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"Wicca is the fastest-growing religion in America, set to be the third largest religion by 2012," claims Marla Alupoaicei, who co-wrote the recently released book "Generation Hex" with fellow Christian author Dillon Burroughs.
"The numbers of adherents are doubling every 30 months," she says.
Furthermore, every major city in the United States has networks of Wiccans, adds Burroughs.
"Certain parts of the country, such as the Pacific Northwest, the mountain states (New Mexico and Colorado) and areas near Salem, Mass., are the strongest in the U.S.," he says. "However, I live in Tennessee and have found pockets of Wiccans in Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia to interview. I didn't have to travel far or even outside of the so-called Bible belt to find Wiccans."
On Wednesday, Alupoaicei and Burroughs were the special guests at Abunga.com's weekly "Authors at Abunga" chat, which connects avid book readers with their favorite authors.
During the hour-long chat, the authors fielded questions submitted to them regarding their new book, Generation Hex, which informs and equips Christians - especially parents - about Wiccan and New Age teachings.
To write the book, the authors interviewed neopagan conference practitioners, travelers to Salem, Mass., and current and former Wicca followers.
"We … talked to over 20 Wiccans in the process of Generation Hex to be as authentic as possible about the movement," Burroughs noted during the chat.
"The catchy title, Generation Hex, reveals that this current generation is the first to grow up with witchcraft as an accepted part of the culture," added Alupoaicei, who was inspired to write a book about Wicca after not feeling equipped to engage in a spiritual conversation with a Wiccan girl she encountered.
While "Harry Potter" and other media like "Charmed," "Buffy," "Sabrina," and "The Craft" have skyrocketed witchcraft into the public eye, the authors both agreed that among the biggest draws to the Wiccan culture is how community-oriented it is.
"Many involved in Wicca come from lonely backgrounds or difficult relationships and find new friends in the Wiccan community who embrace them (sometimes better than Christians do)," explained Burroughs, who served as a youth pastor for about a decade and said he was asked by students about Wicca and witchcraft more than any other religious movement.
"As our culture becomes more and more isolated and busy (and as real relationships are replaced by texting, IM, etc.), young people are starving for real relationships and true community, as well as for a powerful experience of faith," Alupoaicei added.
"People want a supernatural experience," she said.
And while the Christian life is an abundant, supernatural life in which the power of God can be experienced, Alupoaicei said Christians are not communicating that very well to the world.
Furthermore ignorance and misunderstanding within the Christian community has prevented people from drawing near to Christ and leaves them looking for something else.
"And, ironically, a desire to uphold Scripture," Alupoaicei added. "The Bible does say that Christians should not be involved in witchcraft, but that doesn't mean that we should not reach out to those involved in this practice. Continue >>