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Monday, May 23, 2022

Illusionist meshes magic and religion at UF Campus Crusade for Christ show

A Texas magic act left UF students gasping, laughing and praying.

The act, called the Maze, was organized by Campus Crusade for Christ, said CRU intern Chris Schrum. The act was chosen because of its entertainment value and was promoted by random acts of magic on campus Wednesday.

Later, the illusionist performed to a full house in the University Auditorium at about 8 p.m.

Jim Munroe, the 34-year-old psychological illusionist, said CRU contacted him about a year ago for the event. He calls himself a magician and a skeptic, not a Christian magician.

The illusionist dazzled the audience with a variety of tricks and talked about his personal thoughts on culture and society.

“The maze is the world you walk into when you leave this room,” said Munroe. “How you deal with it — love, money or religion — is up to you.”

Halfway through the show, Munroe took a moment to tell the audience the second half of his show involved his religious beliefs. He said he wanted to make sure the audience didn’t “feel tricked into coming to a Christian magician show.”

A few people left, but most stayed to hear Munroe share his experience with a rare form of blood cancer from which he was cured by an experimental bone marrow transfusion procedure called DNA pairing. He said his only match in the registry was a young girl.

“(The show) was entertaining and also inspiring at the same time,” said Hugh Graham Jr., a 21-year-old UF criminology and law junior.

Sky Ross, an 18-year-old UF mechanical engineering freshman, said she thought the event was great.

“I think people are hesitant to come to events that have to do with Christ, but I think by using magic, it draws people in,” she said. “It makes it believable.”

A version of this story ran on page 5 on 10/17/2013 under the headline "Illusionist meshes magic and religion at UF CRU show"

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