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Most American Pastors Are Spooookily Fine With Halloween

Most American Pastors Are Spooookily Fine With Halloween

While there may have been a time when American pastors considered Halloween to be key battle ground in the culture war, it seems most of today’s clergy have moved on to other battles. A new survey from Lifeway Research finds that most pastors encourage their congregations to see Halloween as a time to engage with others, connect with neighbors and even brings friends to church events.

Lifeway found that while about 13 percent of pastors say they discourage congregants from celebrating Halloween, large majorities see October 31 as an opportunity for ministry and relationship. Seventy-one percent of pastors say their church hosts a Halloween event (whether it’s Halloween proper or an alt-brand Halloween like All Hallow’s Eve or All Saint’s Day). Fifty-eight percent say they encourage church members to connect with kids in the area trick or treating. And 34 percent say they think their congregants should hand out tracts to trick or treaters (we at RELEVANT would ask that you please only do this in addition to candy, not instead of candy).

Unsurprisingly, younger pastors are more likely to encourage their congregants to engage with trick or treaters on Halloween than older pastors. And maybe also unsurprisingly, Methodists are the most likely to do so, with 68 percent saying so. Pentecostals are the least likely, at just 42 percent.

“Few pastors simply ignore the fact that so many Americans participate in Halloween celebrations,” said Lifeway Research Executive Director Scott McConnell. “Most pastors focus on the social nature of these celebrations, encouraging their congregations to engage with others outside their church.”

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