A report in the Christian Post contends that the number of witches (and Wiccans) has dramatically increased since the 1990s, to the degree that there may be at least 1.5 million witches in the United States, which is higher than the 1.4 million mainline Presbyterians.
“[T]he practice of witchcraft has grown significantly in recent decades; those who identify as witches has risen concurrently with the rise of the ‘witch aesthetic,'” reported the Christian Post in October, citing data from Quartz, a Trinity College study, and the Pew Research Center.
Between 1990 and 2008, the number of Wiccans in the United States grew from 8,000 to 340,000, according to three religious surveys conducted by Trinity College in Connecticut. In addition, the Pew Research Center reported in 2014 that 0.4% of the population — 1 to 1.5 million Americans — “identify as Wicca or Pagan.”
“It makes sense that witchcraft and the occult would rise as society becomes increasingly postmodern,” author Julie Roys, formerly of Moody Radio, told the Christian Post. “The rejection of Christianity has left a void that people, as inherently spiritual beings, will seek to fill.”
Roys added that witchcraft is especially attractive to Millenials because it has been “effectively repackaged.”
“No longer is witchcraft and paganism satanic and demonic,” said Roys. “[I]t’s a ‘pre-Christian tradition’ that promotes ‘free thought’ and ‘understanding of earth and nature.'”
Author and Christian radio (“My Faith Radio”) host Carmen FowlerLaBerge, referencing the Quartz data, tweeted last month, “As mainline Protestantism continues its devolution, the U.S. witch population is rising astronomically. There may now be more Americans who identify as practicing witches, 1.5 mil, than there are members of mainline Presbyterianism (PCUSA) 1.4 mil.”