While many Christians today are closely monitoring the growth and activity of Islam, especially after 9/11, another religious movement has been steadily growing “under the radar” and could become among the largest religions in the United States in less than five years.
“Wicca is the fastest-growing religion in America, set to be the third largest religion by 2012,” claims Marla Alupoaicei, who co-wrote the recently released book “Generation Hex” with fellow Christian author Dillon Burroughs.
“The numbers of adherents are doubling every 30 months,” she says.
Furthermore, every major city in the United States has networks of Wiccans, adds Burroughs.
“Certain parts of the country, such as the Pacific Northwest, the mountain states (New Mexico and Colorado) and areas near Salem, Mass., are the strongest in the U.S.,” he says. “However, I live in Tennessee and have found pockets of Wiccans in Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia to interview. I didn’t have to travel far or even outside of the so-called Bible belt to find Wiccans.”
While “Harry Potter” and other media like “Charmed,” “Buffy,” “Sabrina,” and “The Craft” have skyrocketed witchcraft into the public eye, the authors both agreed that among the biggest draws to the Wiccan culture is how community-oriented it is.
“Many involved in Wicca come from lonely backgrounds or difficult relationships and find new friends in the Wiccan community who embrace them (sometimes better than Christians do),” explained Burroughs, who served as a youth pastor for about a decade and said he was asked by students about Wicca and witchcraft more than any other religious movement.
“As our culture becomes more and more isolated and busy (and as real relationships are replaced by texting, IM, etc.), young people are starving for real relationships and true community, as well as for a powerful experience of faith,” Alupoaicei added.
“People want a supernatural experience,” she said.
And while the Christian life is an abundant, supernatural life in which the power of God can be experienced, Alupoaicei said Christians are not communicating that very well to the world.
Furthermore ignorance and misunderstanding within the Christian community has prevented people from drawing near to Christ and leaves them looking for something else.
“And, ironically, a desire to uphold Scripture,” Alupoaicei added. “The Bible does say that Christians should not be involved in witchcraft, but that doesn’t mean that we should not reach out to those involved in this practice.
Read the rest of this powerful article here.
I know for some who live in the “Bible Belt”, they think that this may not be a big issue in their community. I live in a community where there is only about 28,000 people in the entire county and there is a strong representation of the Wiccan “community” here.
I believe those caught up in this religion are looking for what is lacking in most people’s lives;relationships. Not romantic but relationships where you can be with a like minded person who’s not offensive and someone you can depend on. As the article states they’re looking for community.
There are some churches that do this well in the evangelical circles. In our area it is an area that definitely needs some work. Churches around here are in competition with each other, and too worried about who they have coming to their church, instead of reaching out to the community. We all say that we are missional, but how many of us back it up with missional living. Now to lump all of the churches in our area under this umbrella of hypocrisy is unfair. We do have churches in our area that do community and missions well. However, we all, myself and church included, should look for ways to reach people, especially those in a dangerous religion such as Wicca.
As far as creating community goes, when does the church become the body? We become the body when we look out and serve the other members before we serve ourselves. When we equip others, lead, direct and guide others into a saving faith in Jesus Christ or a life encompassed in Him, then we are creating community. We put so much emphasis on what “we” can do, when all we need to do is tell others about Him, live our lives before Him, and see that He gets the glory.
Enough rambling for now…
(Thanks to Kevin Bussey for the article. Check out his blog here.)