Author: Jonas Trinkunas (Lithuania)
Raza Festival, held at the summer solstice in 1998 in Vilnius, the meeting witnessed a large group of representatives of the pre-Christian or pagan faiths of Europe, USA and India. Such groups exist to Svema the world, including most of Europe. Their isolation had come to an end, and nastoalo time to exchange ideas and to overcome common obstacles.
The conference began on June 22 in Vilnius. Great Hall of the House of Teachers was full. This was a unique opportunity for followers of the native faith from different countries to get acquainted with each other. Usastnikov Conference welcomed Romualdas Ozolas, vice-chairman of the Lithuanian parliament. Speeches were read in two days.
At the beginning of the Conference, participants paid tribute to the memory of the Duke Gediminas on a short ceremony held near his statue, erected in 1996 on the central square of Vilnius. He was a pagan ruler of 14 th century, to defend Lithuania from the Christian crusaders who wanted to force him to pay the nation. This tserenomiya was organized with the active participation of members Romuvy, the Society of the Baltic faith.
Romuva, on whose initiative convened an international meeting, already has experience of working with other organizations of similar persuasion, beginning with its neighbors: the Latvians, Russian and Belarus. In 1997, a meeting was held in Uzpaliay, Lithuania, together with representatives of the Baltic countries, Russia, Ukraine and Poland. Through these regular contacts, it became clear that “pagan” movement share common ideas, interests and incentives as well as interesting differences. We can learn from each other and share experiences. At the same time, pagan activities have evolved in Western Europe, among others, by the Pagan Federation in England and organizations Asatrufelagidh in Iceland. It’s time to establish links between the supporters of the old faith of the Western and Eastern Europe.
Slavic delegation at the first conference WCER
Romuva convened the World Congress of Ethnic Religions. The word “world” emphasizes the global scope of traditions and cultural coverage, to which we aspire, and provides an opportunity to join the Congress of any groups of followers of the faith and native individuals.
At the first meeting had two objectives:
1. Acquainted with each other, our problemeami and ideas;
2. Come to an understanding on future cooperation and the formation of the organization.
At the end of the conference participants met and decided to create their own organization. Most agreed to call it a World Congress of Ethnic Religions (WCER). Many expressed the view that WCER be based in Vilnius, as the spirit of tolerance and benevolence is still alive in Lithuania and in Vilnius reign of Grand Duke Gediminas the spirit. Romuvu asked to make all necessary preparations. Drafted the Declaration, which expresses the pagan point of view in modern society.