From the Daily Telegraph (UK):

Druidry has been recognised as an official religion in Britain for the first time, thousands of years after its adherents first worshipped in the country.

The Druid Network has been given charitable status by the Charity Commission for England and Wales, the quango that decides what counts as a genuine faith as well as regulating fundraising bodies.

It guarantees the modern group, set up in 2003, valuable tax breaks but also grants the ancient religion equal status to more mainstream denominations. This could mean that Druids, the priestly caste in Celtic societies across Europe, are categorised separately in official surveys of religious believers.

The document even addresses the claims made by the Romans about Druids committing human sacrifice, but finds “no evidence of any significant detriment or harm” arising from modern beliefs.

It notes that although there are only 350 members of the Druid Network, a BBC report in 2003 claimed as many as 10,000 people followed the ancient faith across the country.

Be glad that in the United States, your religion does not need to be recognized as “official” by the government. The IRS has to actively prove that a church with tax exempt status is violating the restrictions on that status… but you can always waive the status and just practice your religion any way you want to.

When you get into things like hate laws that are used to punish insults to religions, what’s an official religion (and can claim heresy as an insult and a provocation) starts mattering a lot more.

Protect that freedom of religion while you have it.

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