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Astrology threatening Church in Eastern Europe

Christians in former Communist countries are being challenged by an influx of sects and a rise in astrology, a conference in Budapest has been told.

Fr Laszlo Lukacs told the conference that the trend has been apparent since 1989.

"Astrology is so popular that even 'mediums' are on the TV screen ... and several non-Christian groups have registered as churches, including the Church of the Hungarian Witches and the Church of the New Fresh Wind," said Fr Lukacs. "It is an attack against God himself."

The times challenge Christians to know how to "sell our Good News" to all people, "so that it may be understood and accepted by them," said Fr Lukacs, who has close ties to the Vatican.

"We have to rediscover the figure of Jesus and the Bible itself," he added. "I often see that our language, our phrases, our rituals do not open up the hearts of the people to Christ. It is a false picture of Christ that is shown to them."