The Troth strongly condemns Holden Matthews, the alleged arsonist of three historically African American churches: St. Mary Baptist Church, Greater Union Baptist Church and Mount Pleasant Baptist Church.
An attack on any house of worship is an attack on the freedom of worship for all people. The actions of Mr. Matthews are antithetical of the values and beliefs of the majority of modern Pagans.
The media has connected Mr. Matthews with Odinism, specifically beliefs created and promoted by convicted church arsonist Varg Vikernes, a neo-Nazi. Vikernes and his followers’ extremist vision of the religion is one that does not conform to the reality of the historical and modern practice of pagan religions, which are open to all, regardless of gender, race, national origin, sexuality, or political ideology.
Inclusiveness is a Heathen value shared by The Troth and more than 180 organizations across the globe who have signed Declaration 127, which states in part, “We hereby declare that we do not condone hatred or discrimination carried out in the name of our religion, and will no longer associate with those who do.”
The Troth’s Heathens Against Hate initiative works on an international scale to combat bigotry and their Red Hammer initiative raised over $1,000 for the victims of the Christchurch shooting last month.
Troth Public Relations Director
The Troth's Red Hammer team has created a donation drive to raise funds for the church organizations victimized by this arson. Please visit The Troth's Donation page, and, from the pull-down menu, choose Disaster Relief Program (Red Hammer) - Louisiana Church Burnings.