Why do you assume it was a religious thing? Some cults and pagan religions advocate animal sacrifice, but it could just as easily be some deliquent kids who wanted to be all dark and Satanic, with little specific religious overtones besides those they got from... vampire novels, or whatever. Or maybe just some lone nut who gets off on cutting kittens.
The wounds were made approximately six hours apart, in the vet's opinion, made on Halloween night, a time designation made based on the amount of infection the worst (and oldest) wound had, the belly wound, and the amount of necrosis the other major wounds displayed. (Having been a farm girl for more than a decade, and all the animals I've seen injured, that was my layman's guess, as well.) He was also starved most of the way to death, so much so, that I think he's already gained an ounce, maybe two, in less than 48 hours. Given how fast he ran before we cornered him into the truck engine, and how fast he is when I'm playing with him, he wouldn't've been that skinny if he'd just been a dumpee, he could've caught crickets and palmetto bugs without problem (it is TX after all, and floods always make the bugs more out-and-about). Vet (the one who we talked to in the office, face to face) estimated he'd been without decent amounts of food for several days before we found him -- someone deliberately withheld food from him before the injuries occured. That, alone, makes it a planned behavior; it wasn't a spur of moment thing.
We aren't positive that whoever was doing it knew exactly what they were doing, but both vets appear to believe it was being done for a Purpose, and not just mindless jollies.
I guess, for my part, it's slightly -- very slightly -- easier to believe the little angel who has stolen my bed (cats, after all, sleep in the MIDDLE of the bed, no matter how small they are, and how big their human is) was hurt because someone was being "religious", than because they did it out of pure enjoyment. Although both nauseate me, because to accept a religion, you have to accept the practices _of_ that religion ...