Origin of 'Pagan'

In ancient Rome, a person living in a rural or outlying area was referred to as 'paganus', a word derived from the Latin noun 'pagus', meaning "village or district."

When Christianity became generally accepted as the new religion in the towns and cities of the empire, 'paganus' was used to refer to a villager who continued to worship the old gods, and Christians began to use the term for anyone not of their faith.

Today the term Pagan is used to describe a group of contemporary religions based on a reverence for nature.