Chaplain Advises Wiccan Soldiers

March 31, 2007


Source: Edmonton Sun

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan -- From jokingly advising Wiccan soldiers to keep their clothes on when celebrating the spring equinox to coaxing troops to talk about the trauma of surviving a roadside bomb, Canadian Forces chaplains are in Afghanistan for everyone.

Maj. Malcolm Berry smiles as he recalls being approached on the NATO base in Kandahar a few weeks ago by a group of soldiers of the Wiccan faith - a neo-pagan religion strongly tied to nature.

"They wanted to welcome the spring in a ceremony where they are very thankful to Mother Earth and the new moon with pagan prayers," said Berry, the senior chaplain for Task Force Afghanistan.

"We had no difficulty with that. We just didn't want them to do it 'sky-clad' (naked) in this environment because it would be too dangerous."