AS MANY children in the
UK prepare their costumes for a night of trick-or-treating, a
number of Christians are speaking out about the dangers of
regarding Hallowe'en as an innocuous social event.
J. John, of the charity
the Philo Trust, has published a pamphlet on the Trust website,
philotrust.com, suggesting that Hallowe'en is not as harmless as
many people think. He writes that Hallowe'en is: "An event that
glorifies the dark, creepy, and scary side of life. Children and
adults dress up as figures that are 'evil'. . . This is hardly
harmless." On this one day, he says, we "glorify everything that is
evil and unpleasant".
In York diocese, the
children's and youth-work adviser, the Revd Nigel Chapman, has
drawn together a list of websites to provide ideas for an
alternative Hallowe'en event. They can be found at
In Ireland, one Roman
Catholic diocese has accused traders of insulting Christians if
they sell "Jesus costumes" for Hallowe'en fancy-dress parties.
Although most high-street shops have refused to stock a particular
€39.99 costume, which includes a long robe, a a false beard, and a
crown of thorns, several street markets and websites are selling
Fr Tom Deenihan, of the
diocese of Cork & Ross, said: "It is truly regrettable and sad
that, for commercial purposes, the death of Christ and the feast of
All Saints should be used to ridicule the Passion of Christ and
reduce its depiction to a horror costume."
The aid charity World
Vision is asking people to make the day a time to remember children
who are living in fear, by carving a heart on their pumpkins
instead of a ghoulish face.
It wants people to turn
the evening into a Night of Hope. Its UK chief executive, Justin
Byworth, said: "As a Christian and a dad, I know how difficult it
can be to find a suitable way to get your family involved with
"By asking people to
carve a heart into their pumpkins, we'll not only provide an
alternative for hundreds of Christians, but also create an
opportunity to show how much we care about children living in fear
every single day."
Question of the week: Should
churches do more to discourage Hallowe'en