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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Last Bastions Of Paganism Tell All

Christianity took a long time to get to Lithuania. It wasn’t officially adopted until the 14th century. And once it got here, it suffered quite a bit, and then again much later during the Soviet regime. But though it may be dominant, it still hasn’t fully replaced the belief system Lithuania started off with, as you can tell just by taking a look at Vilnius Romuva, a community of 30 self-identified pagans.

Romuva was founded in 1967 during a summer solstice festival. In 1992, shortly after re-independence, it was officially registered with the Ministry of Justice as a Baltic faith community.

“We are all pagan when we are born as all belong to the Earth,” says group leader Inija Trinkuniene, 54. “Paganism is the natural state of man.”

Paganism is a polytheistic religion, and as such, has, some would say, little in common with the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. And as we all know, “pagan” (from a Latin word that means “village people”) has some serious derogatory connotations. Full Story

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