Only 13% of pastors advised Christians to avoid Halloween when they were asked from End Time Headlines
The majority of Protestant pastors in the United States do not advise Christians to avoid Halloween entirely, and many instead encouraged churchgoers to use the holiday to build relationships with neighbors and share the Gospel, according to a new poll.
A new survey of over 1,000 Protestant pastors in the U.S. released this month by Lifeway Research finds that 71% say they encourage church members to invite friends or neighbors to church events on or near Halloween, such as a fall festival, trunk-or-treat, or judgment house.
Nearly three in five pastors (58%) say they want church members to build relationships with neighbors who trick-or-treat, and about a third (34%) encourage church members to hand out Gospel tracts to trick-or-treaters.
Just over one out of 10 pastors surveyed (13%) say they discourage their church members from participating in Halloween festivities, an increase from 8% of pastors who said the same in a 2016 survey.
Across the board, Lifeway finds that pastors are more likely to try to influence congregants’ engagement in Halloween in 2022 compared to 2016. According to Lifeway, the largest increase is among pastors who encourage church members to hand out Gospel tracts to trick-or-treaters, up from 26% in 2016.
Compared to 2016, higher percentages of pastors also said they encouraged church members to invite friends to church events (67% to 71%) and build relationships with trick-or-treaters (52% to 58%). The Lifeway poll comes as a Numerator survey suggests that 78% of Americans say they will “definitely” or “probably” celebrate Halloween this year.
“Few pastors simply ignore the fact that so many Americans participate in Halloween celebrations,” Lifeway Research Executive Director Scott McConnell said in a statement. “Most pastors focus on the social nature of these celebrations, encouraging their congregations to engage with others outside their church.”