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Static Wikipedia: Italiano -Inglese (ridotta) - Francese - Spagnolo - Tedesco - Portoghese
 
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Paganism

From Wikipedia, a free encyclopedia written in simple English for easy reading.

Paganism is a term that covers a great number of spiritual and religious beliefs, and someone who follows one of these beliefs is known as a Pagan. Those in ancient times, who are called Pagans today, believed there was not just one God (see Monotheism), but a number of gods and goddesses whose statues they prayed to, for example, the ancient Greeks, Romans, etc. (see Polytheism or Pantheism).

Today, some people call themselves Pagans (see Neopaganism) and believe that everything around them is holy or sacred because is all part of a god or goddess (or represents a number of gods and goddesses). For example, they believe that a stone or a tree is part of a god and/or a goddess, and so is sacred, but Neo-Pagans do not actually worship the stone or the tree itself. Most Neo-Pagans not only believe the Earth is a living being, but also that she represents the goddess.

In the Roman Empire, people from the countryside were called paganus from the Latin word for 'boundary stone' or "country dweller." The soldiers, who were usually from another area, would use the word paganus to mean anyone local who was not a soldier. Soldiers would later also use it as an insult for each other, to mean a sloppy soldier. When Romans started to become Christian, they called themselves "soldiers" because they were disciplined, and so they also came to use the word 'pagan', to refer to non-Christians.

The word pagan (without a capital P) is often used to describe anyone who is not of the three Abrahamaic religions: Islam, Judiasm, or Christianity. Today Pagan, with a capital P, often refers to people who follow Neo-Pagan religions that honour the Earth. The best known of the modern Neo-Pagan religions is Wicca, but there are many other paths and traditions that are not Wicca but consider themselves Pagan.

[edit] References

  1. Usenet newsgroup for Pagans
  2. The Witches Voice, a networking and education site
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