Should Christians avoid Halloween? That’s a question that comes up every year as people of faith grapple with a holiday known for ghosts, ghouls, and the elevation of various evils.
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But, for many, Halloween is merely an opportunity to dress up and snag candy. Thus, there’s a debate over how people of faith should handle and engage in these festivities.
Just as Christians have varying views on how to handle Halloween, it seems pastors do as well. One area of general agreement among preachers, though, is in their encouraging parishioners to invite friends and neighbors to church events on or near the holiday.
In fact, according to a new Lifeway survey, 71% of preachers engage in such encouragement, and 58% want church members to forge relationships with people around them who trick-or-treat.
But there’s a deeper question at the heart of the Halloween debate: what percentage of pastors want their church members to totally ignore the holiday?
As it turns out, just 13% of pastors encourage people to avoid Halloween, up from the 8% who said the same in 2016. Plus, 34% now recommend people hand out Gospel tracts to trick-or-treaters, up from 26% who said the same in 2016.
These changes are noteworthy, especially as culture secularizes, and the impact of those changes reverberates throughout society.
One interesting factor is the age disparity when it comes to pastors who discourage Halloween. The older the preacher, the more likely the faith leader is to oppose the holiday.
In fact, 20% of pastors aged 65 and older encourage churches to avoid the holiday — much higher than the 6% of 18- to 44-year-old pastors and the 12% of 45- to 54-year-old preachers who said the same.
These statistics also come as culture grapples with an apparent increase in occultic themes.
The Lifeway survey was conducted via phone between Sept. 6-29, 2022.
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