Beliefnet
Some residents of a southwest Florida community are bedeviled by a plan by local witches to hold a nude celebration in February. Bonita Springs resident Ed Kent recently informed city officials of the proposed invitation-only, weeklong Wiccan event, which focuses on paganism and nature worship, "The Fort Myers News Press" reported.

Wiccans often celebrate their religion in the nude, Kent wrote in a letter to City Attorney Audrey Vance. "This has nothing to do with vulgar, sexual practices and is intended solely for the celebration of the Earth Religion and Earth Spirituality," Kent wrote. "This is much like a family reunion and picnic."

But some disagreed, calling Wicca of the devil. Gospel Baptist Church assistant pastor John Boutchia is concerned about the gathering, noting that the religion goes against the teachings of mainstream religions. "It's a demonic activity," he said, the "News Press" reported. "Satan has always been trying to get people to worship themselves as opposed to God."

Vance said if Kent keeps the celebration to fewer than 1,000 people and it is only a one-time event, there isn't much the city can do to stop it. Kent's brother, Skip, said he expects fewer than 100 people to turn up. The Church of Wicca, based in Hinton, W. Va., estimated there are at least 140,000 Wiccans nationwide.

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