I've started studying up on Voodoo, the syncretic Caribbean religion with roots in African spirituality. My first stop, as usual was the local library, which is a good-sized place and is networked with other libraries all over the state from which books can be shipped.
I wasn't overly surprised at the lack of books on the topic. What did surprise me was the number of fiction books that came up in a search for "voodoo" or "vodoun." Pages and pages of fictional works, some them in the children's section, were returned from my search. Many of them were clearly horror or fantasy tales, although there was a significant number of romance novels as well.
It saddens me to see any religion essentially relegated to the position of plot device. People aren't interested in learning about actual Voodoo, but they're more than happy to gobble up fictional and most likely sensational accounts of it. Worse, the simple fact is a significant number of people presume such works, while fictional, must be portraying individual elements within the story as true.
As a Wiccan, I have been repeatedly asked about the seven witch clans of Cate Tiernan's Wicca/Sweep series; asked how to do things depicted in The Craft, including "calling the corners" of a circle (when did circles get corners?); and been told how we organize ourselves into "covenants" (which I think comes from the movie The Covenant, but I'm not sure; the issue only came up after the movie was released).
Fiction is a lovely thing. But it is fiction and shouldn't be treated otherwise.