Credit: BBC (L) & Shane Lynch/Instagram (R)

‘Knowing the dark, I decided I needed the light’: Shane Lynch on finding God after ‘witchcraft and occultism’

Boyzone singer Shane Lynch has opened up on his journey to finding God through his Christian faith after years embroiled in the “dark and horrible” world of occult and witchcraft. 

The Dubliner, 46, has been outspoken about his involvement with clairvoyants and ouija boards in the past, claiming to have been frequently visited by evil spirits who “tortured” his mind as a teenager. 

Lynch became a Christian in 2003, having been persuaded to get baptised by his close friend and bandmate at REDhill, Ben Ofodeu.

Now, the father of two is set to appear on the fifth series of BBC Two’s ‘Pilgrimage’ – the BBC’s highest rating religion title last year. The new series of the show, which will comprise three 60-minute episodes, is set to air tonight, Good Friday, at 9pm.

Lynch is one of seven celebrities of differing faiths and beliefs who will take part in the documentary, which will see them travel along the northern route of the Fatima Way in Portugal to arrive at the Marian Shrine.

He will be joined on the pilgrimage by actress Su Pollard, actress Rita Simmons, influencer and TV personality Vicky Pattison, maths whizz and TV personality Bobby Seagull, Paralympian skier Millie Knight, and comedian Nabil Abdulurashid.

Credit: BBC

Speaking ahead of the airing of the programme, the Boyzone star said that he was taking on the gruelling pilgrimage to find some “clarity” in his life.

“I am a Pentecostal Born Again Christian. My relationship with God is very tight and I love it. The reason why I’m taking on this pilgrimage is just to find a bit of clarity in my life.

“I want to put myself into a position that I’ve never experienced before and hopefully find out some amazing and emotional things, so this pilgrimage for me is all about the knowledge I can gather, and about my God. This will be a big walk for sure, for many reasons,” he said.

Lynch, who was born and raised a Catholic, opened up about his conversion ahead of the documentary, stating:

“I’m a born-again Christian. It’s a lifestyle, it’s not a religion at all. I was born and raised a Catholic, but I was baptised as a child. Being born again is the symbolism of baptism.

“I changed religion and I changed lifestyle. I changed everything because of my behaviour. I was on the dark side, and I was very interested in satanic stuff for a long period of my life.

“I knew and understood the spirits as such (and the Spirit, the Holy Spirit), the spirits of the occult and witchcraft, which I know is a dark and horrible world.

“So, knowing the dark, I decided I needed the light. That was the symbolism and I found him.”

Lunch at the Boyzone Farewell Tour (Credit: iRocktography via CC license)

In an interview with Church Times back in 2008, Lynch explained his departure from his Catholic routes, stating:

“I was born and raised a Catholic, but it wasn’t part of my lifestyle. I was just a regular kid. I understood there was a spiritual realm, the dark side. In the late ’90s I spent a lot of time getting involved with the occult.”

Opening up on his time dabbling with occultism, he said:

“So I understood there had to be a light side. When life became too much, I got down on my knees and asked God for help. It blew my mind that he answered me.

“I had all the money I could want, but you can’t buy God. You have to build that relationship. I served that ball up to him, and he hit it back to me with full force. 

“I got baptised four years ago. I’m happiest when I’m with my wife, or being in church. I go to a big, Charismatic, uplifting church.”

Asked about whether it was hard to be a Christian, he said:

“I don’t find it difficult being a Christian — except perhaps in relations with the female situation. I’m glad to say I’m a happily married man now.

“I regret absolutely nothing. I can only apologise for mistakes I’ve made in the past, but they are ones I won’t make again”.

Lynch with his wife and children (Credit: Sheena Lynch via Instagram)

The husband and father has previously opened up about having 50 hours worth of tattooing on his body, with most of his tattoos representing his journey in life. He has said his favourite section of the Bible is Psalm 88, verses 1-13, which is about the transition from dark to light; he has these verses tattooed all down his back.


In another interview with The Mirror in 2011, the Boyzone singer revealed that dabbling in witchcraft and other dark arts left him considering suicide.

He said his practice of witchcraft and occult led to him being visited by demons, after which he found himself submerged in depression, which almost killed him.

Speaking in 2011, then aged 35, he said:

“I dabbled in the occult and the darker side of life. I took part in Ouija board seances and all that realm. It led to a lot of my anger and violence as an individual.

“But it’s something I don’t do anymore. I didn’t quite understand the depth of what I was getting into. It is a deep, dark and horrible world. I was an angry, violent guy at the time.

“In 2003 I turned to Christianity as I needed a way out of what I was doing. Being a born-again Christian and turning to the family of Jesus saved my life.

“As a young kid getting into a band my anger and violence and drinking were well-publicised. Getting back from the dark side to God, you can see the change. I became semi-normal again. True friends helped me. God placed individuals in my life to lock on to and learn from.

“I don’t think I would be on this earth if I hadn’t turned to God,” he said.

The seven celebrities will travel by foot, road and train as they follow Portugal’s Northern Way in the three-part series set to air tonight. Their final destination is the Sanctuary in the city of Fatima, where in 1917, three local children claimed they saw apparitions of the Virgin Mary.

Maths teacher and broadcaster Bobby Seagull, who is a Catholic, has also opened up about his participation in the documentary. In an interview with Church Times this week, he described his Catholic faith as “bullet-proof” immediately after his visit to Fatima.

“Obviously, it’s work. It’s a television show, but it’s a chance to try to get to what faith means to me. What it made me realise was that faith is like a garden: it needs constant tending. Honestly, the day after we left Fatima, I felt like ‘My faith is bullet-proof now.’ But life comes in when you get busy again, and weeds start growing, and you have to constantly attend to it,” he said.

Pilgrimage: The road through Portugal begins on BBC 2 on 7 April.

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