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Court of Appeals Considers Neo-Pagan Tax Exemption Case

By Robert Gavin

An attorney representing Catskill [N.Y.] asked the state’s highest court Tuesday to deny tax-exempt status for a small neo-pagan religious group operating on a three-acre property in Palenville.

The Cybeline Revival, a pagan faith that worships the mother goddess Cybele, has received tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service but was rejected . . . → Read More: Court of Appeals Considers Neo-Pagan Tax Exemption Case

Former Instructor Accuses Auburn University of Religious Discrimination

By Heather Greene

[Snip] Dr. Katharyn Privett-Duren was all the more devastated when she found out that her position as an English instructor at Auburn University (AU) had been terminated without a given reason. Not only was she an employee but also a three time Auburn graduate. When she was in her 30s, with a . . . → Read More: Former Instructor Accuses Auburn University of Religious Discrimination

Rights of Pagans and Wiccans in the Workplace

By Patti Wigington

When it comes to job discrimination, as a Pagan or Wiccan you may find yourself face-to-face with an employer who simply doesn’t know anything about your path, as opposed to one who is intentionally discriminating against you. Many Pagans do not wear religious jewelry at work, such as pentgrams or other symbols, . . . → Read More: Rights of Pagans and Wiccans in the Workplace

Brazilian Court Declares Umbanda and Candomblé Are Not Religions

By E C Ballard

A Federal Court in Rio de Janeiro issued a decision in which it opines that Afro-Brazilian religions are not religious and that their “religious events do not contain the necessary traits of a religion.”

The definition was in response to an action by the Federal Public Ministry (MPF) which called . . . → Read More: Brazilian Court Declares Umbanda and Candomblé Are Not Religions

Controversy Over Russia’s “Anti-Blasphemy” Laws

By Heather Greene

On Tuesday, May 21, the Russian Federation’s State Duma overwhelmingly approved the second reading of the controversial “anti-blasphemy” legislation. In the revised edition, the law would make it illegal to “intentionally or to publicly offend religious sensibilities” or “desecrate religious sites and paraphernalia.” The former is punishable by a one-year prison sentence . . . → Read More: Controversy Over Russia’s “Anti-Blasphemy” Laws

Earth, Air, Water and Fire

The Classical Elements Confront Land and Energy

By Steven Ferrey

Abstract: For thousands of years, the classical theory, which was considered the best science of the time and was observed my most cultures and religions of the world, held that there were four basic elements from which everything in life was constructed: Earth, Water, Air . . . → Read More: Earth, Air, Water and Fire

Mother Nature Gets Her Day in Court

By Tim Wall

Ecuador and Bolivia granted legal rights to the environment within the past few years. But what are those rights and can they really be enforced?

“The rights of nature laws recognize the rights of ecosystems and natural communities to exist, to flourish, to regenerate, and to evolve,” Mari Margill, associate director . . . → Read More: Mother Nature Gets Her Day in Court

Long Island Medicine Man Wants IRS to Sweat

By John Marzulu

n indian medicine man is accusing the tax man of crimping his ability to run a sweat lodge and other spiritual activities on a Long Island reservation, the Daily News has learned.

The IRS slapped Jonathan Smith with a $329,000 tax lien this year and the Shinnecock holy man is fighting back . . . → Read More: Long Island Medicine Man Wants IRS to Sweat

Suit filed over blocking of religious content

By Jim Salter

The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit Tuesday against a small Missouri town’s public library, claiming it unconstitutionally blocks access to websites related to Wicca and other minority religions.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in St. Louis on behalf of Anaka Hunter, a resident of Salem, a largely Christian community of about . . . → Read More: Suit filed over blocking of religious content

Pagan wins ‘family life’ human rights case

An American woman who worships Norse gods has won the right to stay in Britain because of her “family life” with her boyfriend and his wife.

By David Barrett and Claire Duffin

Home Office officials told Emily DiSanto, 25, that they would not grant her permission to stay in Britain because the law bans . . . → Read More: Pagan wins ‘family life’ human rights case