Harry Potter books burned by Catholic priests due to 'evil forces'

Harry Potter books burned by Catholic priests due to 'evil forces'

Harry Potter books burned by Catholic priests due to 'evil forces'

Images from the burning at Gdansk's Mother of Church parish on Sunday were posted on Facebook by a Catholic foundation that uses unconventional ways of religious work.

Catholic priests in Poland burned books they say are sacrilegious this weekend, including tomes from British author J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series of fantasy novels.

The priests, who are part of an evangelical Catholic group called SMS from Heaven Foundation, held the burning in a parish in Gdansk and posted pictures of the event on Facebook along with several verses concerning the prohibition of witchcraft and commandments to reject idols and false gods.

"We obey the Word", priests said in a Facebook post showing photographs of the public book burning and quoting Biblical passages from the book of Deuteronomy in the Old Testament.

Priests are seen saying prayers over the fire pit where other items, including a book from the Twilight vampire-themed fantasy romance series, a "Hello Kitty" umbrella and a Hindu religious figurine, are also burning.

The Polish episcopate and local bishop acknowledged the burning, but declined to comment, AFP reported.

The foundation said the book burning was meant to alert parishioners to bad influences that it says come from magic and the occult.

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According to an unnamed parishioner from the church, people were asked to bring items linked to "negative energy" and superstitious beliefs.

One wrote: "I'd like to believe this is a joke".

JK Rowling's Harry Potter books are reckoned to be the most popular fiction works in publishing history - more than 500 million copies have been sold worldwide.

Some Christians object to the centrality of magic in the tales, as Harry Potter battles against evil, embodied in the dark wizard Lord Voldemort.

Facebook users reacted with outrage to the freakish public ritual, even comparing the group's actions to the book-burning tendencies of the Nazis.

In the USA, there have been at least six book burnings of the series. In the past, she has argued that the books encompass all religions.

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