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How Evangelical Christians observe Halloween:

In advance of Halloween for 1999, Focus on the Family, a Fundamentalist Christian agency conducted a poll of their web site visitors concerning their plans to observe Halloween. 1 Results were:

bullet30% Avoid it because it is evil
bullet29% Enjoy costumes and candy
bullet29% Turn it into a fall festival
bullet9% Ignore it for lack of interest
bullet4% Observe it as Reformation Day -- a recognition of the founding of Protestantism and the division of Christianity into thousands of faith groups.

In 2001, Christianity Today, an Evangelical Christian magazine, conducted a pre-Halloween poll from among visitors to their web site. The topic was their own church's response to Halloween. Results were:

bullet56% My church offers alternatives for the children
bullet34% My church ignores it. Members do what they want.
bullet4% My church opposes it.
bullet4% Other responses.
bullet0% My church observes it -- scary costumes, et al.

In 2003-OCT, Christianity Today asked the question: "Are your kids participating in Halloween this year?" Results were:

bullet28%: No.
bullet26%: They are doing a Halloween alternative instead.
bullet23%: Yes.
bullet13%: I don't have kids:
bullet10%: They're doing Halloween and an alternative.

The total number participating in the poll was 1,340. This would make the margin of error less than 3%. However, the individuals who contributed to the poll are self-selected and may not represent a typical cross-section of Evangelical Christians.

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Halloween alternatives:

One Evangelical Christian suggested organizing "...a progressive dinner with our friends...finishing up with a collective time of reading (short) inspirational biographies of exemplary Christians? After all, Christians created All Saints Day (November 1) to remember the martyrs and intrepid saints who've gone before us. Wouldn't this be a way to "hallow" a holiday gone awry? When the trick-or-treater comes by, we'd just happily explain what we're doing!" 2

Trina Schaetz wrote an article in Christian Parenting Today's 2001-OCT issue. She suggests other alternative celebrations at Halloween:

bulletMystery bowling: The family plays a regular game of bowling, but using unusual stances: bowl backwards, bowl with your weak hand, etc. Losers have to add a silly hat, wig, etc. to their costume.
bulletFamily film festival: The family makes a home movie using a theme like a cowboy story or a science fiction tale.
bulletNature walk: A family walk through a wilderness area, looking for the most beautiful leaf, the smoothest rock, the most interesting stick, etc.
bulletNeighborly needs: Have your family volunteer to perform a chore for the neighbors, such as: "cleaning windows, raking leaves, or washing cars together."
bulletHost a pumpkin carving party: Invite friends and neighbors to carve pumpkins, each with a single letter from a short Bible verse: e.g. "Jesus is Lord." Then arrange the pumpkins to spell out the phrase in your front yard. 3

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Related essays on this web site:

bulletAnalysis of Evangelical Christian websites about Halloween:
bulletExhibiting misinformation
bulletExhibiting accuracy

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The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "How will your household celebrate Halloween this year?," Focus on the Family at: http://www.focusonthefamily.org/
  2. "Welcome," The Connection, Christianity Today, for 2003-OCT-29.
  3. Trina Schaetz, "5 Fun Halloween Alternatives," at: http://www.christianitytoday.com/

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Home page >  Christianity > Practices > Holy Days > Halloween > here

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Essay copyright 1997 to 2005, Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2005-DEC-28
Author: B.A. Robinson

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