Let me start this post with a few figures:
– There are more than 7.12 billion people. http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/
– Approximately 190 countries exist
– Religions affilliated with Christianity are the most popular wofldwide http://www.religioustolerance.org/worldrel.htm
I start with these facts to illistrate several points to be made in this post and the next. Christianity is by far the most prevelant religiln in the world, but in no way is it the only religion. Why, then, does it seem that there is constant friction between Christians and Pagans. Maybe it is just me, and others can correct me if I am wrong, but it seems as though we do not hear the same rhetoric from Muslims and Jews as we do from Christians?
After all, what is a religion? To me a religion must have the following:
1. Answer the ‘big three’ questions: where did we come from, why are we here, and where do we go when we die.
2. Have some acceptance and belief in a ‘higher’ power.
3. Subscribe to at least a basic set of values- I have deliberately left out moral in this term as it seems the people’s view of moral varies wiedely.
Taking these three items into account both Pagan and Christian religions fit the bill. However, there are some fundamental issues which I feel causes the friction.
The initial rift between Christianity and Pagan beliefs started, based on historical accounts, when the Roman empire moved away from the polytheistic Pagan beliefs and accepted Christianity. The patiriarchal and all-encompassing nature of Christianity purposefully excludes other religions. In some ways I also feel that Christianity feels under threat with the current nature of our society, especially in light of current issues within the Catholic church and falling participation numbers, and could believe that ‘alternative’ religions such as those of the Pagan ways could start to become more prevelant.
In part 2 I will talk about some issues with the Pagan faiths which could be inhibitting us from greater recognition and acceptance.
Until next time,
- Are We Losing Our Religion and Does it Matter? (syndicatednewsservices.com)