Halloween services splitting opinion in the church

Growing phenomenon, but not everyone in favour

Despite being a religion centred around someone dying and coming back to life, churches in Denmark are coming under fire for organising Halloween-themed services that incorporate ghosts and zombies.

Christianity has no place for ghouls, according to members of the Danish national church, Kristeligt Dagblad reports.

Kirsten Søgaard is the priest at Karlebo Kirke in Kokkedal in northern Zealand – one of the churches organising services that incorporate scary stories into the special Halloween services.

“It’s fine if the children get a bit scared,” she told Kristeligt Dagblad.

“We can all get scared sometimes. And here you can learn that the church is a place you can find comfort.”

Getting bums on seats
Marianne Myssen, a priest at Sørbymagle Church in western Zealand, is also a proponent of the concept and explained to the paper that it’s all about getting people through the church doors.

“It’s about meeting people where they are themselves. Halloween is everywhere and something everyone knows,” she said.

”There may well be people who are critics and would say that its unchristian and that it shouldn’t be in the church, but I’m not above doing something to get people into the church.”

Centred on Christ not creepiness
The priest and debater Jesper Bacher does not agree that the end justifies the means.

“You should think carefully about inviting people to Halloween in the church,” he said.

“Because you risk or turning the church into the setting for a secular party or a ghoulish carnival. All church services should be centred on Christ, and it is a pity if the church pushes its message aside to take part in a popular party.”