An archbishop in overwhelmingly Roman Catholic Poland has urged the country's youths to shun the increasingly popular celebration of Halloween, condemning the holiday as 'anti-Christian,' 'pagan' and promoting a 'culture of death.'

According to a report from Polska Agencja Prasowa (Polish Press Agency) Metropolitan Archbishop Andzej Dzięga from the north-western Polish diocese of Szczecin-Kamień sent a letter to his congregations, warning that Halloween introduces a “world of darkness, including devils, vampires and demons” to school children disguised as “fun”.

“It is with growing sadness that we see in the last few years a trend of so-called Halloween celebrations growing in Poland.,” the Archbishop wrote.

“I am particularly concerned about such initiatives [being introduced] in school, where only mature attitudes should shape the social, intellectual and spiritual growth of the younger generation.

“This kind of fun, tempting children like candy, also poses the real possibility of great spiritual damage, even destroying spiritual life.”

The Polish Press Agency indicated that since the demise of Communism, American-style Halloween parties – including wearing masks and costumes and carving pumpkins – have grown in popularity across Poland. Church officials are particularly incensed by the holiday's proximity to the observance of Roman Catholic All Saints' Day on November 1.

The Catholic Church in Poland agrees with the archbishop, warning that the "occult rituals" of Halloween directly contradicts the values of Christianity.

One of the most powerful prelates in Poland, Warsaw Archbishop Kazimierz Nycz said Halloween promotes the "occult and magic."