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Freyasfolk.org

Although "Heathen" is now generally accepted as denoting any non-
believer of Judeo-Christian dogma, it originally applied  to a specific 
group of dissenters... those who held to the native religion of Northern 
Europe. These people had no word for non-believers, since they were 
tolerant of different faiths, but the early Christian  converts needed a 
name for those who resisted forced conversion. The most vociferous
dissenters were those who lived far from the early urban strongholds 
of ecclesiastical power, out on the heath lands. Thus the heathen, or 
dweller on the heath, became the maligned rival of a philosophically 
insecure religio-political power. Proud of our accomplishment in 
remaining close to nature and our Gods and living a life of honor, we 
enjoy the name Heathen.