18 Nov 2018


As we have detailed on this site, many important Christian sites were built upon pagan sites in acts of spiritual and cultural genocide. In fact, this site first popularised the term "cultural genocide" to refer to this process.

Here are some examples of Christian sites built upon pagan ones:

The Pagan Sites of Europe Remembered: (11) Donar's Oak, Geismar, Germany
The Pagan Sites of Europe Remembered (13): Goodmanham, Yorkshire
The Pagan Sites of Europe Remembered (29): The Cathedral of Milan

Having recognized this fact -- and also noting the rapid decline of Christianity for various reasons -- the question arises: Is now a good time for some of the Pagan sites to be restored?

From a moral point of view, and from the Christian Church's own declared aim to co-exist harmoniously with other religions, the answer is unequivocally yes. This is true even despite the much disorganised state of contemporary Paganism, which is itself a legacy of centuries of Christian cultural and religious genocide.

But the main barrier to this rightful restoration is simple inertia and the fact that things have been "this way" for so long.

Now, however, it looks like a group of pagans in the UK are making moves to right the wrongs of centuries by writing to the Church of England to demand redress.

As reported by the Daily Telegraph:
A group of pagans has written to the Archbishop of Canterbury demanding two churches to make amends for those it says were stolen 1,300 years ago.

The Odinist Fellowship, which represents 1,000 members of the pagan religion, wrote to the Church of England last month asking for two churches to be returned to make up for actions which took place during the Christianisation of England.

The letter, addressed directly to Archbishop Welby, said: "With a view to re-establishing better relations between the Odinist Fellowship and the Christian churches in England, and persuaded that a restitution of past wrongs is the best way to lay the foundations of improved relations, we wish you to be aware that the great majority of Odinists believe that honour requires the English church to issue a public apology for its former crimes against the Odinists."

Ralph Harrison, director of the Fellowship, told the Sunday Telegraph: "Two bishops have sent responses, which have been polite, but nothing substantial.

"The objective is just to get the Church to acknowledge that it has got a history of persecution when it comes to the Odinist religion and it has to take stock of that and not just write it out of history.

"Within the Odinist community there is a strong sense of antagonism towards the institutional Church."

The group wants one church from the diocese of York and one from the diocese of Canterbury.

It said that during the Christianisation of England, which began in the 7th century, many temple grounds were seized by early church leaders including St Augustine and turned into churches.

Mr Harrison called this process a "spiritual genocide". "As things stand, the Church of England is in possession of a vast quantity of stolen property," he said.
There is some pushback against these rightful demands, based on the fact that much of England was repaganised by Anglo-Saxon invaders who conquered the formerly Christian Britons:
Dr James Palmer, a historian of early medieval Europe at the University of St Andrews, said the belief that early Christians had "stolen" churches from pagans was partly based on letters sent by Pope Gregory in which he encouraged his missionaries to change existing temples into Christian places of worship in the hope that natives would continue to attend and be converted that way.

But, he said, many of the pagan temples had been originally converted from Christian churches left behind by the Romans, who had left at the start of the 5th century.

"It's all very nice of the Odinists to say that the English were there and they're pagans, but actually the British were there too, and they were Christians," he said.

"They've only been ancestral lands for at best 100 years before the pagans turn up, and it is most likely that any pagan temples were on old church sites.

"I think it's all a bit of tit for tat. If you can claim that the church took the land off the pagans, they had taken it off Christians to start with."

He added that in many places the two religions co-existed in the same space. One leader, Rædwald of East Anglia, was said to have had an altar for the Christian worship alongside a pagan one.
This is a false argument, as Christianity was clearly a totalitarian system that sought to illegitimately wipe out other competing faiths. Britain was Christian before the Anglo-Saxon invasions only because the Christian mafia had successfully eradicated earlier forms of paganism. While the fact that Christianity later wiped out Anglo-Saxon paganism is itself proof of the relative tolerance shown to this pernicious Abrahamic faith by trusting Pagans.

Colin Liddell
A Pagan Place
18th November, 2018

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