Signs & Portents

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Pagan News Beagle: Faithful Friday, September 4

Georgian Pagans look to revive the old traditions of their ancestors. One blogger takes a look at the history of the sacred feminine in Islam. And in China, Christians protest the state's forced removal of crosses from their churches. It's Faithful Friday, our weekly look at religion around the world. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

Anyone familiar with Christianity is well aware of the role wine plays in the rite of communion. But what if you used beer instead? The Independent takes a look at Caucasian polytheist reconstructionists in Georgia, whose rituals include horse racing and drinking holy beer.

Islam, like all of the Abrahamic religions, is rooted to a large degree in patriarchal cultures of antiquity. But that doesn't mean the sacred feminine's never played a role in the religion. From Mohammad's daughter Fatimah to the veneration of Mary to the ways in which Allah is referred in feminine styles, this blog's got everything you need to know about the femininity of Islam.

It's been an established fact for some time now that church membership in the United States is declining. But that's mostly only true if you look at white churchgoers. Black churches are, in many ways, thriving. So why is this? The Huffington Post takes a stab at finding the answer.

Speaking of Christianity, the religion which so dominates the West is not so dominant in the East. In China, Christianity is (like several faiths) persecuted and demeaned by state authorities. One of the most recent cases has involved state authorities forcibly removing crosses from churches, which has drawn a considerable amount of resistance, some of it quite physical, from China's Christians.

Many in the West are concerned with regulating or stymieing Islam's influence in their own culture, believing that allowing special conditions for Muslim communities will result in the Islamicization of the West. But if that's the case, why do we allow such exceptions for Jews? The Guardian's Fran Abrams tackles the paradox.

Top image by Gryffindor

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Aryós Héngwis (or the more modest Héngwis for short) is a native of the Pontic-Caspian steppe, born some 5000 years ago, near the village of Dereivka. In his youth he stood out from the other snakes for his love of learning and culture, eventually coming into the service of the local reǵs before moving westward toward Europe. Most recently, Aryós Héngwis left his home to pursue a new life in America, where he has come under the employ of BBI Media as an internet watchdog (or watchsnake, if you will), ever poised to strike the unwary troll.


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