(photo credit: Reuters video)
The British authority governing charities has officially ruled the pagan practice of Druidry is, indeed, a religion.
The Druid Network, which applied for status from the Charities Commission four years ago, is now a registered charity and will receive tax breaks. Representatives from the Charities Commission said the Druid Network's new status would benefit the public.
Druidry has a long history in the region. The first Druids were
spiritual leaders of pre-Christian tribes found in Britain, Ireland and
what is now France.
The Druid faith has flourished in recent years, driven by new age
practices revitalized by the 1960s hippies movement.
Druids believe that there is a connection between all living things and
celebrate through rituals.
The best known rituals are the solstice celebrations that take place at
ancient stone circles in southern England, such as Stonehenge and
The Druid Network's response to the decision was positive.
The network thanked its supporters in a website post, describing its
case for status as a "long hard struggle."