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Monday, 18 November, 2002, 17:00 GMT
Potter film prompts 'occult' warning
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Potter fans "might log onto occult websites"
A religious group is planning to hand out warning leaflets outside a Bedford cinema claiming the Harry Potter films are drawing fans into witchcraft.

Pastor Harmit Jandu of the Faith Christian Centre in Bedford said older children were logging onto witchcraft websites after seeing the films, the latest of which opened on Friday.

He also claimed the record-breaking movies contained references to satanic practices.

Pastor Jandu said satanic and witchcraft groups "have been inundated with letters and applications to join, and that cannot be a very healthy thing".

'Protect' children

Members of his Pentacostalist church hope their leaflets will help parents recognise what they claim are the dangers.

Pastor Jandu said: "We are not against the films as such - we're not saying, don't go and watch them.

"We are simply trying to protect children.

"We are just warning parents to look out for the signs and tell their children to look out for this kind of thing."

Bible teachings

It is not the first time the Harry Potter books and films have been accused of leading children into the occult.

Last year, the leader of a teachers' union warned they might encourage an unhealthy interest in the occult among young fans.

And a primary school in Kent said the books were against the teachings of the bible.

However, the second of the Harry Potter films has just set a new UK box office record.

The Chamber of Secrets took £9.8m in its opening weekend - beating the previous best of £8.6m held by the first Potter film, The Sorcerer's Stone.


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18 Nov 02 | Entertainment
18 Feb 02 | Education
25 Jan 02 | Entertainment
19 Dec 01 | Entertainment
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24 Sep 01 | Entertainment
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