Christians promote Halloween alternatives with religious significance

Christian groups are increasingly embracing positive alternative events to Halloween which are designed to ensure that people are drawn to the light instead of the darkness on the very night that many go trick-or-treating.

(REUTERS / Kevin Lamarque)A autumn display of pumpkins and gourds adorns the White House lawn on Halloween. October 31, 2011.

Paul Stockwell of the Scripture Union said their "Light Party Packs" have been increasingly drawing non-Christian children as parents worry over "stranger danger" during trick-or-treating. They have been sending out these packs for four years and are now hoping to give out 8,000 this year, The Telegraph detailed.

"Light Party Packs" contain ideas for light experiments and games, plus a guide for Bible-based activities. Stockwell said some parents like this Halloween alternative because it keeps their children from walking around the streets.

Christian charity World Vision, on the other hand, has launched the Halloween character Patch the Pumpkin. This is a God-friendly character that has a heart in which light can be seen shining through. Rt Rev. Julian Henderson, the Bishop of Blackburn, in the meantime, backed a Christian Halloween chocolate that offers quizzes, word games, prayer suggestions, or a challenge to commit to an act of charity as "an alternative to the increasingly common Halloween attempts to scare and frighten."

Meanwhile, Elliott Watson of the Christian Broadcasting Network reminded people that Halloween's roots can be traced to the Celtic tradition of giving sacrifices to gods at the end of summer and the practice of disguising oneself as an evil spirit to ward off real ones that were sent by the lord of death to attack humans. Followers of the religion of witchcraft, Wicca, seriously consider this day as sacred and take it as an opportunity to embrace the evil side of the spiritual realm.

In light of these Celtic and Wicca beliefs, Watson encouraged Christian parents to teach their children about the existence of both the spiritual word filled with God's goodness and the evil side from Satan, as explained in Ephesians 2:1-10. They should also know that people who celebrate Halloween either do not know the true origin of the occasion or are actually promoting the evil aspect of it, and that those who have Jesus Christ in their life are able to overcome the power of darkness.