Orthodox Church of the Mother of God

Joy of all the Sorrowful - Mays Landing, NJ (f. 1966)

PAGAN

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PAGAN - For the early Christians, a pagan was a believer in polytheistic religion. The word originally meant “country dweller.” The rural population was slower to adopt Christianity than the city dwellers, probably because their religion was closely bound to agricultural cycles. Nowadays there are religious groups that identify themselves as Pagans. Modern paganism is earth-centered and can include polytheistic beliefs. The word heathen is used pejoratively to mean a person without religion. Like pagan, heathen also points to the fact that non-city dwellers tended to reject religious change. Heath comes from a word meaning “field.” Heathen was originally an adjective meaning “of the heath.”

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