J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter book series may be some of the most beloved and popular books of all time, even going on to spawn eight movies in the Harry Potter franchise as well as two more (and counting) in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them extension of the universe. All of this is on top of theme park attractions, stage productions, and more. However, not everyone is a fan of the Wizarding World -- including a group of Catholic priests in Poland who burned the Harry Potter books.
According to People, priests from a Catholic parish in Koszalin, Poland burned a number of books (including the Harry Potter series) and other items because they believe they are associated with the occult and, therefore, are evil. The organization SMS z Nieba (SMS from Heaven) posted photos on Sunday taken at the book burning at the Gdansk Mother of Church parish. The books and other items had been brought by parishioners at the urging of priests to clear their houses of "evil objects". The group used various Bible passages to support their call, including one from Acts which reads "Many of those who had practiced magic collected their books and burned them in front of everyone, So they calculated their value and found it to be fifty thousand pieces of silver."
This, unfortunately, isn't the first time that the series has been targeted by Christians for book burning. In 2001 religious groups organized mass burnings of Harry Potter books in protest as they consider the novels to be satanic despite the series' general message of the importance of friendship and triumph of good over evil. The books have also been burned by those who aren't necessarily doing it for religious reasons, but out of dislike for Rowling's political statements. After the author criticized President Donald Trump on Twitter in January 2017, some fans tweeted that they had burned their books in protest.
As for the Polish book burning this past weekend, Rowling hasn't responded to the incident, but the diocese of Koszalin has. Rev. Wojciech Parafianowicz, a spokesman for the diocese, has criticized the event. He told the AP that he "did not like this form of priestly activity, which is wrong."
What do you think? Are you surprised by the burning of the Harry Potter books in Poland? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.