Poland's Bishops Say Halloween is Harmful, Pagan

A child plays with pumpkins offered for sale at a roadside stall near Warsaw, Poland, Oct. 31, 2011. Halloween is a new tradition taking root in Poland.

A child plays with pumpkins at a roadside stall near Warsaw, Oct. 31, 2011. Halloween is a new tradition taking root in Poland.

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WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Some Catholic bishops in Poland say that Halloween is harmful because it promotes "diabolical" behavior and are asking believers not to observe it.

Archbishop Andrzej Dziega in Szczecin, in the northwest, said in letter to his parishioners that under the vestige of fun, Halloween can be "destroying the spiritual life." The "tricks" hide "diabolical attitudes" by encouraging readiness to harm the others. He asked believers not to observe Halloween.

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Warsaw Archbishop Kazimierz Nycz said in a website message that Halloween goes against the teaching of the Church by promoting the "occult and magic."

Halloween comes on the eve of All Saints' Day, a national holiday in predominantly Catholic Poland when late relatives are remembered. It was introduced after the 1989 transformation to democracy and is increasingly popular chiefly among children.

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