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article imageChristian groups plan 'JesusWeen' festival on Halloween

By JohnThomas Didymus     Oct 12, 2011 in World
Calgary - In effort to counter what they consider the "satanic" festival of Halloween, Christian groups have declared a festival of their own on the same day as Halloween, October 31.
The festival, named JesusWeen, is being sponsored by the Evangelical Christian community, and their intention is to turn the Halloween festival into a Jesus Festival. The plan is that many young Christians will turn out on the streets on Halloween night for an evangelical outreach, distributing bibles and Christian tracts to children out for Halloween fun.
The festival is the initiative of Pastor Paul Ade, who, according to Huffington Post , leads a Christian congregation in Calgary, Canada. According to a statement by Pastor Ade, quoted on Huffington Post:
"We are focused on helping people live a better life...Throughout the year and especially from October 31st till November 15th we hold several seminars."
Paste Ade speaks further on his motivation for JesusWeen Festival:
"Halloween is not consistent with the Christian faith. Many people say they feel uncomfortable on that day. We think people should choose an alternative activity."
Pastor Ade, along with his supporters, is bringing Christian folks together to hand out bibles and other Christian religious materials and tracts, in place of candy, to unsuspecting children celebrating Halloween.
Christian critics of Halloween say Christians should never celebrate Halloween because it is a pagan festival associated with the old prechristian Celtic festival of Samhain or Samuin. Some authorities say, however, that Halloween originated in the Roman feast of Ponoma , the goddess of fruits and seeds, and in the festival of the dead called Parentalia.
The Celtic origin theory of the feast is, however, more widely accepted, and in Medieval Ireland , it was celebrated at the beginning of winter as marking the end of season of trade and warfare and beginning of season for tribal assemblies. The feast had the typical elements of a Festival of the Dead and soon became associated, in Christian times, with All saints Day or All Soul's Day, from about the 8th Century.
Critics of JesusWeen are complaining that Christian groups would only ruin Halloween for kids. Jeanne Sager, writing in, complains,
"Come on guys, can't you pick on someone your own size? Like the kids' parents maybe? I don't hand out copies of And Tango Makes Three to the kids of homophobes ... because it's not the time or the place for a political/spiritual debate. It's a community celebration!"
Sager justifies Halloween on the grounds that unlike other Christian festivals,
"[Halloween] is one time of year when people truly act like a community. Neighbors don't begrudge spending a little money on treats to put a smile on the face of the kid down the block. Parents get to say 'hello' to neighbors they don't get to see as much as they'd like now that their kids' social schedules keep them busy."
The Onion takes a position similar to Sager's. It criticizes the Christian perspective and argues that Halloween is just fun for young children. The Onion concludes:
"What they forgot to take into account, though, is the fact that those heavy Bibles are going to be hard to carry around all night. Many a child's candy sack will break. Won't someone think of the children?"
More about Halloween, Pagan, Satanic, October 31, Samhain
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