With its heavy dose of themes of the occult, many Christian leaders and teachers are uneasy about endorsing Harry Potter books and movies for young children. According to a report by the Christian Post, the debate on whether Harry Potter is another device of the devil to ensnare youth into devil possession and send them to hell rages on.
Reams of paper in dissertations, hours of worship service sermons and Sunday school lectures have been devoted to the phenomenon of Harry Pottermania which plagues children, youth and adults alike. And from the perspective of Christian teachers and leaders wary of the wiles of the ever-scheming Devil, the intensity of devotion that Harry Potter induces in fans is cause for concern. Suspicions that, behind the façade of seemingly innocent escapades of the bespectacled hero of J.K.Rowling's adventure series may lurk sinister influences at work, continue to be expressed.
But Christians teachers and leaders are not wholly agreed on the spiritual pros and cons of Harry Pottermania. Some more liberal teachers say it's all "just fantasy" and therefore shouldn't do any spiritual harm. Chuck Colson, editor of World Magazine and Connie Neal author of "What's a Christian to Do with Harry Potter" are among Christian opinion molders who take a liberal stand on the spiritual effects of Harry Potter books and movies.
Taking an opposing stand in the debate are self-proclaimed occult experts such as Marcia Montenegor of Christian Answers for the New Age and Caryl Matrisciana author of Gods of the New Age who from alleged personal experience of occult and Devil possession warn Christians not to be deceived by the benign mien of the child hero Harry Potter.
Many Christian teachers warn that J.K. Rowling wraps the evil of witchcraft in apparel of "white magic" to make it "look innocent." A promotional literature for a Christian video titled Harry Potter: Witchcraft Repackaged has the warning,
Because many don't recognize occult symbolism or understand witchcraft, thousands of young readers by inference are led to accept them as whimsical and harmless, aided by Rowling's repackaging of witchcraft in probably its most dangerous form–children's fantasy literature.
But it does seem that the hullabaloo over Harry Potter and his hot-line connection to the world of devils only further provokes curiosity of the young and impressionable. A Christian leader gives Christian parents the rather naïve advice:
If you're concerned about it, go to it by yourself before you take your children.
But since when did young people begin relying on their parents recommendations for their choice of books and movies? Naive Christian counselors gave similar advice years ago when Michael Jackson came out with his weird musical video "Thriller." But we all saw the video, no matter what our parents thought about it, Christians and "Pagans" alike, and decades after, we are still awaiting release of "expert" statistics on extent of the devil and demon contagion which followed "Thrillermania."