A report in the Christian Post contends that the number of witches (and Wiccans) has dramatically increased since the 1990s, to the degree that there may be at least 1.5 million witches in the United States, which is higher than the 1.4 million mainline Presbyterians.
“[T]he practice of witchcraft has grown significantly in recent decades; those who identify as witches has risen concurrently with the rise of the ‘witch aesthetic,'” reported the Christian Post in October, citing data from Quartz, a Trinity College study, and the Pew Research Center.
Between 1990 and 2008, the number of Wiccans in the United States grew from 8,000 to 340,000, according to three religious surveys conducted by Trinity College in Connecticut. In addition, the Pew Research Center reported in 2014 that 0.4% of the population — 1 to 1.5 million Americans — “identify as Wicca or Pagan.”
“It makes sense that witchcraft and the occult would rise as society becomes increasingly postmodern,” author Julie Roys, formerly of Moody Radio, told the Christian Post. “The rejection of Christianity has left a void that people, as inherently spiritual beings, will seek to fill.”
Roys added that witchcraft is especially attractive to Millenials because it has been “effectively repackaged.”
“No longer is witchcraft and paganism satanic and demonic,” said Roys. “[I]t’s a ‘pre-Christian tradition’ that promotes ‘free thought’ and ‘understanding of earth and nature.'”
Author and Christian radio (“My Faith Radio”) host Carmen FowlerLaBerge, referencing the Quartz data, tweeted last month, “As mainline Protestantism continues its devolution, the U.S. witch population is rising astronomically. There may now be more Americans who identify as practicing witches, 1.5 mil, than there are members of mainline Presbyterianism (PCUSA) 1.4 mil.
The Christian Post also cited 2017 data from Market Watch showing that the “psychic services industry” grew 2% between 2011 and 2016, making it now a $2 billion industry in the United States.
Not surprisingly, the Los Angeles Times ran a commentary on May 23, 2017, in which writer Diana Wagman described how she had joined with “thousands of witches, believers and people like me all over the world” to cast a binding spell on President Donald Trump “under the waning crescent moon” in April last year.
“It was not meant to physically hurt him, only to keep him from succeeding at his tasks,” explained Wagman. “I found an orange candle in a box of multicolored ones we use for our Hanukkah menorah. I printed the required tarot card off the Internet and propped it up. I cut an unflattering photo of POTUS out of the newspaper, and I burned it while chanting the words of the spell. … I plan to complete the ritual again….”