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extract from
WITCHES WIN CONVERTS
by Jason Frenkel
(Melbourne Herald Sun, July 1, 2002)

 

Witchcraft is the fastest growing religion in Australia.

Census figures show an increasing number of worshippers are looking towards the earth, rather than the heavens, in search of God. There are now nearly 9,000 witches in Australia, up from fewer than 2,000 in 1996, while the number of pagans more than doubled to 10,632.

Druids, animists and pantheists, considered to be pagan traditions, also increased their ranks between 1996 and 2001.

Religious experts said the shift towards nature religions was consistent with a growing emphasis on the esoteric beliefs in Australia. Most of the major Christian denominations lost followers during the past 6 years.

 

extract from
WITCHES' BAN FACES THE AXE
by Jason Frenkel
(Melbourne Herald Sun, July 2, 2002)


Victoria's witches will soon be able to take their broomsticks out of the closet with witchcraft likely to be decriminalised.

A 1966 law than bans sorcery and the occult could be scrapped later this year because it is outdated and rarely used.

A public discussion paper by State Parliament's redundant legislation sub-committee recommends that the witchcraft section of the Vagrancy Act 1966 be repealed. Part of the relevant clause bans people from using "any kind of witchcraft sorcery enchantment or conjuration".

The Haunted Bookshop's Drew Sinton, who wrote to the parliamentary review, said it was senseless to have a law that police didn't enforce and claimed police officers were customers of the shop's clairvoyant.

But religious leaders and academics are worried the legal change will send the wrong message to vulnerable teenagers.

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