Maetreum of Cybele building

I can hear the cries of the Salem Witch Trials starting all over, again.  Only this time it’s in a town called Catskill in the great state of New York.  And, it is over whether or not a pagan church can be allowed to claim property tax exemption.

The IRS has fourteen points it follows to determine what a church is comprised of.  Maetreum of Cybele, Magna Mater has met all criteria necessary to be considered tax exempt under IRS guidelines.   However, the town of Catskill has spent over $200,000 in legal fees to deny religious property tax exemption for Maetreum of Cybele.

Catskill does not question the legitimacy of Maetreum of Cybele religion.  Simply put, Town Supervisor Patrick Walsh stated “significant dollars could be saved by preventing exemptions for illegitimate religions.”


In 1692, the town of Salem, Massachusetts, suffered through one of the most horrific trials in American history; trials that ended in the murders of many innocent victims.  Fingers were pointed at the innocence and the accusers screamed “Witch!”  The gavel sealed their fates, and they were to be hung, stoned or burned to death.

In this modern world, one would have hoped that we learned from our ancestors’ error in judgment.  However, the town of Catskill is determined to “hang” an exempt church for its so-called crime of property tax evasion because they declare themselves as pagan.

Maetreum of Cybele is being denied their constitutional rights.  The town of Catskill is discriminating against this church, because they believe it does not hold up to the conventions of what a church should be.

Catskill, give your townsfolk a break.  They are tired of seeing their hard earned dollars being wasted in legal fees for a losing battle, and Maetreum of Cybele is within their legal rights.  Eventually, Pagans around the world will unite and the town of Catskill will not have enough cash to “bury” this so-called problem of theirs.

(To help Maetreum of Cybele’s legal defense, click here to donate.)


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