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PostPosted: 05 Nov 2007, 10:24 
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[url=http://www.columbiatribune.com/2007/Nov/20071103Feat001.asp]In their nature
Facing discrimination, Wicca pagan followers learn to turn the other cheek.[/url]

By ANNIE NELSON of the Tribune’s staff
Published Saturday, November 3, 2007

That members of local Wicca and pagan groups made a point to introduce themselves as regular people during a discussion panel Sunday - "Which Witch is This?" - was noted and quickly brought up by the audience.

"I moved here from Eugene, Ore., where paganism is very accepted. When you introduced yourselves, you all said, ‘I’m a normal person,’ " a woman said, asking whether pagans experienced discrimination in the Midwest.

The five members from Ozark Avalon Church of Nature, Hearthfires and Mid-Missouri Pagan Pride took a collective breath before beginning to relate some prices pagans have paid for their beliefs in Missouri. They spoke before a crowd of about 20 people in the Friends Room of the Columbia Public Library.

The question is the main reason the witches were motivated to have the discussion at all: to increase understanding of their religion. Misconceptions about their beliefs - which are founded on the pre-Christian beliefs of Celts, Greco-Romans and Norse - abound in Columbia’s predominantly Christian community, said Rose Wise, high priestess of Ozark Avalon Church of Nature near Boonville.


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