Seven out of ten Americans observe Halloween. 28% of evangelicals don’t. But most Christians seem to have made their peace with the holiday. Almost two-thirds of pastors encourage their flocks to use the occasion as an outreach opportunity.
On the other hand, the more people go to church, the more they disapprove of Halloween. Of those who attend services once a week, 56% don’t approve of the holiday.
Where do you stand on Halloween?
Halloween has become a major social and retail event in American culture. Seven out of 10 Americans (69 percent) plan to celebrate Halloween this year, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). The average American consumer will spend about $83 on candy, decorations and other goodies. That’s up from $74 in 2015.
LifeWay Research found most pastors want church members to take part in the season’s activities as well.
Two-thirds (67 percent) encourage church members to invite friends and neighbors to a fall festival, trunk-or-treat, or judgment house. Pastors at bigger churches (those with 250 or more in attendance) are most likely to ask church members to invite their neighbors (86 percent) to an event at the church. Those from small churches (50 or less in attendance) are least likely (48 percent).Holiness (82 percent), Baptist (77 percent), Pentecostal (75 percent) and Methodist (73 percent) pastors are more likely to ask their members to invite friends to an event. Lutheran (56 percent) and Presbyterian/Reformed pastors (55 percent) are less likely. . . .
A 2015 LifeWay Research study found about 6 in 10 Americans say Halloween “is all in good fun.” But about a third say they either skip Halloween altogether (21 percent) or avoid its pagan elements (14 percent).
Self-identified evangelicals are mostly likely to either skip Halloween (28 percent) or skip its pagan elements (23 percent). Nones—those who claim no religious affiliation—are mostly likely to say Halloween is all in good fun (75 percent). Few Nones skip Halloween (11 percent.)
The more people go to church, the more skeptical they are of Halloween. Less than half (44 percent) of those who attend religious services at least once a week say Halloween is all in good fun. Most Americans who only go to church on religious holidays say Halloween is all in good fun (82 percent.)