A guide on how to convert witches to Christianity has been published by the Roman Catholic Church in Britain.
The move comes in response to fears that growing numbers of teenagers are being lured into Wicca, occult practices and paganism by the heroic depiction of witches in entertainment including the Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice films, and TV.
The booklet, called Wicca and Witchcraft: Understanding the Dangers, offers parents advice on what to do if one of their children takes an interest in witchcraft.
Bad influence? Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley and Emma Watson as Hermione Granger in 2010's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
The guide, published yesterday by the Catholic Truth Society, the UK publishers to the Holy See, was written by Elizabeth Dodd, a former Oxford Wiccan who converted to the Catholic faith.
She said nearly 70 per cent of Wicca practitioners are young women seeking some kind of spirituality.
Behind the glamour there were ‘grave dangers’ because of its link to the occult and the sinister movement championed by satanist Aleister Crowley, she said.
She added: ‘Recognition that Wiccans are on a genuine spiritual quest can provide the starting point for dialogue that may lead to their conversion.’
Some 7,000 of 31,000 neo-pagans identified themselves as Wiccans in the 2001 census but the figure is believed to be far higher.