By Ernie Wren The history of the celebration of Easter as a holiday is complex, as many historians will attest to. In England in pre-Christian times, pagans held a spring festival which celebrated one of the great northern goddesses, whose symbol was a rabbit or a hare. Her name, “Eostre”, eventually became the Christian word “Easter”. Missionaries at this time were in the process of converting Teutonic (Germanic) tribes to Christianity. Given that the Eastre Festival occurred at approximately the same time as the Christian celebration of Christ’s resurrection, the missionaries merged the two celebrations together, making it more open to acceptance. Religious studies scholar Bruce Forbes writes that:

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