WITCHES FLY HIGH: NEW AGERS OUTNUMBER MEMBERSHIP OF MAJOR U.S. CHURCH
Denomination now marrying same-sex couples shedding congregations
Self-identified New Age practitioners outnumber members of the Presbyterian Church USA, a mainline denomination that has lost congregations and members to conservative denominations in recent years.
According to the Pew Research Center, as many as 1.5 million Americans practice some form of New Age spirituality, which includes neo-Paganism, Wicca, Native American religions and Eastern mysticism, the Daily Caller reported.
While PCUSA membership declines, New Age spirituality is becoming so popular that companies such as Urban Outfitters and the cosmetics store Sephora are marketing the “tools of witchcraft,” the Daily Caller noted.
Items for sale include Witch Starter Kits, smudge sticks, healing crystals and tarot cards.
On Instagram, profiles such as The Hood Witch, offering “everyday magic for the modern mystic,” draw hundreds of thousands of followers.
The Daily Caller pointed out that many of the products are marketed to the growing number of millennials who have rejected organized religion.
Instead of joining congregations, they tend to be consumers of “religious products,” such as meditation, prayer or yoga.
In 2015, WND reported leaders of Presbyterian Church USA congregations voted to change the definition of marriage from the union of “a man and a woman” to “two people,” allowing the church to marry same-sex couples.
But the exodus began long before that vote. Since 2005, when it had 2.3 million active members, the PCUSA has reported losing more than a third of its active membership.