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YEAR 2003

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Wiccan news for 2003:

News about Wiccans and other Neopagans in the media appears to be drying up. We suspect that some of the reasons are:

bullet Many new conservative Christian web sites and books have accurately reflected Wicca instead of reprinting misinformation based on religious propaganda from the Burning Times
bullet The public has generally become much more aware of Wicca, and have accepted it as a valid religion.
bullet Enough school students have taken -- or threatened -- legal action to preserve their right to wear Neopagan symbols that public school districts are no longer banning religious jewelry.

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News items:

bullet 2002-MAY-13: Canada: Stats Canada releases religious data from the 2001 census: Stats Canada announced that  Wiccans and other Neopagans showed the greatest percentage growth of all religions in the country. They numbered 21,080 members in 2001, an increase of 281% between 1991 and 2001. Native Spirituality showed a 175% growth to 29,820 members. On the negative side, the percentage of Canadians identifying with Christianity dropped from 90% in 1981 to 72% in 2001 -- about one percentage point per year. This drop is almost exactly the same as for the U.S.
bullet 2003-JUL-6: Scotland: Pagan community seeking official status: Pagans are asking for official status as a recognized religion after raising funds for a recount of the 2001 Scottish census. In the original report, Paganism was lumped together with "other religions." John Macintyre, spokesman for the Pagan Federation in Scotland, told the Sunday Herald that Paganism is the fastest-growing religion in Scotland and should be recognized by the government. He said: "We have to take up our proper place alongside other faiths -- we are now very close to raising the 2000 [US $3,344.60] needed to implore the General Registry to do the recount and we are sure that by the end of the year we will know how many Scots are Pagans. I would estimate that we now number between 4000 and 5000, which would put us on a comparable level with Hindus or Sikhs in Scotland. They hope that recognition will "prevent the widespread bigotry and abuse suffered by our members." He continued: "The religion has grown because there is more ecological awareness and the fact that information about all faiths is now more readily available. There is also a lessened fear of religious persecution and, in some cases, bigotry. 'There can be religious persecution towards Pagans just as there is towards other religions and I would say, on the grounds of religion, Pagans come in for the most abuse out of any of the faiths."

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  1. Jenifer Johnston, "Pagans poised for recognition," Sunday Herald, Glasgow, Scotland, 2003-JUL-6

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Site navigation: Home page > World Religions > Wicca > News > here

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Copyright 2003 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
Originally published: 2003-MAY-19
Latest update: 2003-JUL-5
Author: B.A. Robinson

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