so cool I had to copy (steal) it…
copied from Universal Life Church Newsletter – October 2012 – Visionary Newsletter
For Halloween, we thought it would be fun for our interfaith ministers to learn a bit about some of the traditional spooks and things that creep and crawl on this haunted holiday as they pertain to religion.
Demons & Religion
Demons are among the popular choices for Halloween costumes, and they appear in some way in many different faiths.
For some Christians & Catholics, they are rebellious angels fighting for your soul that can take physical form and possess living things. Satan himself is one such creature, having previously been the angel Lucifer before being overtaken by a sick sense of pride and self-indulgence.
Hinduism has different types of demons, including some that eat people and others that possess dead bodies. One demon actually succeeded in taking over the world, warding off all challengers by his inability to be slain by any man. He was defeated by the warrior goddess Durga, and this is celebrated on October 16th during a festival called Navaratri.
To those of the Baha’i faith, demons are merely metaphors for the worst parts of human imperfection and don’t exist in the real or spiritual realms.
In Islam, there are creatures called Jinn, which means “unseen.” These beings aren’t quite demons. They can be good or bad as they have free will. Sometimes people compare them to ghosts, though that isn’t quite right either as they were never human. It is written, “If you hear the barking of a dog or the braying of a donkey, then seek refuge with Allah, for they see that which you do not see.”
We all love a good monster story for Halloween, and the Bible describes two massive beasts with the potential to destroy the earth.
The great sea monster, the Leviathan, and the land beast, the Behemoth, were created in pairs by God. Apparently having second thoughts about letting these creatures roam free, God promptly killed one of each so they could not produce offspring.
Monsters are commonly metaphors for great trials in one’s life. Glory is given to those who face their monsters, and the flesh of the slain Behemoth and Leviathan are said to be the main course in a feast for the righteous in the end of days. To quote ULC minister Lisa Thayer-Van Dyke, “if that’s what they’re serving for dinner, I think I will show up late for dessert.”
Hopefully no one will be handing out Leviathan scales to trick-or-treaters this year. We hope everyone has a fun Halloween. Remember to be safe, and no driving if you’ve sampled the witch’s brew!