Date: 31st December 2001
Members of a New Mexico Christian church tossed Harry Potter books on a bonfire yesterday (30th December 2001), claiming the stories are satanic. Several hundred people attended an anti-Potter sermon at the Christ Community Church in Alamogordo in southern New Mexico and then filed outside to toss at least 30 Potter books into the flames along with other books they considered works of the devil, including horror novels by STEPHEN KING.
The churchgoers also piled CDs and videos into a garbage can, including the Disney animated movie Snow White and pop music recordings such as rapper Eminem. But Harry Potter, the bespectacled boy-wizard-in-training created by British author J.K Rowling, was the focus of the nighttime book burning and a fiery sermon by Pastor Jack Brock.
He told his congregation, "Harry Potter is the devil and he is destroying people. " The books have been runaway bestsellers and a movie, HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE (2001), is currently a blockbuster hit. Brock admitted he had never read any of the four Potter novels but said he had researched their contents. (MCM/WNWR/CPT)