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Southern Religion

Druid Network first pagan group recognized under UK’s 2006 Charities Act

The Druid Network this week became the first pagan religion in the United Kingdom recogized under the 2006 British Charities Act.

Their announcement says:

The Druid Network received notification yesterday (24th September) that our application to be registered as a charity furthering the religion of Druidry has been finally accepted. This has been a long hard struggle taking over five years to complete. Greater detail shortly and a big thank-you to all who helped make this important recognition possible.

Brynneth writes at The Pagan & The Pen

The Druid Network has charity status – not registered yet, but rubber stamped as fulfilling the requirements for registration, so pretty much there. This is very big news. It makes tdn the first recognised Druid charity in the UK and the first pagan group to be registered under the 2006 Act. It’s taken years and a lot of very wonderful people have fought very hard to make this possible – dealing with a system that had been set up to handle religions shaped more like Christianity than not.

The Druid Network having achieved charitable status will bring all kinds of benefits to the organisation, enhancing credibility and creating opportunities to promote and support Druidry. This is all good. It also means that any other pagan charity is going to have a much better chance of getting charitable status. No other Druid group is going to have to prove that Druidry is a valid religion. Other pagan groups will be able to use the tdn case to help express their own. The process that has got tdn charitable status has helped create understanding of nature based religion, modern polytheism, and things that are not remotely like Christianity. As this is a legal definition of tdn as a religious charity, it will have all kinds of wider legal implications too.

Jason Pitzl-Waters, who writes about modern pagan faiths, explains:

The 2006 act that Brynneth mentions is the Charities Act of 2006, which made it easier for smaller charities to become registered, and to appeal decisions of the Charity Commission. In Britain, there’s a marked difference between a charity and a nonprofit. While The Pagan Federation is a nonprofit organization, it is not a charity, and as such doesn’t receive the same tax privileges.

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September 30, 2010 - Posted by | Pagan, Religion | , , ,

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