At first glance, it would seem totally incongruous for someone as toxic and devoid of moral values as a Narcissist to join a church or other religious group. But think again – it’s a perfect environment for them to thrive in.
Church provides narcissists with two key things:
Cover and Legitimacy
Their whole life is dedicated to maintaining an outwardly popular, good, successful “false self”. This charade camouflages the empty, toxic soul that is their “real self”. And so a god-fearing, church-going persona simply reinforces this false facade.
But regular church attendance also gives them access to the rest of the congregation. This is what the military would refer to a target-rich environment. Church-goers tend to be decent folks, low on cynicism, high on generosity – so excellent sources of narcissistic supply, the lifeblood of the narcissist who must secure plentiful supplies of it in order to maintain their own sense of false-self. Here we have a pool of people, nicely compartmentalised and distinct from their other lives (private life, work life) who will give the narcissist the compliments and adoration that they so desperately need. More alarming is that fact that the local church is also a great hunting ground for their next conquest / backup significant other.
The Communal Narcissist: Another Wolf Wearing a Sheep Outfit | Psychology Today
Let us Prey : The Frequency of Narcissistic Personality Disorder amongst Pastors | The American Association of Christian Counselors