Although Witchcraft has been around for centuries, it has only been called Wicca since 1939 with the works of Gerald Gardner. Wicca continues to change as society changes. There are however many fundamentals that remain intact within most Wiccan practices.
Religious freedom is still one of the many joys we as Americans enjoy and treasure, however there is still much discrimination and false information out there because of the lack of understanding surrounding the elements of the History of Wicca. This is why secrecy is a common element of Wicca
It is in part because of the burning times which drove witchcraft into secrecy, where much of it still remains today. But things are changing, as you will see below.
The most recent and important piece of History in Wicca, just took place on April 23, 2007. The Department of Veterans Affairs agreed to add the Pentacle to a list of approved religious symbols that they are willing to engrave on Veterans headstones.
Many Americans do not consider Wicca to be a religion, and hold the mistaken belief that Wiccans are devil worshippers. Nothing could be further from the truth!
They have discovered that there are 1,800 Wiccans in the Air Force alone. It is amazing that someone could fight for their country, and died for their country, but wasn't allowed to have their desired religious symbol on their headstone! Change is good!
Throughout history there has been religious discrimination that has changed the way various religions are accepted. Wicca is a perfect example. Unfortunately politics also play a big part in this problem. It is only normal for people to go into hiding when they are discriminated against, especially when false statements are made to create fear & anger that are unfounded through out the History of Wicca and other religions.
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/24/washington/24wiccan.html?_r=1 -article for the wiccan headstone