Religions all have their quirks. Whether you follow Christianity, Judaism, Islam, or anything else, your church is sure to have traditions that look odd to outsiders.

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While most churches use the power of faith and prayer to get closer to their higher power, one radical church in Arizona has a different approach.

What is the Church of the Eagle and the Condor?

Founded in 2018, the Church of the Eagle and the Condor (CEC) is a spiritual church following the teachings of early Native Americans. The church pushes their members to a higher spiritual understanding of themselves and others through healing ceremonies and sacred activism.

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Like many spiritual churches, the CEC has a deep connection to the earth and mother nature. They believe in re-connecting with the elements (Water, Earth, Fire, Air, and Ether) to further their own spiritual progression.

The Church's Struggle With the DEA

When you begin to open yourself to spiritual change, one concept shines above the others: psychedelic drugs. These mind altering substances have been said to "unlock the secrets of the universe" to those who know how to look for them.

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The CEC has a tradition of using the South American drug Ayahuasca to open their minds and connect deeper with nature. Unfortunately for them, the drug is illegal within the United States, leaving their members with the choice to do without it, or make the journey to the Amazon rainforest where the drug grows.

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The Church Makes History

Late in April 2024, the church prevailed, and won their case against the DEA, allowing members of their church to import and ingest the substance. The ruling found that the church is eligible to claim religious freedom, and therefore can consume Ayahuasca as their sacrament.

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This is the first indigenous-based church to earn their freedom of religion, and protection for their ceremonies.

[The Church of the Eagle and the Condor]

[High Times]

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