A controversial pastor in Tennessee, the United State, has burned tens of fantasy books, including Harry Potter and Twilight, in an alleged attempt to fight “demonic influences”.
Pastor Greg Locke of the Global Vision Bible Church in Mt. Juliet, near Nashville, began his sermon before the incident, by telling his congregation that he had received a missive from God to skip Holy Communion and instead organize a good ol’ fashioned book burning. The event, which was live-streamed on Facebook, was organized to denounce “witchcraft,” and involved dozens of copies of books like Harry Potter and Twilight, as well as other “dangerous” objects that Locke claimed symbolized witchcraft.
“Stop allowing demonic influences into your home,” Locke wrote in a since-deleted Facebook post. “Bring all your Harry Potter stuff. Laugh all you want haters. I don’t care. IT’S WITCHCRAFT 100 PERCENT. All your ‘Twilight’ books and movies. That mess is full of spells, demonism, shape-shifting and occultism.”
“We will be in our continued series on Deliverance from Demons. We have stuff coming in from all over that we will be burning. We’re not playing games. Witchcraft and accursed things must go,” the Tennessee pastor added. “I ain’t messing with witches no more, I ain’t messing with witchcraft…I ain’t messing with demons… I’ll call all of them out in the name of Jesus Christ.”
During the controversial event, Locke also invited participants to burn “tarot cards, Ouija boards, healing crystals, idol statues, spell books and everything else tied to the occult,” assuring people that his church “has a burn permit”, and adding that even without one “a church has a religious right to burn occultic materials that they deem are a threat to their religious rights and freedoms and belief system”.
There were also those who were against what Locke was doing so they counter-protested in their own way. Tyler Salinas, a photographer present near the bonfire on the night, there was one counter-protester who held up copies of Fahrenheit 451 and On the Origin of Species, and also threw a book he claimed was the Bible into the flames.