Hello, I am new to this website and can't wait to engage in all kind of conversation and learn and all that fun stuff. :D Super Excited to be here.... But I have a question that I would like to here answers from all kind of people. About two years ago I was lucky enough to meet the high priest and priestess of Italy. I was super new to the life style so I was in awe of there presence. I felt and would still feel so ignorant in there presence lol. The high priest was sharing with my group all the horrible things they were undergoing in Italy at the time. The catholic church infiltrating and massacring covens and such. What a beautiful country I live in, America. But I long to move around and see the world and I have always wanted to move to Ireland, home to my ancestors. Not to mention the beauty of the whole place in general. Well, me being so young in this path of life, and my daughter is due any day now. I worry about where in this world is safe for me to raise her as a pagan, and not fear for our lives. I would like to hear about some of peoples experience. If it is silly for me to worry? Or is this prosecution of witch still very much alive?

Can't wait to hear from everyone. Thank you!

Blessed BE

 -Jessica

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it's a glitch that happens since I was a member here, apparently it has to do with the browser settings of the user. I have seen the same users struggling with this on a regular basis, and I have gotten into slight arguments with people, who "replied to me", myself.

No need to worry about where  the comments come out, it was just meant to be the end of the line. Sorry if anything upset you.

All that about Italy didn't ring true to me either .The Strega is a really interesting subject to me but I don't know anything about how it is viewed in Italy.

Don't worry nothing upset me Tara. I was very confused though. I sometimes reread my comments and I can see why someone might think I'm upset, being short, or acting snarky when I'm not trying to be as such.

Strega/ Italian Folk Witchcraft (Grimassi), and Dianic Wicca I have read about but I would have liked to have spoken to the Priest and Preistess myself (mentioned by the OP) to get clarification of the info they were delivering to her.

I haven't read all the responses but I can tell you persecution is alive and well.  I experienced it in the work place and it was due to that crap I am now no longer hide my path.  I do have a book entitled Pagans and the Law.  At least, I believe that is the name.

I do live in a high Christian population in the Bible Belt.  Although there are laws some states have the ability to fire you on the spot without reason.  If you are a good worker, I don't believe they will terminate you.  Many places need good people.

I was nervous at first but then I got mad!  I did not work at a Christian hospital.  I believe many people knew there would be consequences to their childish behavior.  Like placing bible verses on the lockers! Seriously!   

I was surprised to find more people assisting me and being supportive than bashing me.  The 3 people who went to management were found out and known to be "back stabbers."  I did take it up the ladder to, I think he was, the Co-CEO.

Always note if someone is harassing you in any way.  Those notes assisted me when I met with him.  All ended well.  People are not afraid to bring anything to the employee lounge where there had only been bibles before.

I am not a totally in your face except of a few bumper stickers.  My family knows who I am and what I am and because of that they know they were told alot of bull about pagans and witches.

I guess that touches base on what happened. If anything, the whole experience made me an even stronger person.

Side note, from my knowledge of Strega, families have their own beliefs and although there might be some similarities I don't recall ever hearing there is one High Priestess or Priest for the entire country.  I believe there is a group you could join here that can clear up these issues.

EXCELLENT response CHIA!Good for you for standing up,finding out your legal rights and following through! To assume,think and believe that nowhere in the USA or other parts of the world pagans are NOT persecuted or harrassed is ludiucrous,of course they "can be",like any other group that people dont know or fear,however ,there are rights for ALL citizens in the USA and in many countries that do protect us. Harrassment in the workplace,job loss,because of it IS clearly defined by law. Many employees have more rights than they know they have. I have been through a work related,job loss law suit also and won,due more to FML law,than religion. How people treat how they show their religion varies by the person,not just the country. I have met many private people in the USA and other countries that are very private about their religion and many that are happy to talk about what their religion means to them. We visited with some wonderful folks from India last Dec when traveling and had a great disacussion on their path. BEST to be aware always,ask,find out,question..this is not fear,it is being wise.

Most Euro countries are way more liberal, except maybe for Poland. Actually persecuted are Rom people, in the former Eastern-Bloc countries, or people of visible other race in the wrong areas of a city, and that's not often, but everytime it happens, there is a huge echo from the media and communities.

Most European countries may not have "religious freedom" on paper, like the USA do, but we don't have this nosy and pushy mentality to tell others about how to arrange their spirituality. I dislike this tendency to make us look like medieval dullards who will come after "pagans".

No we are not. YOU are the western country that provides religious fanatics, particularly Christians. Despite, of exactly thanks to your supreme "rights".

We also shave, and we brush our teeth!

Shit, i thot those euros had been done backwards.

Yes, but this is also about recognition, not every "religion" is acknowledged as such, at least in central Europe. You have to fullfill a lot of requirements to have your religion recognised with everything that comes along with that (e.g. JWs excused from draft).

This is why we are considered as intolerant and repressive, by some religious groups. I personally love my country (they are not much different from Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, Czech Rep etc) for not letting itself being screwed in the butt, by just anyone, who likes their made up stuff to be recognised as a religion, with all the privileges and benefits.

From Wikipedia (because of the English)

Several religious groups that the Government did not recognize under the 1998 law, as well as some religious law experts, dismiss the benefits of obtaining status under the 1998 law and have complained that the law's additional criteria for recognition as a religious society obstructs recognition, and formalizes a second-class status for nonrecognized groups.

It is accepted here, you just don't have the privileges a recognise religion has.

accepting =/= recognizing

Paganism is not even a "faith". This is a charade!

This is about people wanting privileges without being able to fullfill the requirements the state demands. This is to make sure that we do not have more parasite religions nesting among people. Our society is very discreetly trying to get rid off those we have. Emphasis on discreetly.

This concerns the topics of slaughtering (hygiene, animal cruelty), burying the dead (hygiene, transparency) to avoiding being drafted, other customs (cruelty to the psyche, body mutilation, physical assault, infringing personal freedoms). You can't just make up some shit and have yourself excused from serving our country, or visiting school for the mandatory amount of years.

Scotland is very pagan-friendly. I would avoid Alabama.

I don't understand this general feeling of fear and persecution.  I've always felt safe to be a pagan, however that doesn't mean I feel open to being a boisterously loud pagan.  My religion is personal and I intend to keep it private for the most part.  But were I to be out and open, I wouldn't be afraid for my safety and I live very near the south (i.e.10 minutes to the border).  Personally I would be critical of the HP who says pagans were being massacred.  In fact anything he said after that would be taken with a grain of salt and an upraised eyebrow.

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