The face of the military is changing.
What used to be seen as a bastion for evangelical Christianity is now expanding its lists of faiths to include Wiccans and Druids.
At the Air Force Academy in Colorado, a prayer circle and veritable Stonehenge on the Rockies will now serve as a place of worship for the academy's neo-Pagans.
The Colorado school has long faced criticism for only supporting evangelical Christianity.
Lt Gen Michael Gould, the academy’s superintendent, said before a ribbon cutting ceremony on the site on Tuesday: 'This outdoor worship space is something we have created to help people of all religions.'
'Nowhere except for the United States of America would this be possible.'
According to the Colorado Springs Gazette, the academy is home to about ten cadets who regularly attend 'earth-centred' worship groups which include New Age religion, paganism, Wicca, druids and ancient Norse beliefs.
Cadet Nicole Johnson, a member of the earth-centred group, told the Gazette: 'This is very important for us, we didn’t have a place to call our own, to be outside in nature.'
Ms Johnson said she and the others had to meet in an engineering classroom before pushing for the construction of the Cadet Chapel Falcon Circle was erected on a 7,200-foot hill top that overlooks the main cadet chapel.
Major Joshua Narrowe, a rabbi at the academy, said chaplains signed off the earth-centred chapel and pushed for its construction. He said though they are not a big group, it is a religious need.
Last year at the academy, a cross which was made from rail road ties and erected at another outdoor site that was used for Wiccan rites sparked controversy.
And it appears they are not taking their chances with the pagan chapel either. Security is tight at the site and there are several cameras surrounding the circle of stones with several signs warning that it is under surveillance.
The Rev David Oringdreff, who heads a Wiccan congregation in Texas, offered prayers at Tuesday’s ceremony and said: 'Nowhere except for the United States of America would this be possible.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1383855/Pagans-rejoice-Air-Force-Academy-opens-outdoor-chapel-Wiccans-Druids-earth-centred-worship-groups.html#ixzz1LbGjOw5S