Mark Bishop, the president of Coracle Ministries, which oversees both Web sites, says people following paganism are really searching for spiritual fulfillment.
“A lot of people that are involved in witchcraft or Wicca or any of the pagan paths, they’re searching spiritually,” said Bishop, who once was involved in the occult. “When they don’t find what they need in the church, then they look elsewhere.”
Bishop said he once rejected Christ himself after seeing inconsistencies between the gospel and the lifestyles of some professing Christians. He says many of the people who venture onto the Web sites also have been wounded by religion.
“Ancientcrossroads.org’s main mission, in my mind, is to help people that have been hurt spiritually and emotionally by either the church or whatever path they were on before they came to Jesus,” Bishop told Charisma.
He says that ex-witch.org focuses more on evangelism, as many witches stumble onto the site because of its name. “It’s amazing to me that witches come on and talk all day long about Jesus,” said Kathi Sharpe, founder of ex-witch.org. “It’s just phenomenal.”
The Web sites also contain information to help Christians better understand the occult, as well as teachings about Christ for those involved in paganism. Visitors are free to ask questions, and give and receive support.
“We don’t water down the gospel. But we present it in truth and love,” Bishop said. “I don’t know of many ministries trying to reach [witches]. There are many out there that have written them off.”
Bishop says that although some vistors come to the sites because they are angry and want to incite an argument, many others are seeking a refuge from a dangerous lifestyle. He believes too few Christians realize how deeply witches long to know the love of Jesus, and he hopes more believers will reach out to them.
“Witches are people too, and Jesus loves them,” Bishop said. “The pagans need to know that Jesus loves them, and they need to be treated with the respect due to all people.” —Felicia Mann