Druidry recognised as religion in Britain for first time
By Martin Beckford | Telegraph.co.uk
Druidry has been recognised as an official religion in Britain for the first time, thousands of years after its adherents first worshipped in the country.
The Druid Network has been given charitable status by the Charity Commission for England and Wales, the quango that decides what counts as a genuine faith as well as regulating fundraising bodies.
It guarantees the modern group, set up in 2003, valuable tax breaks but also grants the ancient religion equal status to more mainstream denominations. This could mean that Druids, the priestly caste in Celtic societies across Europe, are categorised separately in official surveys of religious believers.
Supporters say the Charity Commission’s move could also pave the way for other minority faiths to gain charitable status.
Phil Ryder, Chair of Trustees for The Druid Network, said it had taken four years for the group to be recognised by the regulator. “It was a long and at times frustrating process, exacerbated by the fact that the Charity Commissioners had no understanding of our beliefs and practices, and examined us on every aspect of them. Their final decision document runs to 21 pages, showing the extent to which we were questioned in order to finally get the recognition we have long argued for,” he said.
Emma Restall Orr, founder of The Druid Network, added: “The Charity Commission now has a much greater understanding of Pagan, animist, and polytheist religions, so other groups from these minority religions – provided they meet the financial and public benefit criteria for registration as charities - should find registering a much shorter process than the pioneering one we have been through.”
In its assessment of the Druid Network’s application, the Charity Commission accepts that Druids worship nature, in particular the sun and the earth but also believe in the spirits of places such as mountains and rivers as well as “divine guides” such as Brighid and Bran.
The document lists the “commonality of practice” in Druidry, including its eight major festivals each year; rituals at different phases of the moon; rites of passage and gatherings of bards on sacred hills, known as “gorsedd”.
All charities must now demonstrate their benefit to the public, and Druidry was said to qualify since its followers are keen to conserve Britain’s heritage as well as preserve the natural environment.
The document even addresses the claims made by the Romans about Druids committing human sacrifice, but finds “no evidence of any significant detriment or harm” arising from modern beliefs.
It notes that although there are only 350 members of the Druid Network, a BBC report in 2003 claimed as many as 10,000 people followed the ancient faith across the country.
Membership of the Network costs Ł10 a year but ritual ceremonies such as that marking the summer solstice at Stonehenge are open to all.
Article from: telegraph.co.uk
quango - Wikipedia
Druid - Wikipedia
Summer Solstice at Stonehenge June 21st, 2010
Revellers at Stonehenge celebrate Summer Solstice
The Naval Observatory change the winter solstice on 21-12-2012 at 11:11 to 11:12 - Why?
Christian Sun Worship - Winter Solstice at The La Seu Cathedral in Palma, Mallorca
Pagan festival focuses on nature-based beliefs
Wiccan priestess defends upcoming pagan festival (Video)
A Witch Living and Practicing as a Pagan in Avebury (Video)
Easter - Christian or Pagan?
How Pagan Worship Became Christmas
Pagan Police Group UK
Pagan PC: I don’t want tree worshippers standing between me and chaos
What’s Witchcraft? 6 Misconceptions about Wiccans
Latest News from our Front Page
Young Greeks flee abroad as crisis deepens
Athens (AFP) - What does the future look like for young people in crisis-hit Greece, where years of hardship and sky-high unemployment were followed this week by bank closures? The answer: self-imposed exile.
"I don't see a future in Greece," sighs Dani Iordake. The 21-year-old, who proudly sports self-styled tattoos on his arms, was forced to drop out of university to ...
Google driverless cars in accidents again, humans at fault - again
San Francisco - Google's autonomous cars were once again involved in accidents while out mapping the streets of Mountain View, Calif. But in both instances, as with the dozen or so previous incidents over years of testing, humans in other vehicles were at fault, according to Google.
The search company released its latest autonomous-car monthly report Wednesday, detailing two accidents in which ...
Boston University Professor Says White College Males are a Problem Population
It seems like every day anti-White hate is being spewed from some hate filled professor without consequence. The trend of terrifying defamation has become unfathomable and intolerable. National Youth Front has already made a stand at ASU over their anti-White hate course entitled â€śThe Problem With Whiteness.â€ť Today we have continued to take a stand.
Operation Grumpy Grundy was completed earlier ...
Capture the Flag: Rebels & Rainbows
The White House turned into a rainbow as the Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage legal nationwide, bypassing state sovereignty. While the country is wooed with rainbow magic, have they now forgiven the government of their many trespasses? How concerned are they about human rights, while removing the Confederate flag in the south? Tearing down one symbol and lifting up another ...
Facebook looks to reduce white share of staff
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has voiced a desire to transform the demographics of Facebook's employee base to better echo the company's billion-plus international users. However, Facebook's most recent diversity report revealed that white men continue to have a claim on positions at Facebook.
The online social networking service claims that diversity is central to the company's mission, observing &"Our work is producing ...
|More News » |