Brits Turn to Occult to Contact the Dead as They Grieve Pandemic Losses: ‘Invariably Leads to Bondage and Suffering’

A Christian group in the United Kingdom is warning of a rising interest in pagan spiritualism as more people turn to the occult to help them with their grief after losing loved ones to COVID-19. 

Premier Christian News (PCN) reports the Baptist Deliverance Study Group, a body in charge of deliverance ministry, has expressed concern as there has been a rise in people looking to contact the dead through mediums to say goodbye to loved ones. 

The Baptist group is advising people that such rituals could “open up a doorway to great spiritual oppression which requires a Christian rite to set that person free.”

“The fact that people have often not been able to say goodbye properly…there’s often been very limited contact at the end with loved ones, and even limited numbers in funeral services. And therefore, it stores a lot of unmet psychological needs in people,” Rev. Jayne Irlam from the Baptist Deliverance Study Group told PCN

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“We need to think carefully as the church about how we meet that, and how Christ wants to meet that in order to persuade people that they don’t need to turn to these practices, which invariably leads to bondage and suffering in the end,” she continued. 

Irlam explained several people have reached out to their group for help. These individuals had been involved in spiritualism or even Satanism and said they found “a greater sense of belonging (in spiritualism) than they would feel from the established Church.”

“I think that’s a real challenge towards the Christian Church, to think very carefully about why people perceive that,” Irlam said. “It is very sad that somebody might actually feel but they get a greater sense of purpose and belonging, and even support from a group dedicated to something like witchcraft than they do from the Christian Church.”

“My advice to churches would be to look out for people who are searching and may wander into the church, who have also been looking around at other spiritual options. And make sure that your doctrine is clear that you cannot combine following Christ with the odd visit to the spiritualist church,” she advised. 

British history shows a pattern people take following the path of spiritualism and the occult. It was notably prevalent after World War I and the Spanish flu pandemic. 

“Society has often leaned towards spiritualism at times of turmoil,” Prof. Diane Purkiss of Keble College, who specializes in witchcraft, told the Daily Mail. “During the Great Plague of London, in 1665, people started using charms extensively against the disease, as a way of psychologically creating a safe space for them and their households,” she said.

As CBN News reported in April, the use of tarot cards among Gen Z and millennials is experiencing a mainstream moment as interest in the occult has risen along with spiritual hunger during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Religion News reports that some Christians and non-believers are turning to alternative or “New Age” beliefs for answers to their questions rather than relying on Bible-based beliefs. 

This includes acceptance of eastern religious ideas of reincarnation, astrology, psychics, and the presence of spiritual energy in physical objects like mountains.

According to Pew research, it’s actually been a trend for the past few years.

The Christian Perspective

But Scripture calls on Christians to obtain insight through reading God’s Word and engaging in intimate prayer time with Him. 

The Bible states that our primary source for gaining knowledge and wisdom comes from God’s sovereign Word to us. Handing our cares and concerns over to Him will lead to peace and hope that can only be found in Jesus Christ. 

In fact, Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

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