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What Does the Bible Say About Halloween?

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This article will tackle the controversial question, "Should Christians observe Halloween?" With no direct references to Halloween in the Bible, resolving the debate can be a challenge. How should Christians approach Halloween and is there a biblical way to observe this secular holiday?

The dilemma over Halloween may fall under the category of a Romans 14 issue, or a "disputable matter." These are matters that lack clear and specific direction from the Bible. Ultimately, Christians must decide for themselves and follow their own convictions regarding the observance of Halloween. Together we will explore what the Bible has to say about Halloween, providing food for thought as you decide for yourself on the issue.

Current Status

Christian perspectives on the observance of Halloween are strongly divided. Some believers feel complete freedom to observe the holiday, others run and hide from it, many boycott or ignore it, a number celebrate it through more positive and imaginative observances or Christian alternatives to Halloween, and still others choose to take advantage of Halloween's evangelistic opportunities.

• Halloween Poll: Do You Celebrate Halloween?

History

Some of today's popular celebrations associated with Halloween have pagan roots stemming from the ancient Celtic festival, Samhain. This harvest festival of the Druids ushered in the New Year, beginning on the evening of October 31, with the lighting of bonfires and the offering of sacrifices. As the Druids danced around the fires, they celebrated the ending of the summer season and the beginning of the season of darkness. It was also believed that at this time of year the invisible "gates" between the natural world and the spirit world would open, allowing free movement between the two worlds.

During the 8th century in the diocese of Rome, Pope Gregory III moved All Saints Day to November 1, officially making October 31 "All Hallows Eve," some say, as a way of claiming the celebration for Christians. However, this feast commemorating the martyrdom of the saints had already been celebrated by Christians for many centuries prior to this time. Pope Gregory IV broadened the feast to include the entire Church. Inevitably, some of the pagan practices associated with the season persisted and have been mixed into modern celebrations of Halloween.

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