Derry's Hallowe'en celebrations 'highly dangerous' say clergymen
The way in which Hallowe'en is celebrated in Derry is "highly dangerous" and "becoming a cult" according to some Church of Ireland ministers.
The comments were made during the Diocese of Derry and Raphoe's Dioscesan Synod at An Grianán Hotel on Wednesday evening.
The Rector of Taughboyne, Rev Canon David Crooks, described the celebration and street carnival as "ridiculous nonsense" and called for church leaders to "speak about it".
“Halloween, which is the eve of All Hallows – All Saints – is turning into this ridiculous nonsense,” said Canon Crooks.
“In shops and all over the place, we see all these accoutrements of witchcraft and all that kind of horrible nonsense.”
“People say ‘Oh, it’s just for the children’. Well, I think it’s sending the wrong message to children – it’s actually highly dangerous.
"It can lead children to start looking at the Internet and finding there things like tarot cards and séances, it can grow into all of that. It’s highly dangerous stuff and I think that church leaders of authority should speak about it."
Rector of the Ardstraw Group of Parishes, Rev Ivan Dinsmore described the celebrations as a "festival of paganism".
“It’s really good to hear church leaders speaking up on this subject,” he said, “and coming out against this festival of paganism that is so popular now within our community.”
Rev Mark Lennox claimed to have visited a shop in Derry city centre and said he noticed ouija boards for sale.
“We as a Church do need to speak out against this and educate our people that these things aren’t just fun but are actually opening doors to the principalities and the powers that we read about in the Book of Romans and other parts of Scripture."