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MEDIA RELEASE - SAY NO TO EXORCISMS - WITCHES

The Pagan Awareness Network Incorporated

MEDIA RELEASE

SAY NO TO EXORCISMS - WITCHES.

5thApril 2012 1300 hrs AEST

It is a funny old world. Many Christians still believe that mental illness can be treated by exorcisms. But witches and pagans believe that science is better than superstition – and yet we are the ones regarded as weird.

“People who are worried about mental health should see qualified doctors and counsellors – exorcisms can cause more problems than they solve,” the Pagan Awareness Network’s David Garland said today.

The Pagan Awareness Network (PAN) represents followers of nature-based religion in Australia.

The Catholic Church has repeatedly stated that an increase in demand for exorcisms has been fuelled by people’s interest in nature-based religions such as Wicca and modern Paganism. Evangelical churches have followed suit: on Sunday 60 Minutes interviewed three American teen exorcists and their mentor, the Reverend Bob Larson.

In response to this worrying trend, the Pagan Awareness Network launched ‘Paganism & Christianity – A Resource for Wiccans, Witches and Pagans’ in December 2011. This book debunks the notion that Christianity holds a superior moral position over Paganism or that interest in alternative religions is a sign of demonic possession.

“Exorcisms are based on a concept known as ‘Spiritual Warfare’,” Mr. Garland said. “It is the idea angels and demons are in an invisible battle for human souls.”

“Spiritual Warfare has been used for centuries as a rationale for some truly horrible acts – in Nigeria right now, so-called ‘child-witches’ are being tortured in exorcisms conducted by evangelical churches; in South America more than a dozen Peruvian shamans have been murdered by Christian activists in the past year; it has been used by missionaries to justify the oppression of Aborigines and Native Americans – but the first and most complete example of this is the extermination waged by the Catholic Church against pagans in Europe until the mid 14thcentury.”

He adds, “What the Church couldn’t wipe out, they appropriated – look at Easter, which originally celebrated the return of life to the land after the winter snows. We are left with very little of our pagan heritage apart from the Easter Bunny, eggs, and the word itself – which refers to a Germanic goddess of the Springtime.”

 “With a history of death and oppression behind them, suddenly the image of teenage girls casting out so-called ‘demons’ doesn’t look quite so wholesome any more.”

CONTACT:

David Garland
President, Pagan Awareness Network Inc
0413 180 973
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Gavin Andrew
Media Officer, Pagan Awareness Network Inc
0402 587 219
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