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Europe’s last pagans defend their faith on the net

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posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 02:28 PM
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When one thinks of pagans in modern day Europe one generally thinks of teenagers rebelling against Christian upbringings or older alternative type peopl referred to as Neo-Pagans. Many readers would be surprised that there remains one corner of Europe where at least in some areas Christianity never took root at all and the locals remain pagans just like their parents and their parent’s parents before them.
This corner of Europe is the Republic of Mari-El (Capital city: Yoshkar Ola) in the middle Volga region of the Russian Republic. The Mari people are classified as a Volga-Finnic people which means, as the name suggest, that they are related to the modern day Finnish and possibly the Hungarians. The Mari have their own language or set of dialects which are widely spoken throughout the republic.
When Mari-el became part of the Russian Empire in the 16th century many Mari people adopted Christianity however many did not and remained loyal to the ancient faith. Some Mari fused the two religions to create the ‘Marla’ faith.

read more...... www.--.com...




posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 03:11 PM
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reply to post by stewartw2
 


Good for them!! It is nice to know that the Roman Catholics didn't get rid of all of the Pagan's.



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 03:30 PM
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Agreed, good for them. There are a few communities like this. I think one was Romanian? Most aren't purely pagan but still celebrate most of the pagan holidays ect. with a dash of christianity.

It's quite refreshing.



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 04:26 PM
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Originally posted by tgreen2103
reply to post by stewartw2
 


Good for them!! It is nice to know that the Roman Catholics didn't get rid of all of the Pagan's.


In that part of the world it would be the Eastern Orthodox church which broke from the Roman Pope about a thousand years ago. They split over religious issues in 1054.



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 04:32 PM
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Its all rediculous. Pagans are lucky their non-violent. Its alot simpler to get christians, muslims, and jews to murder eachother.



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 04:38 PM
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reply to post by Mr Headshot
 


There are a few partially pagan communities in Eastern Europe, however the Mari, or at least about twenty percent of them are total pagans-with no baptisms ever in their family history.



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 04:39 PM
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Originally posted by Wertdagf
Its all rediculous. Pagans are lucky their non-violent. Its alot simpler to get christians, muslims, and jews to murder eachother.



Modern pagan might say they are non-violent but the earlier versions were not quite so tame.

Depends too on what you consider a pagan.



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 11:07 PM
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reply to post by stewartw2
 


I know, I was just pointing out that paganism in one form or another is still alive and well in many places even if it's not purely pagan.

I love so many aspects of paganism, if you can get past the dumb westernized romantic version of it.



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 11:29 PM
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First of all, the word "pagan" was a word established by the church to define country people. This is because most rural people did not practice Catholicism. They believed in the ancient traditions.

[edit on 24-2-2009 by SpeakerofTruth]



posted on Feb, 25 2009 @ 04:20 AM
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Originally posted by stewartw2
When one thinks of pagans in modern day Europe one generally thinks of teenagers rebelling against Christian upbringings or older alternative type peopl referred to as Neo-Pagans. Many readers would be surprised that there remains one corner of Europe where at least in some areas Christianity never took root at all and the locals remain pagans just like their parents and their parent’s parents before them.


It's interesting that they are considered related to modern Finns. I read recently about cro-magnon man's best equivalent descendants being the Finns. If they are the only Pagans with a continuity going back to the 5th Century it must make their mythology ripe for study and comparing with contemporary ideas. It might also offer inferences about even earlier beliefs.

I've read that pagan faiths are distorted by their histories being written by conquerors and/or subsumed into Christianity. How true that is I don't know. Looking into the Mari religion, I found that Russia protects them under Law.


In accordance with Russia's 1997 law on religion - for which it lobbied - the Moscow Patriarchate is obliged to respect historical paganism. In accordance with Orthodox belief, however, it would do the exact opposite.

The 1997 law's preamble states that religions "constituting an inseparable part of the historical heritage of Russia's peoples" are to be accorded respect. The law's official commentary specifies that such religions include "ancient pagan cults, which have been preserved or are being revived in the republics of Komi, Mari-El, Udmurtia, Chuvashia, Chukhotka and several other subjects of the Russian Federation."


The article points out that missionaries are still a threat to sustaining the Mari paganism. I see parallels with Native American and Australian aborigines with an apparently sky-high suicide rate. The tide of 'progress' seems to wash away their identities and purpose.

They have the features I recall from Greek and North European paganism like sacred groves and festivals dedicated to a variety of gods and seasons. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be many more specifics out there.



posted on Feb, 25 2009 @ 01:02 PM
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reply to post by stewartw2
 


With the vastness of Siberia, I would think there are many more small pockets of people who are still the original Pagans. I wonder if there are any Native American tribes that have always practiced their original beliefs?

Excellent article, thank you for posting.



posted on Feb, 25 2009 @ 10:34 PM
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reply to post by kidflash2008
 


For Pagans who spent long amounts of time in isolation look to Papua New Guinea and West Pupua. People have been there for 50,000 plus years and often have remained in isolated valleys for the entire time.

Despite missionary penetration in the 19th century a great deal of the original religion survives expecially in the Western half/



posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 05:06 PM
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awesome! I have relatives in Bavaria that still celebrate some pagan things like the tradition of the krampus(sp?) aaround early december.



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 04:07 PM
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I have renounced my belife in christianity, and now I am free to make up my own religion and if people dont belive in my god then it dosent matter because I custom made him just for me



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 04:21 PM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


Got any link to that story? I'd love to see what my relatives are up to



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 06:15 PM
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reply to post by Lucifersjester
 


If you are trying to insinuate that Pagans "made up their beliefs," you are wrong, my friend. Paganism predates Judaism, Christianity and Islam by many, many thousands of years. If anything, the Abrahamic religions are the ones who borrowed and embellished on their beliefs throughout the centuries, not the pagans.

I suggest you actually bother to study outside of the "box" you have been indoctrinated into, before you start making comments about the beliefs of others.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 06:49 PM
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I wonder if the remaining followers of Mari in Russia could give more details about the Basque mythology of Mari?

It would be interesting to know more about the giants. I would also like to know more about the relationship between Mari and Sugaar.
Were they real people?

Mari El

Mari goddess of the Basques

Jentilak giants



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 07:05 PM
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There is a great deal of Pagan influence in Ireland where much of my family originated. You can see the influence everywhere. The pagans just learned to wrap a Christian veil around their practices of faith.

Visit Tara and you can feel the old world magic of the place is still present. When I was old enough to study religion and philosophy I chose Wicca as my religion. When I joined the Army I had Wiccan on my dog tags. I also have studied most of the other regions and mystical philosophies of the West and East except for Islam which just seemed wrong for me.

I would say I am still mostly pagan in my beliefs but tempered with the teachings of Christ and modernized with science. Basically what ever seems right to me is what I believe. I think it is the same for most people who did not have one religion shoved down their throats before they were old enough to think for themselves.

It is nice to know that there are places in the world that did not have some outside influence religious influcence forced on them by the sword as much of the world was.

[edit on 11-8-2009 by wayouttheredude]



posted on Aug, 14 2009 @ 01:57 PM
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reply to post by SpeakerofTruth
 


No I am not saying that pagans made up their religion Im just saying that I am free to make up my own religion to suite me, I reapect the old pagan religions they tried to keep a balance in the world that the christian religion seem's to have forgotten



posted on Aug, 14 2009 @ 02:00 PM
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reply to post by wayouttheredude
 


hiI have been to tara nad newgrange and there is a feeling of reverence you get when you see these places its just a shame that christianity took the spirtiulism and freedom out of religion



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