Is it wrong to read the Harry Potter books?

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Is it wrong to read the Harry Potter books?

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Your question about whether it is wrong to read the Harry Potter books is one that many young Christians have faced. In these books the imaginary character Harry Potter attends Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where he learns about possession and casting spells on people. Although this series of books is purely imaginary and the witchcraft in them is not technically the same as real-life witchcraft, filling our minds with things that closely resemble insults to God is not a good idea.

In working with ancient Israel, God consistently condemned witches, witchcraft and all things associated with the occult. In Exodus 22:18, God said, "You shall not permit a sorceress [witch, KJV] to live." In Deuteronomy 18:9-12, He adds, "'When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD.'"

God hates these things because they represent people turning to Satan for their needs instead of to Him. It is a violation of the First Commandment in which God says, "You shall have no other gods before Me" (Deuteronomy 5:7).

In deciding whether to read these books, ask yourself, "Why would a Christian want to learn all about something he or she should never do and something that God hates?" There simply is no good explanation for reading books based upon witchcraft (technically correct or not) if one wants to honor and respect God.

While the answer to this question was prepared by ministers who have studied the Harry Potter books and read portions from them, actually reading bad books or sinning a particular sin is not mandatory before counsel against such practices can be given. When someone learns sufficient information to determine that a particular act is displeasing to God, he or she need not continue doing that thing in order to make sure it really is sin.

If you would like more information about the Harry Potter series, read the article, "The Bible and Harry Potter: Occult Fantasy in Perspective," in the January/February 2002 issue of the Good News magazine.


  • Aaron Booth

    The Harry Potter world is very exciting to imagine as is the worlds of "Twilight", "Lord of the Rings"..etc.. (I have never read the books, but have seen parts of the movies). Sometimes that "imagining" becomes to real to some readers and they want to try a little harmless magic. The books may "appear" to teach a lesson - so do a lot of other books and movies but you have to examining the real motive of the storyline. Is it something that will make me a better Christian or improve my relationship with God? Some might answer yes. For me, I am reminded of this scripture from Isaiah and apply it to our entertainment of today - it is a challenge, but if you are striving to have a relationship with God then its a must to consider..."Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. (Isaiah 5:20)

    Be careful what you read, watch and listen to - its very easy in our world with the very enticing media(TV, movies, Internet) to allow things we think are good but in reality could be harmful in our personal relationship with God.

    There is a Beyond Today program titled "Dancing with the Dark Side" ( that sheds some light on this world of witchcraft. A former witch was interviewed and warned people against this deceptive message. Its worth 30 minutes of your time to watch.

    Hope this helps and all the best!

  • Ken Graham

    Hi Meralexpierce:

    Sorry if that isn't your name. There was a really great video that came out about the time some of the first few books of the Harry Potter series did. It's called "Harry Potter - Witchcraft Repackaged" from Jeremiah Films. At the time it was available on VHS, I'm not sure if it was ever updated to DVD or not. I'm not sure if it is still available, but it clearly identifies witchcraft as the basis for the Harry Potter "Magic". Simple magic tricks can be innocent. However, magic can become or can be based upon witchcraft. And witchcraft is something the bible warns us not to be involved in. Because it is delving into the spirit world, that God says we are to avoid.

    If you search the UCG website under publications/witchcraft you'll find a number of articles and a video on the subject.

    I hope this will help understand what's really involved in Harry Potter.
    Best Regards,
    Ken Graham

  • Meralexpierce

    I am a huge Harry Potter fan and I feel that they teach a good lesson. There is minimal language, no sex, the good guys win through the power of perseverance and unity with one another. They stand up to do what's right in a world that has gone so wrong. I understand that magic is an abomination but there is magic in every fairy tale, (Cinderella, Princess and the Frog, Mulan, Hansel and Gretel,Shrek....) I think that some people are over protective about things like this and should use common sense to separate an innocent diversion such as a book that is read and soon forgoten from something malicious and scary

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