MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- More than 1,600 pagans and their supporters signed a letter to Pope John Paul II calling for the inclusion of pagans in any Vatican apology for the Inquisition.

Released by a coalition of pagan groups worldwide, the letter accuses the Roman Catholic Church of forcing pagans to convert, of desecrating their sacred sites, of spreading propaganda about pagan beliefs and practices, and of collaborating with the state in persecuting and executing pagans during the Inquisition.