Through the history of mankind, religions have known a constant flux of appearance and disappearance. Some religions were short-lived, while others were practiced for thousands of years before their flame was extinguished.
Though, at times, it happens that a religion reemerges from the old pages of history, after it had been erased by the sands of time. This is the story of ancient Mediterranean and European religions. Today, five ancient religions are slowly making their comeback, with thousands of followers enacting their arcane rituals and praying for gods whose names had long been forgotten.
Modern adherants of Greek Religion in a religious ritual
Hellenismos or Dodekatheism, refers to various religious movements that emerged since the 1990’s aiming to revive and reconstruct the ancient Greek religion. Hellenism is estimated to have between 100,000 and 150,000 followers worldwide, most of them based in Greece and the United States, making it one of the most established and widespread religions among pagan reconstructionist movements.
The modern day Hellenic religion is a religious devotion revolving around the Greek Pantheon (especially the Twelve Olympian gods like Zeus, Apollo, Athena…etc). It’s also a way of life based on traditional ancient Greek virtues, such as self-control, moderation, hospitality, and reciprocity.
A ritual of Modern Kemetism
Derived from the olden name of Egypt "Kemet" - meaning the black land - Kemetism is the modern revival of the ancient Egyptian religion. Kemetism is an officially acknowledged religion in the United States and the Czech Republic. It’s estimated to have between 50,000 and 100,000 followers worldwide.
The adherents of Kemetic religion are diverse, ranging from what's referred to as Kemetic Orthodoxy (based on a philosophical approach of Egyptian religion), to Kemetic Reconstructionism (reviving the religion as it was historically as much as possible), Kemetic neopaganism (syncretich paganism with focus on Egyptian elements), and Black Kemetism (related to afrocentric ideologies), which emerged among black people in the United States and France.
Most Kemetics worship ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses like Ra, Sekhmet, and Bastet. The religion's ethics call its followers to lead a life inspired by ancient Egyptian philosophy, mainly revolving around sustaining and nurturing Ma'at – the cosmic harmony, truth, balance, and order.
A modern Ridnoviry ritual
Heathenism refers to the revival of Germanic paganism, which began in the 20th century. Today, it gathers between 20,000 and 50,000 followers worldwide, although some estimates put a much higher estimate due to the intersection between Germanic paganism and the Metal music scene, as well as other cultural and political phenomena. Followers of Germanic paganism are mostly focused in the United States, Iceland, Scandinavian and Northern European countries.
Heathenism is also a very diverse culture with many schools of thought like Odinism, Theodism, Asatru and others. The religious practice is based on worshipping and honoring the gods and goddesses of the European north like Odin, Thor, and Freya, and reconstructing their rituals. Heathenism is also focused on ancient Germanic values such as truthfulness, self-reliance, courage, hospitality, and honor.
A modern Religion Romana relgious service
The Roman polytheistic revivalist movement is often referred to as Religio Romana: "The Roman Way to the Gods". Attempts to revive the ancient Roman religion date back to the 1980’s. There are between 5,000 and 10,000 followers of Religio Romana, most of them in Italy.
Roman religious reconstructionism focuses on the worship of the Roman gods and goddesses such as Jupiter, Bachus, and Juno. Its values are based on ancient Roman culture and encourage its followers to lead a life of order, civility, hospitality and industriousness.
A number of books published recently on Near Eastern and modern Canaanite religion
Near Eastern Religions
Near Eastern religions are the newest addition to revived religions, with their first revival attempts starting in the late 1990’s. Revival movements include the Sumerian religion, the Babylonian religion, and notably, the Canaanite religion – the most loathed and feared religion in the Bible.
Near Eastern revivalism focuses on honoring and worshipping Near Eastern gods and goddesses like Ba'al, El, Inana, and Ishtar. With hundreds of followers worldwide, mostly based in the US, there have been several journalistic features in the last few years on the reemergence of Near Eastern religions – especially of the Canaanite flavor - at the heart of their homeland, in countries such as Palestine/Israel, and Lebanon.