Pastor's concerns over Potter books

A CHURCH preacher has claimed JK Rowling's Harry Potter books may be a bad influence on children.Potter fever is once again sweeping the nation, with a new book about the adventures of the heroic boy wizard about to hit the shelves.

A CHURCH preacher has claimed JK Rowling's Harry Potter books may be a bad influence on children.

Potter fever is once again sweeping the nation, with a new book about the adventures of the heroic boy wizard about to hit the shelves.

For months youngsters – and adults – have eagerly awaited the release of the fifth book in the series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the sequel to the Goblet of Fire.

But not everybody is a Potter fan. Suffolk pastor Vince Williams says the books' magic and wizardry could lead youngsters to an unhealthy fascination with the occult.


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He is now warning parents to be careful over the amount of access they allow their children to the books and is urging them to screen them first.

Mr William's, 46, has been pastor at the The Abundant Life Church, in Lakenheath, for the past eight years. He came to Britain 25 years ago with the American forces, but has dedicated his life to the church since retiring from the military.

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He says the Harry Potter books do not promote Christian principles and the characters featured in the novels encourage children to cheat, lie and even break the law.

He said: "The Harry Potter books seem very appealing, but the word occult means to withhold understanding and not exposing the whole truth. My concern is the main philosophy of the occult is the science of magic and wizardry. The characters in the books are entrenched in magic and wizardry, which I think can lead children to an unhealthy interest in the darker side of the science.

"There is no definite line between good and evil and Harry Potter books encourage to do whatever you can to win. The characters lie, cheat, are dishonest and even break the law to win and I don't think that is a good example.

"The books even talk about revenge and I think it is wrong to use such evil to defeat evil, it makes you as bad as them. They only way to beat evil is not to retaliate or feed the problem. I do not think these books promote the doctrine of Christianity, I think they are potentially a bad influence, which could possible lead children into evil activities."

In the USA there has also been an anti-Harry crusade, with hardline Christian groups accusing the books of promoting witchcraft, occultism and Satanism.

Jack Brock, pastor of the Christ Community Church in Alamogordo, New Mexico, said: "The next book, I understand, is going deeper and deeper into witchcraft. Anyone who thinks that's healthy, I don't understand."

However, a spokeswoman for Bloomsbury, which publishes the books, said last night: "JK Rowling has always said there is nothing occult in the books. It is just fun magic and wizardry."

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