- Catholic priests in Poland burned a pile of books including “Harry Potter” and “Twilight” titles, which they say promote sorcery.
- A group called the “SMS from Heaven Foundation” posted photos on Facebook of books on fire in the city of Gdańsk.
- They cited passages from Deuteronomy, part of the Old Testament, and Acts, in the New Testament, which talk about burning artefacts associated with magic.
- Other victims of the fire at the church, in the town of Koszalin, included a pink umbrella, a model of an elephant, an African mask, and a book on Tantric Buddhism.
- Some Catholics and Christians fear sorcery is a threat to society, a view which exists around the world, including the US.
Catholic clergymen in Poland set fire to “Harry Potter” and “Twilight,” claiming that the books are sacrilegious and promote sorcery.
Priests from the “SMS from Heaven Foundation” posted photos on Facebook on Sunday of a pile of burning books, which included at least one Potter title by JK Rowling. There was also a copy of the vampire-inspired love story “Twilight” by Stephenie Meyer.
Captions accompanying the posts cite passages from the New and Old Testaments of the Bible, which talk about burning items and images associated with magic.
Quoting from Deuteronomy 7:25, they wrote: “Burn the images of their gods. Don’t desire the silver or the gold that is on them and take it for yourself, or you will be trapped by it. That is detestable to the Lord your God.”
Another quotation, from Acts 19:19, said: “Many of those who had practiced magic collected their books and burned them in front of everyone. So they calculated their value and found it to be fifty thousand pieces of silver.”
Both passages refer to specific moments in Biblical history, and scholars have varying interpretations for what, if any, action they should prompt in everyday life.
Photos show priests carrying a large bucket of books through the nave of a church.
Other books were in the fire, as well as a pink umbrella, an African mask, a white model of an elephant, and a book on Tantric Buddhism.
Some Christians think the Potter series — which has sold 500 million books and been translated into 80 languages — encourages a real-life belief in witchcraft, citing the Wicca religious movements and various other strands of paganism.
A 2013 article by the Christian Broadcasting Network, describing why some groups object to the books, quoted author Richard Abanes, who said because the books contain references to astrology, clairvoyance, and numerology. Abanes said: “Occultists are using the popularity of Harry Potter to lure kids toward real-world occultism.”
Reverend Wojciech Parafianowicz, a spokesman for the local diocese of Koszalin, said he “did not like this form of priestly activity, which is wrong.”
However, he did say books like the Potter series and “Twilight” are a “bad influence.”