Variations exist within all religions. These variations are formed as a result of a number of influences experienced by not only individuals but the society as a whole. Throughout history religions have developed, diminished as well as formed the basis for many contempory religions, notably Christianity. It is the latter however which caused the downfall of Paganism, in particular ancient Celtic and Greek belief and which resulted in the church gaining ultimate power and authority over a majority of the world.
For hundreds of years prior to the birth of Christ, religions existed in a polytheistic nature, meaning they worshiped a number of gods. This is opposed to not only Christianity but also Islam in which monotheism, the worship of a singular god, is practiced. In contrast to modern belief and stereotype however, paganism, a term which has developed in meaning to that of devil worship, is in fact, when used in correct context, that of a 'country dweller'.
Nevertheless, as Christianity spread throughout various countries, a widespread inclination occurred, being that in urban areas as opposed to rural, the new religion was generally better accepted. A reason for this is that country dwellers, due to their conservative nature, were more resistant to the new ideas and the implications Christianity held. Therefore the word for a country dweller (pagan) became one and the same with someone who was not Christian in belief, resulting therefore in the modern meaning of paganism being established and developed further to produce negative connotations.
The Celtic people are thought to have originated in central Europe from areas now known as Germany, Austria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary. They expanded across Europe before settling specifically to the British Isles. Their religion, practiced from the time of their divergence from the proto-indo Europeans (a hypothetical group...