(RELIGION NEWS SERVICE) -- As widespread immunity and milder COVID-19 strains have spread across the U.S., pagans and witches, like their neighbors, have begun to gather more freely this summer at annual community events after two years of relative isolation. So have some unwelcome guests.
Street preachers and Christian protesters have long been a fixture of earth-based religions’ gatherings as they try to distract and deter people from enjoying what are typically outdoor festivals and ritual gatherings. But this year, some attendees say, these opponents of witchcraft and paganism have become more aggressive and even dangerous.
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“There were about 30 (evangelists) this year” said Starr RavenHawk, an elder and priestess of the New York City Wiccan Family Temple and organizer of WitchsFest USA, a street fair held in the city’s West Village in mid-July.