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Harry Potter books have helped increase interest in witchcraft around the world, say representatives of a Wiccan group sponsoring a witch convention in Scotland this summer.

The Wiccan group, Children of Artemis, has coordinated this year’s local gathering of witches to be held in Glasgow, Scotland.

“There is a growing interest in the Wiccan religion, and there are thousands of us already in Scotland,” organizer Pauline Reid told the London Sunday Mail.

“Harry Potter has also had a positive effect. But we don’t let anybody join until they are 18.”

Filmmaker and occult expert Caryl Matrisciana spoke with WorldNetDaily about her documentary covering Harry Potter’s influence on children.

The video documentary details numerous similarities between the spells and magic used by Harry Potter and those used in the witchcraft of the Wiccan religion. Such striking similarity, said Matrisciana, is evidence that the author, J.K. Rowling, has meticulously researched Wicca and included its tenets in her children’s books.

Some children who read the books, often more than once, may find themselves attracted to the magical world Harry lives in, she said. In attempting to create their own spells and charms, kids may turn to other books that teach witchcraft.

The boom in witchcraft has also been attributed to teen-agers watching TV shows like “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” and “Charmed.”

As WorldNetDaily reported, a 2002 study by Barna Research Group Ltd. indicates 86 percent of kids watch supernatural-themed movies or television shows on a regular basis.

Mark Matlock, minister with Wisdom Works Ministries and commissioner of the study, told WND there is a relationship between those who are drawn into the Harry Potter craze and those who have experimented in occult-type activities, but he says it doesn’t necessarily mean the Harry Potter influence always causes kids to delve into witchcraft.

Scotland’s “Witchfest” will take place at Langside Halls in Glasgow next month, and a Europe-wide gathering will take place in London in November. The Children of Artemis say it will be the largest European witchcraft and Wicca event in recorded history.

The group touts the coming Witchfest as “an amazing event, with talks, workshops, stalls and great entertainment.”

“My greatest concern is that godly fear that protects mankind from dabbling in the spirit world is being taken away from children who read these Harry Potter books. The terrors and horrors of black magic and occult practice, rituals, ceremonies and demon possession are being normalized,” Matrisciana said.

“Alarmingly, the Potter books are engaging in pagan discipleship, disciplining our children to spiritual alternatives and also turning them away from the biblical principles and God’s protection.”

Related stories:

Potter books: Wicked witchcraft?

Study: Potter readers more occultic

Potter called Christ-like

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