Students at a Catholic elementary school in Tennessee will no longer be able to borrow copies of the Harry Potter book series after a pastor there outlawed them — claiming they contain real curses and spells.
The Rev. Dan Reehil informed St. Edward Catholic School parents that the seven-tome fantasy series would be banned from the Nashville school’s library after he consulted with several exorcists in the U.S. and Italy who suggested they be removed.
“These books present magic as both good and evil, which is not true, but in fact a clever deception,” Reehil told parents in an undated email, the Tennessean reported Saturday.
“The curses and spells used in the books are actual curses and spells; which when read by a human being risk conjuring evil spirits into the presence of the person reading the text,” he continued.
The fictional novels, penned by British author J.K. Rowling and published between 1997 and 2007, are the bestselling book series in history and have sold more than 500 million copies worldwide, according to Fortune.
Rowling, an outspoken and prolific user of Twitter with 14-million followers, has yet to comment on the ban.