A Christian group in Texas has come up with Jesus Ween as an alternative to Halloween and hopes to use the holiday as a way to advance Christian values on a day traditionally dedicated to over-indulgence and evil themes.
The Christian group behind Jesus Ween, also known as Jesus Win, was concerned that Halloween promoted immoral subject matter, leaving Christians without a healthy substitute. The new holiday was conceived by Pastor Paul Ade, who leads a congregation in Calgary, Texas.
Ade doesn’t believe Christians should celebrate the holiday.
"I think it's an activity that doesn't have anything to do with Christian,” Ade told Gawker. “And I think many Christian families are not knowledgeable to what it's all about.”
“Halloween is not consistent with the Christian faith. Many people say they feel uncomfortable on that day. We think people should choose an alternative activity," he added.
Supporters have high ambitions, expecting the new holiday to “become the most effective Christian outreach day ever,” according to the Jesus Ween website. The goal of Jesus Ween is to turn Halloween into a day of praise and awareness for Christian values instead of the promotion of “ungodly images and evil characters.”
To build momentum behind the launch, advocates have created a Jesus Ween Facebook page with over 3,000 followers, a Twitter account and a website, www.jesusween.com, to promote the new holiday.
The Jesus Ween group is asking Christians to participate by dressing in white and hand out Bibles instead of candy. They also suggest that rather than asking for sweets, Christians go door-to-door spreading the Gospel.
Nadia Lahutsky, the head of the Department of Religion at Texas Christian University, commented on Jesus Ween to CBS 19, saying she didn’t see a conflict in Christians participating in Halloween trick-or-treating.
"For many Christians, that is the primary point, that you spread the word. So, I think you take whatever opportunity you've got,” said Lahutsky. “I don't think Christians need to feel guilty about putting their kids in costumes and sending them out to shake down the neighbors for candy bars."