame/{{Loom}}''.
* "'''[[CatchPhrase KOKO]] [[SNKBoss DESU]] [[TheKingOfFighters KA]]?'''"
* The preacher you chase through Evarai in ''BreathOfFireII''.
* Bishop Stone/Stein in ''VideoGame/XenoGears''.
* In ''VideoGame/SengokuBasara Samurai Heroes'', [[AxCrazy Mitsuhide]] poses as Tenkai, a monk who acts as [[EvilChancellor adviser]] to the cowardly and easily manipulated Hideaki. Even in this guise, he barely tries to hide his sadistic nature and is still as ObviouslyEvil as he was in previous games.
* Grand Maestro Mohs in ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss''.
* There is often at least one in ''FireEmblem'' games. One is the primary antagonist in ''Seisen No Keifu'', another is the AntiClimaxBoss of Thracia 776, one is a miniboss in Rekka no ken, and one is a primary antagonist in Sacred Stones.
** The Tellius games (Gamecube & Wii) have the Begnion senators, who are also religious figures.
** However, the series also has a tendency (at least since Fuuin no Tsurugi) for the highest-ranking religious figure in the game to be benevolent, and in a couple of games, ''playable''. One notable example from the Tellius game is [[spoiler:Sephiran, who is the one responsible for the ressurection of Asura and who wants everything to end, but who could also make a HeelFaceTurn and joins the heroes in the final battle against Asura (though, [[GuideDangIt good luck with that]]).]]
* Pastor Richards in ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto: [[VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoViceCity Vice City]]'' VCPR radio station. He plans to build a giant statue for himself and his concubines, and needs your donations to do so.
* Graham Jones in ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaAriaOfSorrow''. Dressed like a Southern Baptist televangelist, and sounds like one too. He also shares the KnightTemplar [[TheFundamentalist fundamentalism]] qualities.
* Girolamo Savonarola in ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedII'' who not only is an extremist preacher like his real-life counterpart, but also is willing to [[spoiler:use the Apple of Eden to subjugate Florence and spread his agenda.]] However he's portrayed more as a WellIntentionedExtremist rather than pure evil like the Templars (who he technically opposes).
** There's also Rodrigo Borgia, later Pope Alexander VI, and his son Cesare, a cardinal, both given a HistoricalVillainUpgrade (which isn't to say the real ones were ''good''.)
* The Archbishop Lazarus in VideoGame/{{Diablo}}.
* Father Karras, the extremely hypocritical and [[AGodAmI self-centric]] founder and leader of the [[MachineWorship Mechanists]], from ''VideoGame/ThiefIITheMetalAge'', is both a Sinister Minister ''and'' a MadScientist.
* Sister (later Mother) Petrice from ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' is a total SmugSnake who outright admits to pulling a number of half-assed machinations to rile the people of Kirkwall up against the Qunari. [[spoiler: She succeeds, but will only live to see it if you help her, which she...doesn't exactly encourage.]]
* Sanctus from ''[[VideoGame/DevilMayCry Devil May Cry 4]]''.
* The Reverend from ''VideoGame/TheWitcher''.
* Vincenzo Bianchi and [[spoiler: Cardinal Genovese]] from the [[VideoGame/BenJordanParanormalInvestigator Ben Jordan]] games, both high-ranking Vatican officials.
* Selene and Pope Zera from ''[[GrandiaII Grandia 2]]''
* [[spoiler:Ghetsis]] from VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite.
* Preacher in the ''TwistedMetal'' games. However, as he is loath to admit, he's not an ordained minister -- no church would accept him. He's murderous, and like almost every other player character in ''Black'', he was interned at Blackfield Asylum prior to the events of the game. He believes a demon lives inside of him, forcing him to kill; [[spoiler:turns out he's just schizophrenic]].
** In the 2012 reboot, though, he's significantly less sinister (at least in the sense of being evil, since he's still really creepy and mean looking). He just wants to take out Calypso, whom he sees as the Devil himself.
* [[VideoGame/DantesInferno THE BISHOP ASSURED US!]]
* [[BigBad Zachary Hale Comstock]] in ''VideoGame/BioShockInfinite''.
* LeagueOfLegends has Elise, the Spider Queen. She leads a church dedicated to a spider god, but secretely uses her followers as food for said god so she can safely harvest its venom, which is the source of her powers.
* Josiah Reed of ''Videogame/{{Gun}}'' does a terrible job of convincing people he's anything ''but'' this.
--> '''Colton White:''' If he's a man of the cloth, then I'm the King of Siam.
* Seymour Guado of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX''. [[spoiler: Murdered his own father for power/revenge, kidnaps the female lead and tries to force her to marry him, and widely considered to provide multiple of the hardest bosses in the game. The rest of the [[CorruptChurch Church of Yevon]] isn't much better.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* [[NoNameGiven The Minister]] in ''WebAnimation/TheBackwaterGospel'', who turns the town against the tramp and [[spoiler: commands them to stone him to death]] for allegedly bringing [[CreepyUndertaker The Undertaker]] to the town.
* ''WebVideo/TheVelociPastor'' is about a priest [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDNzzhCpqxA who turns into a dinosaur]] and eats people on the streets before targeting criminals.
* One of the applicants to the Evil League Of Evil on the ''DrHorriblesSingAlongBlog'' DVD is the PerversePuppet [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vqc9jdZ-zlM The Reverend]].
-->Not to be confused with the master of puppets
-->I'm the Plush Preacher, Father Felt, the Pastor of Muppets
-->I'm the Miniature Minister of Sinister stuff
-->The Priest made of ping pong balls, mischief and fluff
* Tiffany "Pennsatucky" Doggett in Netflix's ''Series/OrangeIsTheNewBlack'' isn't an actual minister, but she acts as one for several inmates. An intolerant zealot, she's one of the few inmates (if not the only) that becomes ''less'' sympathetic when her backstory is revealed. [[spoiler: She's in prison for murdering an abortion clinic nurse who criticized Pennsatucky's large number of abortions. She only became religious after the religious started supporting her and donating to her legal defense because they mistook her crime for an act of pro-life protest.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* The early 90's ''WesternAnimation/{{X-Men}}'' had a wedding between Cyclops and Jean Grey that seemed to go fine, until the minister who performed the ceremony was later revealed to be [[spoiler: a disguised Morph working for Mister Sinister]].
[[/folder]]
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