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Guide to Religion


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GUIDE to RELIGION

This is a placeholder for the monolith I'll be posting on religions. As this can be a touchy topic, I want to emphasize that it is only for fictional backgrounds. I realize that pretty much everyone understands this, but I want to head off anyone who takes a perceived offensive to anything posted here. (These charts are based the "MegaTraveller World Builder's Handbook", DGP, 1989)

Simply pick out what aspects apply to your "method of worship" - this way everyone else will at least have an idea of the background (i.e. the KBI Traditionalists) for writings and reference in storylines.

Table of contents:

  1. God View
  2. Spiritual Aim
  3. Devotion Required
  4. Organization Structure
  5. Liturgical Formality
  6. Missionary Fervor

1 God View

This part describes the religion's basic belief of a supreme being or beings and the part played by the deity/deities in everyday life

  1. Animism. All natural phenomena and objects (trees, rivers, the wind, etc.) are caused by or inhabited by spirits or demigods
  2. Polytheistic Animism. Certain natural phenomena are associated with specific gods or goddesses, arranged in a distinct hierarchical order.
  3. Polytheism. Multiple gods (probably with lingering animistic associations or titles) exists, each of roughly the same importance.
  4. Rational Polytheism. A multiplicity of gods is viewed as numerous different aspects of a handful of true divinities.
  5. Dualism. Two mutually antagonistic gods or principals, one good and one evil, exists; their struggle is mirrored in nature and in moral/ethical problems.
  6. Interactive Monotheism. A single god exists and is interested in the daily actions of its followers.
  7. Influential Monotheism. God interact with followers only at key moments in life.
  8. Crisis Monotheism. God is involved in mortal affairs only at the crucial moment in history.
  9. Remote Monotheism. God exists but is not generally available. A select few interactions in mortal affairs may occur from time to time.
  10. Deism. God created the universe, but thereafter, took no part in mortal affairs, and is permanently out of reach.
  11. Pantheism. God is not a personality; god is everything and everything is god.
  12. Agnosticism. It is impossible to know whether or not there is a god.
  13. Rational Atheism. A rejection of the existence of a Supreme Being on the basis of science, logic, or reasoning.
  14. Skeptical Atheism. A rejection of the existence of a Supreme Being on the basis of personal, non-rational conviction ("faith").
  15. Atheism. A total rejection of the existence of a Supreme Being; complete lack of religious beliefs.
  16. Philosophical Atheism. A failure to understand the concept of a Supreme Being. The question of religious belief is meaningless.

2 Spiritual Aim

Describes the central tenet of the religion; the belief which defines the religion's appeal and promise. Actually, any given religion may have several beliefs in the list of scriptures, but the Spiritual Aim singles one out as the dominant.

  1. Worshipers are a chosen elite who deserve to dominate.
  2. Worshipers will be rewarded in this life. Prayers are answered, regardless of their nature.
  3. Worshipers will be saved from some imminent disaster.
  4. Reincarnation with a karmic doctrine. One's level in the next life is based on one's devotion and/or morality in this one.
  5. Reincarnation is accomplished via personal choice of the next vehicle of the soul. The strength of character enables the individual to choose the best possible form of a new incarnation.
  6. Statistical reincarnation causes a return in an essentially random form, but how one faces each life builds merit for an ultimate, distance afterlife.
  7. Worshipers will be received into paradise when they die.
  8. Worshipers will avoid being condemned to a place of eternal punishment (presumably, again, by going to paradise.)
  9. Ethical and moral standards are their own reward, regardless of the possibility of heavenly rewards or punishment.
  10. Believers seek to promote peace, harmony, and order to improve the quality of life for all.
  11. Believers seek to expand the frontiers of knowledge through inquiry and speculation.
  12. Believers seek to preserve the knowledge and wisdom of the past.
  13. Believers seek to improve their own lives by self-discipline and training.
  14. An Epicurean philosophy. "Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die." Hedonism is the only proper purpose in life.
  15. Nihilism. There is no purpose in life, and nothing to be gained by living. Beliefs along these lines are often symptomatic of a maladjusted or dangerously unstable society or personality.

3 Devotion Required

Indicate the degree to which individuals believers are involved in religion-oriented activities, such as prayers, sacrifices, meditation, teaching, studying, and so on. It suggests both the 'fanaticism' of the religion (how much it controls daily life) as well as the importance of religious activities to belief and acceptance by the religious community; it adds insight into how the religion functions.

  1. Constant Devotion. No word, act, deed or thought that isn't connected with religious belief should ever be tolerated.
  2. Several times per hour
  3. Hourly
  4. Several times per day
  5. Daily
  6. Weekly
  7. Semi-weekly
  8. Monthly
  9. Semi-monthly
  10. Quarterly.
  11. Bi-Annually
  12. Yearly.Several times during life
  13. At least once before death
  14. Never

4 Organization Structure

Conveys the structure of the religious group. Rigid church hierarchies tend to be large, ponderous, dogmatic, shrouded in ritual or mysticism, and inaccessible to the common worshiper. Looser structures generally fail to recruit, collect, or direct in ways that promote the religion.

  1. The religious hierarchy assumes the functions of government. A theocracy.
  2. Rigid hierarchy answerable to a central authority the minimal decision making at lower levels.
  3. Rigid hierarchy with most decisions on a regional level.
  4. Rigid hierarchy with most decisions on a local level.
  5. Loose hierarchy answerable to a central authority with minimal decision making at lower levels.
  6. Loose hierarchy with most decisions on a regional level.
  7. Loose hierarchy with most decisions on a local level.
  8. Loose hierarchy with most decisions up to the individual worshipers.
  9. No organization above a regional level.
  10. No organization above a local level.
  11. Local organization without regulations.
  12. Loose, highly informal organization.
  13. No organization of any kind.

5 Liturgical Formality

Itemizes the nature of worship. 'High Church' services, long on ritual but with little or no input from the common worshiper, contrasts sharply with less formal sects that freely discuss, even question, the fundamentals of their faith as they explore its meanings and ramifications.

  1. 'Word of God' is pronounced by living oracles (statues, computers, defined leaders, prophets, mediums, etc.). Services are tightly controlled by the priesthood.
  2. Holy writings exist but are accessible only to the highest church authorities.
  3. Holy writings are accessible only to certain specific levels of authority.
  4. Services are conducted by rote in a "Holy Tongue" few worshipers understand.
  5. Services are conducted by rote in common languages.
  6. Very formal church ritual coupled with a minimal teaching of holy writings.
  7. Formal church ritual and very limited teaching.
  8. Rituals are combined with moderate teaching.
  9. Rituals are combined with an open teaching policy.
  10. Emphasis is laid on communal teaching with limited ritual.
  11. Formal study groups focus on discussion and interpretation of church writings.
  12. Formal study groups include philosophical inquiry into questions not covered in holy writings but under rigid methods of preserving the sanctity of fundamental topics.
  13. Informal study groups with extensive limitations on the allowable subject matter.
  14. Highly informal liturgy with some limitations on topics of reference.
  15. Complete informality. Open exchange of ideas and concepts in a conversational setting.
  16. Religion does not enter into conversation at any time; although some philosophical questions may crop up from time to time, no one organizes 'services' or 'worship' around such matters.

6 Missionary Fervor

Describes the degree to which the religion seeks out converts and supporters. Missionary Fervor indicates how likely an adherent is to strike up religiously-oriented conversations, or how often church member may be pressured into contributions of time, money, or other support.

  1. Zealous and willing to convert any person.
  2. Zealous among a limited group of people (i.e. race, nationality).
  3. Active and willing to convert any person.
  4. Active among a limited group of people.
  5. Ordinary and willing to convert any person.
  6. Ordinary among a limited group of people.
  7. Occasional conversion.
  8. Conversion attempts are highly infrequent
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Religious Profiles of the Kingdom of the Bainbridge Islands

 

user posted image

Image of Islander Catholic Priest in formal garb

 

KBI (?Islander?) Catholicism

God View: Crisis Monotheism ? god is involved in mortal affairs only at crucial moment in history

Spiritual Aim: Worshipers will avoid being condemned to a place of eternal punishment

Devotion Required: Weekly (attend mass every week)

Organizational Structure: Rigid hierarchy answerable to a central authority with minimal decision making at lower levels

Liturgical Formality: Rituals are combined with an open teaching policy

Missionary Fervor: Active and willing to convert non-Catholics

 

Similar to Roman Catholicism, but since there is no ?Rome? in Europa (odd?), this will be considered a more liberal/progressive version of the same.

 

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The Sacred Family Cathedral in Aiea

 

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Buddhist monk listening to a liturgy podcast in Honolulu

 

Buddhism

God View: Pantheism ? God is not a personality; god is everywhere and everything is god

Spiritual Aim: Believers seek to improve their own lives by self-discipline and training

Devotion Required: Quarterly (homage to a temple once a season)

Organizational Structure: Rigid hierarchy with most decision made at local level

Liturgical Formality: Formal study group study groups focus on discussion and interpretation of church writings.

Missionary Fervor: Ordinary and willing to convert non-Buddhists

 

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Monk praying at the Konua Temple, Lahaina

 

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"Call to Nature" by a Traditionalist Priest, He'e

 

Traditionaism

God View: Rational Polytheism ? a multiplicity of gods is views as numerous different aspects of a

hand-full true divinities

Spiritual Aim: Believers seek to preserve the knowledge and wisdom of the past

Devotion Required: Several times during life (various major life points need rituals ? i.e. births, coming of age, marriages, ect?)

Organizational Structure: Loose hierarchy answerable to a central authority with minimal decision making at lower levels

Liturgical Formality: Formal church rituals with moderate teaching

Missionary Fervor: Ordinary and willing to convert non-Traditionalists (usually only Islanders)

 

A more ?nature-based? religion, its focus is the preservation of the traditional Islander culture, preservation of ?old ways?, and a love of nature. Environmentalism, love of nature, and ensuring a balance in the ?Natural Order? are key points of Traditionalism.

 

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Dedication to the gods, Mist Island

 

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Edited by Bainbridge Islands (see edit history)
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The people of Tamurin enjoy freedom of religion. Religion and religious organizations have no influence on the state, the government and the administration because there is a strict division between church and state in place.

 

Therefore you can meet many religions, churches and ways to worship in Tamurin. There is no single "national religion" or a group of religions.

 

TagEdit: This topic also moved

Edited by Tagmatium Rules (see edit history)
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  • 2 weeks later...

Ide Jiman Religion:

Than'Chai

The one and only religion in Ide Jima, with all others being prohibited by law. There is some variation in beliefs, revolving around the venerating of various prophets, which is tolerated by the central religious hierarchy.

 

Than'Chai is a belief best described as being Dualist. Two gods are thought to exist, one of good, another of evil. Holy scriptures call for the worship of good. The god of good is generally referred to as Xi (Shee). The god of evil, is known Xe (Shay) - often portrayed as a devil figure, who, through use of demonic armies is responsible for all pain and suffering that exists in the world.

 

Believers avoid doing what is seen as 'evil', for fear of given into the hands of evil at the end of time. In Ide Jima this is reinforced with state penalties in most areas. Those who lead a good life are accepted into heaven, a paradise. Devotion is weekly in most cases, in which worshippers gather to honour Xi, and rally against the forces of darkness by means of prayer.

 

Religious hierarchy is closely associated with state, with religious authorities often occupying incredibly powerful positions within the state. For example, many bishops command units of the Ide Jiman army, whilst others may wield private force - granted on license from Serekan. All attempts to seperate church from state are shot down violently, through means of the Than'Chai Clauses, in which the Seperation of Church and State is seen as a means of Treason.

 

Services follow ritual, held in the native tongue. Certain members of the clergy pray against evil in a demonic tongue, few understand. Each and every person in the Ide Jiman nation is a follower of the religion. Those exempt from having to respect weekly devotion include Soldiers on Operation.

 

The existence of other religions is not tolerated. Disbelief is seen as a form of madness. In the eyes of the Than'Chai science and religion are perfectly compatible. God is seen to transcend the furthest gazes of science, and scientific discovery is seen as a form of further glorifying creation.

 

 

Edited by Ide Jima (see edit history)
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Nevareies Orthodox Chrurch

Autocephalous Orthodox Christian religion.

 

External reference: [church.NevCom]

 

 

God View: Interactive Monotheism,

Spiritual Aim: Worshipers will be received into paradise when they die (they will become closer to god if deserving),

Devotion Required: Semi-weekly for lay members with particular festivals throught the year.

Organization Structure: Rigid hierarchy with most decisions on a regional level / Rigid hierarchy with most decisions on a local level (Changes in Dogma can only be made with the consent of both church heirarchy and lay member councils),

Missionary Fervor: Active and willing to convert any person

 

Nearest RL equivalent: Greek Orthodox Church

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Religious Profiles of the Greater Holy Empire of Tagmatium

 

The Iconoclastic Orthodox Church of Tagmatium

 

God View: Influential Monotheism ? God interact with followers only at key moments in life, although possibly more metaphorical than literal.

Spiritual Aim: Worshipers will avoid being condemned to a place of eternal punishment

Devotion Required: Weekly, worshippers attending communion every Sunday, although there are many holy days throughout the year (Easter, Christmas etc)

Organisation Structure: Rigid hierarchy answerable to a central authority the minimal decision making at lower levels.

Liturgical Formality: Rituals are combined with an open teaching policy.

Missionary Fervour: Zealous and willing to convert any person

 

It is regarded as the ?true? Christian faith, but intolerance is frowned upon by the Church. This is due to several wars in the 1100s. However, the Church is very willing to convert, but a firm ?no? will be taken as that. In practice, it almost forms a second government in Tagmatium, with the Patriarch, in theory, holding reins of stately power.

 

Due also to its iconoclastic stance, there is little ornamentation allowed in church. Whilst other Orthodox denominations are famed for their beautiful icons and moasics of Christ and the saints, this, in the Tagmatine Church, is regarded as almost idolatry, so is by-and-large frowned upon. Most Tagmatine churchs tend to be a severe white inside, with only a simple altar and handful of crucifixes as ornamentation. It tends to resememble Protestantism in other ways as well.

 

Manichaeism

 

God View: Dualism ? Two mutually antagonistic gods or principals, one good and one evil, exists; their struggle is mirrored in nature and in moral/ethical problems.

Spiritual Aim: Believers seek to promote peace, harmony, and order to improve the quality of life for all.

Devotion Required: Constant Devotion: No word, act, deed or thought that isn?t connected with religious belief should ever be tolerated.

Organisation Structure: The religious hierarchy assumes the functions of government. A theocracy.

Liturgical Formality: Holy writings are accessible only to certain specific levels of authority.

Missionary Fervour: Ordinary among a limited group of people

 

Almost entirely confined to the City State of Theis, which was a refuge from persecution from other Christian states which viewed Manichaeism as not a separate religion but as heresy. Confirmed a separate religion by Tagmatium in the 890s.

 

Skiithicos Polytheism

 

God View: Polytheism ? Multiple gods (probably with lingering animistic associations or titles) exists, each of roughly the same importance

Spiritual Aim: Worshipers will be rewarded in this life. Prayers are answered, regardless of their nature

Devotion Required: Monthly, with especially holy periods at the equinox

Organisation Structure: No organization above a local level. Basically, village shamen or holy men/women.

Liturgical Formality: Formal study groups include philosophical inquiry into questions not covered in holy writings, but under rigid methods of preserving the sanctity of fundamental topics.

Missionary Fervour: Conversion attempts are highly infrequent, it tends to be confined to those from the tribes or villages in the area where the religion is actually based, ie Skiithica.

 

Primarily a left-over from Tagmatium?s pre-Christian past, mainly found in the extreme west and north of the nation, limited to the Skiithican/oi peoples found there. Tends to be combined with a form of the Orthodox Church, with people observing the old festivals in a Christian setting.

Edited by Tagmatium Rules (see edit history)
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  • 5 weeks later...

Religious Profiles of the Free City of Miiros

 

Agnosticism

God View: Agnosticism

Spiritual Aim: N/A

Devotion Required: None

Organization Structure: None

Liturgical Formality: Religion does not enter into conversation at any time; although some philosophical questions may crop up from time to time, no one organizes ?services? or ?worship? around such matters.

Missionary Fervor: Conversion attempts are highly infrequent

The dominant feeling in Miiros is that religion is pointless...

 

Miirism and Rosism

God View: Dualism

Spiritual Aim: Reincarnation with a karmic doctrine. One?s level in the next life is based on one?s devotion and/or morality in this one.

Devotion Required: Weekly, followers meet at temple to reaffirm their faith and discuss the ethics and philosophy of Miir or Ros respectively. Full moon is a special time for the followers of Miir, while new moon and eclipses are special to the followers of Ros.

Organization Structure: Loose hierarchy answerable to a central authority with minimal decision making at lower levels.

Liturgical Formality: Rituals are combined with an open teaching policy.

Missionary Fervor: Active and willing to convert any person

 

The twin goddesses of Miir and Ros have been worshipped since before the beginning of recorded history and the isle of Miiros (created by combining the two names) is their shared domain. Miir is the patroness of virtue, the dawn bringer and protector of righteousness. Following Miir means living a virtuous life where you strive to do no harm to others and seek to offer help whenever possible. Gaining her favor will win someone peace and happiness in the next life. Inversely, Ros is the patroness of sin, the night mother and temptress of humanity. Those gain her favor by leading wicked lives are supposed to be rewarded with great power in the next life.

 

Neo Paganism

God View: Polytheism

Spiritual Aim: Worshipers will be rewarded in this life. Prayers are answered, regardless of their nature.

Devotion Required: Monthly with special ceremonies on the full moon, solstices and equinoxes.

Organization Structure: Loose hierarchy with most decisions on a local level.

Liturgical Formality: Rituals are combined with an open teaching policy.

Missionary Fervor: Occasional

 

There has been a recent resurgence of some old cults following the Roman Pantheon, a leftover from a time when Rome and Miiros interacted heavily. The Cult of Bacchus seems to be the most widespread.

 

Christianity

God View: Influential Monotheism ? God interact with followers only at key moments in life, although possibly more metaphorical than literal.

Spiritual Aim: Worshipers will avoid being condemned to a place of eternal punishment

Devotion Required: Weekly, worshippers attending communion every Sunday, although there are many holy days throughout the year (Easter, Christmas etc)

Organisation Structure: Rigid hierarchy answerable to a central authority the minimal decision making at lower levels.

Liturgical Formality: Rituals are combined with an open teaching policy.

Missionary Fervour: Zealous and willing to convert any person

 

A constant stream of missionaries from the West flows into Miiros to bring the light of God to a land of sin and vice. Small congregations crop up from time to time, only to fizzle out later. Miiros seems to have an odd corrupting effect on missionaries and Christianity is somewhat of a running joke amongst Miirosi and is never taken very seriously.

Edited by Miiros (see edit history)
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Islam is the most popular relgion of the Tribelands, much like Christianity is the most popular religion in America (only without the partisan extremists).

 

God View: There is no god but Allah; Muhammed is the Messenger of God. While Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary, he is not considered the Son of God.

 

Spiritual Aim: The Believers will enjoy the grace of Allah...those who do not heed the Message of the Prophet Muhammed (Peace be upon Him) will know the seperation from His Grace, i.e. damnation.

 

Devotion Required: Muslims are required to pray five times daily. They must also perform a ritualistic cleansing of their body before they do so. The consumption of pork and certain carnivorous animals is prohibited, as is the consumption of alcohol (rendering the Tribelands a dry country). Based on the Islamic lunar calendar, the month of Ramadan is a time of fasting, where no food or drink is consumed, smoking and intercourse is prohibited between sunrise and sunset, with a strict rice diet for the evening meal. A religious tax is imposed on all citizens to pay the equivalent of $10.00 a year of all households who claim themselves as Islamic in the bi-annual census, if they can afford to do so. This tax funds a basic welfare system in the Tribelands that benefits those who are unable to fend for themselves.

 

Organization Structure: Each village and, in larger cities, each district, there is a mosque led by a single imam, a religious scholar who acts as the authority on the strict interpretation of the Holy Qur'an. Each imam has several scholars beneath him that are organized based on a merit system which is based on how well the scholar understands the Message of Allah as given to Mohammed (Peace be upon Him). In Mongol-Swede Islam, once a scholar has met the satisfactory level of understanding as dictated by the imam, who uses the special teachings of Muhammed (Peace be upon Him) seperate from the Qur'an as a guideline, that scholar assumes the role of imam for his village, and the imam then becomes a mullah and joins a nation-wide committee of sorts, that manages the zakat (religious tax) and the distribution of welfare to the Islamic community, and to other citizens of the Tribelands as the committee judges best, again, by using the Prophet (Peace be upon Him) and his teachings as a guideline.

 

Liturgical Formality: In the Islamic community, society revolves around the five prayer schedule. At each mosque, a religious devout calls out the times of prayer everyday, and every Muslim stops what he or she is doing, performs the cleansing, and performs the prayer wherever they are. Performing the prayer at the mosque is preferrable. This is especially important on Friday, as this is considered to be the Sabbath. Muslim businesses usually shut down on these days, and the amount of business that is conducted at foreign embassies drops to an almost standstill.

 

Missionary Fervor: Muslims pay particular respect to the other 'People of the Book', i.e. Christians and Jews, for they believe all in the One True God. Mongol-Swede culture also teaches general respect for all religious beliefs, but are willing to guide others to conversion casually.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Varian Transcendentalism

 

 

In Damak Var, religion is optional. You are free to practice any religious beliefs you want, as long as those practices and beliefs do not interfere with the law.

 

Most people practice a philosophy which is a form of Transcendentalism, now called Varian Transcendentalism. The tenets Transcendentalism focus on non-comformity, self-reliance, confidence, and nature (the importance of nature and the interconnectedness of all things).

 

Though, as opposed to true Transcendentalism, Varians value logic, rationality, and reasoning as much as they do intuition. Varians also do not put much emphasis on simplicity, which is another tenet of true Transcendentalism.

 

Varian Transcendentalism, as well as true Transcendentalism believe in an oversoul. Which is a force that embodies the spiritual unity and connectedness between all individuals and nature.

 

In Varian Transcendentalism you do not pray, you do not worship, instead you just follow a philosophy on how to live your life. Some follow the teachings regularly, while others only do so occasionally. The study of Varian Transcendentalism does not come from Holy Scripture, teachings of a Clergy, or a Prophet. It is can only be interpreted from Varian art and literature.

Edited by BlackJackEmperor (see edit history)
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  • 1 year later...

Religious Profiles of the Glorious Dominate of Beautancus

 

Cussian Zoroastrianism

 

user posted image

A Cussian boy being formally admitted into the Zoroastrian faith

 

God View

Dualism ? Two mutually antagonistic Deities/Powers (Ahura Mazda and Ahriman, both sons of the true everlasting power and something close to a Demiurge, Zurvan- or Time), one good and one evil, exists; their struggle is mirrored in nature and in moral/ethical problems.

 

Spiritual Aim

Worshipers will avoid being condemned to a place of eternal punishment (through bodily resurrection on Earth, made anew and pure by Ahura Mazda after the final battle between Good and Evil, Light and Darkness, the Truth and the Lie) by following a strict code of moral standards.

 

Devotion Required

Constant Devotion: No word, act, deed or thought that isn?t connected with religious belief should ever be tolerated. Semi-Monthly devotion to be given at the nearest Fire Temple.

 

Organization Structure

Rigid hierarchy answerable to a central authority (itself answerable to the Shahanshah) with minimal decision making at lower levels.

 

Liturgical Formality

Rituals are combined with an open teaching policy, though official theological interpretations are made at the highest level of the clerical hierarchy.

 

Missionary Fervor

Ordinary and willing to convert any person. (OOC: One of the major differences between mordern RL Zoroastrianism and Cussian Zoroastrianism.)

 

Zoroastrianism enjoys the full support of the state, though in truth, the clergy and the Holy Places of the faith require very little in the way of financial support from the government, as the common people are more than generous enough to make the Zoroastrian establishment one of the richest in all the Dominate (second perhaps only to the personal holdings of the Ttoille Dynasty). This version of Zoroastrianism never had to deal with major competition and near extinction (as it did in the case of Iran, after the Arab conquest and the beginnings of the mass Islamic conversion there in the centuries that followed) amongst the Cussian people, and as such, continued to develop/evolve in the same manner that most of the worlds major religions have- leading to the further codification of Holy Texts, liturgy, etc. The continuing conquests of the various Cussian Imperial Dynasties in late antiquity and the Medieval and early Modern periods also made it necessary that Cussian Zoroastrians accepted conversions (where in RL, such is rare, most if not all Zoroastrians have to be born into the faith).

 

 

The True (Nestorian) Catholic Church (of Cussian Areopatene)

 

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A Nestorian Cross

 

God View

Interactive Monotheism ? A single God exists and is interested in the daily actions of His followers.

 

Spiritual Aim

Worshipers will avoid being condemned to a place of eternal punishment

 

Devotion Required

Weekly, worshippers attending communion every Sunday, although there are many holy days throughout the year (Easter, Christmas- albeit celebrated in early January, etc.)

 

Organisation Structure

Rigid hierarchy with most decisions made on a regional level by Archbishops (who gather irregularly for greater Church Councils to decide the occasional theological issue).

 

Liturgical Formality

Rituals are combined with an open teaching policy.

 

Missionary Fervour

Zealous and willing to convert any person, outside of Cussian Zoroastrians, which is expressly forbidden by Imperial Edict.

 

Nestorius taught that the human and divine aspects of Christ were distinct natures, not unified. He preached against the use of the title Mother of God (Theotokos) for the Virgin Mary and would only call her Mother of Christ (Christotokos). He also argued that God could not suffer on the cross, as he is omnipotent. Therefore, the human part of Christ died on the cross, but not the divine. The Nestorian Church is one of only two minority religions officially tolerated by the Zoroastrian government (though official persecutions of other faiths/denominations save Manichaeism [which is viewed as an inexcusable heresy of Zoroastrianism] are unknown to the current regime), and has been such since the initial conquest and division of Areopatene in the 1450's. The Nestorian community has maintained about the same percentage of believers in the general population of Areopatene since then, with most of the other (Tagmatine Orthodox) Christians of the Kingdom converting to Zoroastrianism or immigrating the Greater Holy Empire. The Nestorian Church does receive considerable subsidies from the Imperial Government, partly in exchange for the clergy helping to maintain order within the Nestorian population.

 

Theravada Buddhism

 

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An ancient Buddhist Pillar in Coastal Kalupsis Province

 

God View

Pantheism ? God is not a personality; god is everywhere and everything is god, though there is a certain level or rational agnosticism mixed in with this belief. For a Theravada Buddhist, God isn't truly important, only harmony and an end to self-importance is important.

 

Spiritual Aim

Believers seek to improve their own lives by self-discipline and training with an underlying and belief in Reincarnation with a karmic doctrine. One?s level in the next life is based on one?s morality/level of self-renunciation in this life.

 

Devotion Required

Constant Devotion: No word, act, deed or thought that isn?t connected with religious belief should ever be tolerated. Irregular homage to paid at the nearest temple by non-monks.

 

Organizational Structure

Loose hierarchy with most decisions on a regional level.

 

Liturgical Formality

Formal study groups include philosophical inquiry into questions not covered in holy writings, but under rigid methods of preserving the sanctity of fundamental topics.

 

Missionary Fervor

Ordinary and willing to convert non-Buddhists, though within the borders of the Glorious Dominate, it is technically illegal to attempt conversion of Zoroastrians. It is less-tightly enforced in the case of Buddhists than it is with Nestorians, however.

 

Buddhism has an interesting history in Beautancus and an even more interesting place within Cussian culture. The exact date of the introduction of Buddhism into Beautancus is lost to time, though many historians believe it happened as early as the third century BC. It surely entered Beautancus through the ports of Kalupsis, which was at the time the largest and most powerful of the many Cussian kingdoms. The Greek-speaking majority of Kalupsis was perhaps more philosophically inclined than the Iranic peoples surrounding it, and as such the Buddhist faith took hold in Kalupsis and never left. At times through the next few thousand years, Buddhism was one of the major religions of Beautancus, going so far as to claim a third of the Dominate's population. Never did it come into conflict with the Zoroastrian establishment, and for the most part the two faiths coexisted in peace. The only times that Buddhism seemed to be truly threatened were during the latter years of the only Manichee Dynasty in Beautancus' history (when the ruling family lashed out at all non-Manichaean faiths), and then again in the dark years of the late 1700's, when the faith lost perhaps a tenth of its number. Now Buddhists are fewer in number, but protected by Imperial Edict, enjoying the same sort of legality that Nestorian Christianity does. There are only slightly fewer Buddhists than there are Nestorian Christians.

 

Cussian Mandaeism (Mandaiuta)

 

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Two Mandaean (Marmakite) men exchanging the ritual handshake, or ku?ṭa

 

God View

Complicated. Mandaeism is a Gnostic and Dualistic faith, and plays these aspects up to outsiders, portraying both a Light Father, and a Dark Mother. There is a Demiurge, a true creator of the entire universe, however, known as Ptahil. Ptahil is in fact, only the lowest of three Demiurgic beings, and is the creator of this world- and is alternatively identified with the God of the Judaeo-Christian Old Testament and is portrayed as an Evil God who seeks to bind men and women in His world, and as something better. There is not truly defining text and many efforts have been made to reconcile the issue.

 

Spiritual Aim

Worshipers will be freed from the false material world when they die, if they had lived their lives true to the precepts of their faith.

 

Devotion Required

Constant Devotion: No word, act, deed or thought that isn?t connected with religious belief should ever be tolerated.

 

Organization Structure

Loose hierarchy with most decisions on a local level.

 

Liturgical Formality

Holy writings are accessible only to certain specific levels of authority, while rituals are combined with an open teaching policy.

 

Missionary Fervor

Conversion attempts are highly infrequent. Almost all (99.9%) of Mandaeans are born into their faith.

 

Cussian Mandaeism recalls a time when the religious environment in Beautancus was much more diverse, and much more dangerous. During the Second Century BC to the early Eighth Century AD, a number of new religions were founded in the wake of (or in reaction to) the advent of Christianity, many mixing elements of Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, and Buddhism. Mandaeism was one of the odder varieties (giving birth to Manichaeanism, as Mani the founder of that faith was raised as a Mandaean) of these faiths, and never truly gained huge numbers of supporters. More Cussian Jews (who were at that time, a rather substantial community) converted to Mandaeism than members of any other faith, due in large part to the emphasis on some of the Old Testament Prophets, mingled with Gnostic philosophy. Mandaeans revered the person the Bible identifies as John the Baptist as the greatest of their Prophets, and refer to Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad as false Prophets. They lack official government recognition on the modern day, but are rarely persecuted (have never been during the Reign of Janus IV) as they tend to remain in their own isolated and often times nomadic-pastoralist communities in the mountains of Marmak Province, and along the harsh northern coastal flatlands. There are currently less than one hundred thousand Mandaeans in the Glorious Dominate.

 

 

Cussian Yazd?nism

 

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Cussian Yazidi men in Northern Feizon Province

 

God View

Remote Monotheism/Deism ? God exists, but is not generally available. The world is under the care of Seven Archangels, particularly Taw?s? Melek (The Peacock Angel).

 

Spiritual Aim

Reincarnation with a moral doctrine for some lower levels of the Yazidi caste-system. One?s level in the next life is based on one?s devotion in this life. Others may attain Paradise. Yazidis also believe they are a chosen People, blessed amongst all people in the world, though their numbers have never allowed them to realize this place in the worldly hierachy.

 

Devotion Required

Constant Devotion: No word, act, deed or thought that isn?t connected with religious belief should ever be tolerated, with specific prayer rituals several times daily, as well as semi-regular community devotional gatherings at local temples.

 

Organization Structure

The religious hierarchy assumes the functions of government. A tribal theocracy.

 

Liturgical Formality

Holy writings exist, but are accessible only to the highest church authorities.

 

Missionary Fervor

No attempts at outside conversion, ever.

 

Yazd?nism holds that the world was created by a god, and the world is now in the care of a Heptad of seven Holy Beings, often known as Angels or heft sirr (the Seven Mysteries). Preeminent among these is Melek Taus (Taw?s? Melek in Yazidi), the Peacock Angel. Yazidis hold that the source of evil is in the heart and spirit of humans themselves, not in Melek Taus. One of the key creation beliefs of Yazidism is that all Yazidis are descendants of Adam rather than Eve. Yazidis believe that good and evil both exist in the mind and spirit of human beings. It depends on the humans, themselves, as to which they choose. In this process, their devotion to Melek Taus is essential, since it was he who was given the same choice between good and evil by God, and chose the good. Two key and interrelated features of Yazidism are: 1) a preoccupation with religious purity and 2) a belief in metempsychosis. The first of these is expressed in the system of caste, the food laws, the traditional preferences for living in Yazidi communities, and the variety of taboos governing many aspects of life. The second is crucial; Yazidis traditionally believe that the Seven Holy Beings are periodically reincarnated in human form, called a koasasa. Yazidis are one of the newer religions to Beautancus, having only arrived on the scene in the mid-Thirteenth Century. They are almost exclusively found in northern Feizon Province, living a lifestyle of semi-nomaid sheep-herding pastoralists, much as the Mandaeans do in Marmak Province. There have been several Yazidi rebellions against Zoroastrian rule (as there numbers were apparently much higher in the mid-Sixteenth Century-to late Eighteenth Century) but they were all crushed with much bloodshed. In the modern era, Yazidis are currently not persecuted under the Janusite Regime, but neither are they accorded official recognition by the government. There are only slightly more than 100,000 Yazidis in Beautancus.

 

Historical Religions in Beautancus

 

Both Manichaeanism, and Judaism had historical presences in Beautancus, but are curiously missing in the modern era. In the case of Manichaeanism, that faith has been missing for the better part of 1,100 years. Judaism disappeared much more recently, perhaps as late as the early 1800's.

 

In the case of Manichaeanism, the extinction of the faith came after almost a century of bitter warfare, in which Uysbagaran Dynasty (the only Manichaean Dynasty in Cussian history) fell to a coalition of Kalupsopolitans (who were then independent) and Zoroastrian Cussians. Over the previous centuy, the Uysbagaran Dynasty had decended into a sort of intolerant zeal that earned them the hatred of their Zoroastrian and Buddhist subjects, who rose up, proclaiming two new Dynasties (the Taxamanish [precursors to the Ttoille Dynasty] in the case of Kalupsis, and the Kajar in the case of the Zoroastrian Cussians) and eventually overthrew the Uysbagarans.

 

In the case of Judaism, the records are less clear. It is known that there was a minor Jewish uprising in the summer of 1807, which was naturally put down harshly. It is known that the population was not massacred in total, but that most were forced to convert to Zoroastrianism. It is believed that a number of these are in fact still Jews, preferring to practice their faith in secret as Crypto-Jews, or as pretending to be Mandaeans.

Edited by Beautancus (see edit history)
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Dra Crehehk Cuh Archon Priestess, Jecara Renor Vlos

 

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Tyng Sudran Archon Priestess, Nain Hallas Zun

 

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Temple of Tyng Sudran within the City of Chel'de'Yorn

 

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Temple of Dra Crehehk Cuh within the city of Horus

 

God View

Dualism ? Dark Mother " Tyng Sudran " and The Shining Son " Dra Crehehk Cuh " aremutually antagonistic gods or principals, one good and one evil, exists; their struggle is mirrored in nature and in moral/ethical problems. The Dark Mother is the Haru Goddess of Savagery and War, while The Shining Son is the God of Justice and Honour.

 

Spiritual Aim

A combination of Epicurean philosophy and Neo-Darwinism. The strong survive to be merry and drink the delights of the faith, for tomorrow they may die.

 

Devotion Required

Constant. - Haruspex culture revolves around their religion and it is apart of every constant that is their lives. It is in their spoken inflections, and the gestures, their faith is interwoven into every fabric of existence.

 

Organization Structure

Rigid hierarchy answerable to a central authority the minimal decision making at lower levels.

 

Liturgical Formality

?Word of God? is pronounced by living oracles (statues, computers, defined leaders, prophets, mediums, ect?). Services are tightly controlled by the priesthood.

 

Missionary Fervor

Zealous and willing to convert any person.

 

The Haru have for the most part(there have been exceptions), have tried to convert, persuade or even manipulate opponents to their faith: they may also simply execute them them or imprison them in concentration camps. In this fashion, The Principality is a never ending spiral of violence and death. Even today, there are human sacrifices made to the gods and or those of animals, depending on which deity is followed.

 

At an early age, a citizen of The Principality is indoctrinated into the religious beliefs via Waelin Glennen when 10-14 years old and Ulin Sargtlinen when 14-18 years old, followed by labour service and military service. As an adult, this now indoctrinated citizen is expected to join one or more organisations of a religious, military or professional nature.

 

The Haru citizen is expected to be obedient and accomodating. Creativity and imagination are only encouraged within certain fields, mainly military, faith and industrial. Other individual initiatives are usually surpressed. The society, is organised like a military organistaion with heavy overtones of religious rituals: obedience and exactitude are concidered more valuable than creativity and finess. Art and culture are completely institutionalised: every book, play, movie, radio program, television program, music tune, statue and painting are filtered through various propaganda institutions. Needless to say, the quality of the culture as viewed by others has been said to have been poor.

 

The citizenry are encouraged to be violent, cruel and fanatic to the cause of the government and the national religion. Society has systematically trimmed it's citizenry to become merciless soldiers and brutal colonialists, just like the British and French in the late 19th century who will seek to convert or murder those who oppose them in the name of their religion.

 

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OOhh Nice digging. This is my kind of shizz.

 

Now In Adaptus it's freedom of worship, however Religion is treat very differently than in most nations. I'll list the religions within Adaptus, starting with the most popular.

 

Metaphysics, Rationalism, Freethought, Atheism, etc.

Usually all termed under Metaphysics.

 

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God View: Philosophical Atheism - However the question of religion is not viewed as meaningless but more a topic of discussion.

Spiritual Aims: investigating principles of reality transcending those of any particular science, traditionally, cosmology and ontology. It is concerned with explaining the ultimate nature of being and the world.

Devotion Required: As much as one likes. Most spend hour upon hour each day pondering on their beliefs.

Organization Structure: No structure, each to his own mind.

Liturgical Formality: Complete informality. Open exchange of ideas and concepts in conversational setting.

Missionary Fervour: None. each to his own.

 

Adapton Orthodox Church

Also seen as the Philosophical Church or Open Church.

 

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God Views: Interactive Monotheism

Spiritual Aim: Ethical and moral standards are their own reward, regardless of the possibility of heavenly rewards or punishment.

Devotion Required: Semi-weekly.

Organization Structure: Loose hierarchy answerable to a central authority with minimal decision making at lower levels.

Liturgical Formality: Complete informality. Open exchange of ideas and concepts in conversational setting.

Missionary Fervour: Conversion attempts are highly infrequent

 

Hedonism

 

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God View: Philosophical Atheism

Spiritual Aim: An Epicurean philosophy ? ?Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.? Hedonism is the only proper purpose in life.

Devotion Required: Constant Devotion: No word, act, deed or thought that isn?t connected with religious belief should ever be tolerated.

Organization Structure: Loose, highly informal organization.

Liturgical Formality: Complete informality. Open exchange of ideas and concepts in conversational setting.

Missionary Fervour: Zealous and willing to convert any person.

 

Gnostic Christian Church of Adaptus.

The Judas Cult.

 

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God View: Dualism

Spiritual Aims: Believers seek to expand the frontiers of knowledge through inquiry and speculation.

Devotion Required: Constant Devotion

Organization Structure: Loose hierarchy with most decisions up to the individual worshippers.

Liturgical Formality: Formal study groups include philosophical inquiry into questions not covered in holy writings, but under rigid methods of preserving the sanctity of fundamental topics.

Missionary Fervour: Active and willing to convert any person.

 

Other Religions also coincide along with these, I shall add later.

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Religious Profiles of the Confederacy

 

P?nascism

 

Overview

Sometime after the death of P?nascism's founder in 1337, the religion fractured into three separate sects, called castes. The castes, Orua'Shi, Tsin-B?tan, and Sec'Űron, believe they teach equally valid, though different ways of transcending the material plane.

 

World Views

The universe is governed by an eternal force, known as the P?na. This force is the creator of all things material and immaterial, as well as the driving cause behind all events on the material plane. This view is accepted in all three castes.

 

God Views

 

Orua'Shi

Three deities - Two mutually antagonistic powers (Zsaz and Lethister), one moral and one immoral; their struggle is mirrored in moral/ethical dilemmas. Danimoth, the third deity, takes neither side of the struggle, instead devoting himself to the P?na.

 

Tsin-B?tan

Atheistic - Zsaz, Lethister and Danimoth are viewed as literary personifications of mortal struggle on material plane. Danimoth sets the example for mortals to follow, Zsaz and Lethister' have ignored the P?na, their struggle is the result of ignorance.

 

Sec'Űron

Atheistic - The founder of P?nascism never died, instead, he ascended to the spiritual realm after having mastered the P?na. His mortal life is the supreme example.

 

Spiritual Aim

Believers seek to improve their own lives by self-discipline and training, eventually transcending from the material plane once one has found harmony with the P?na.

 

Devotion Required

 

Orua'Shi

Moderate: Followers are encouraged to attend temple once monthly for mediation and cousnel. Life outside the temple should be lived in accordance with the four pillars; humility, moderation, meditation and asceticism (self-denial).

 

Tsin-B?tan

None: Temple doors are always open for anyone in need of consel from monks or quiet meditation in a sacred place. Life outside the temple should be lived in accordance with the four pillars, though the methods vary from person to person.

 

Sec'Űron

None: Temple doors are always open for anyone in need of consel from monks or quiet meditation in a sacred place. Life outside the temple should be lived in accordance with the four pillars, though the methods vary from person to person.

 

Orginizational Structure

Loose hierarchy with most decisions on a local level.

 

Liturgical Formality

Meditation and purification rituals are combined with an open teaching policy at an individual and group level.

 

Temple Schemes

 

Orua'Shi

Typically a sprawling garden of tranquility, decorated with shrubs, flowers and statues. Ususally located several miles from an urban center.

 

Tsin-B?tan

Typically an ornate, pyramidal marble structure surrounded by a tranquil garden. The temples themselves have an open-concept, usually having skylights and large windows without glass.

 

Sec'Űron

Typically an ornate, cubic structure whose exterior is laden with precious metals. The interior walls are usually polished stone.

 

Missionary Fervor

All castes will counsel anyone who comes to the temple. The temples are the only places where conversions really happen, no door-to-door missionary work.

 

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Tsin-B?tan temple in Tarentum.

 

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Statue of Lethister outside a Orua'Shi temple

 

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Sec'Űron, Temple of the Golden Heaven

 

 

Xamux

 

God View

Not a single god, but an entity of at least six seperate beings. Xamux takes cold analytical thinking to its extreme. Xamux is the patron of utter indifference and delving into forbidden knowledge through exploration and experimentation.

 

World View

The materlial plane is filled with secrets. Much devotion to studying the physical and metaphysical world is required to uncover these secrets which, once discovered, may lead to godlike immortality and omnipotence.

 

Spiritual Aim

By constantly studying everything in the world, followers may uncover secrets locked either in the universe or in their own minds. Discovering these secrets leads to ascension and deification. Believers seek to expand the frontiers of knowledge through exploration and experimentation.

 

Devotion Required

Constant: No word, act, deed or thought that isn?t connected with religious belief should ever be tolerated.

 

Organizational Structure

Rigid hierarchy answerable to a central authority the minimal decision making at lower levels.

 

Liturgical Formality

Formal study groups include philosophical inquiry into questions not covered in holy writings, but under rigid methods of preserving the sanctity of fundamental topics.

 

Temple Schemes

Stark stone edifices filled with traps and ingenious locks. White plaster often covers the inside walls. Altars to Xamux are always made of polished steel.

 

Missionary Fervor

Converts to Xamux are chosen, not accepted. Intellectuals and scholars are among the most frequently targeted for admittance. Xamux acts more like a secret society than a faith.

 

Followers of Xamux are cold, uncaring beings who are fascinated by knowledge. They think nothing of dissecting living creatures simply to learn more of their biology (this is also considered a sacrifice if done in a temple).

 

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Rare photo inside a Xamux temple

Edited by Social Democratic Confederation (see edit history)
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  • 7 years later...

The Theocracy of Sa Hara, also known as Sa Hara, officially the Sa Haran Islamic Theocracy (S.H.I.T.), is a large, safe nation, renowned for its compulsory military service and absence of drug laws. Over 97% of all Sa Harans adheres to Sufi Muslims. Since independence in 1960, Sa Hara has been an Islamic republic. The Constitutional Charter of 2015 declares Islam the state religion and sharia the law of the land. The most significant divisions occur along the lines of the Sufi brotherhoods.

 

Sa Haran culture melds the behaviors, practices, and beliefs of about 578 ethnic groups, communicating in different languages, in a regional microcosm, with geographic extremes varying from sandy desert to tropical forest. Recent evidence suggests that while most citizens of the country identify strongly with both Sa Hara and their religion, Arab and African supranational identities are much more polarising and contested.

 

OOC: is mine the only muslim nation here?

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By Darwin! There's actually a religion topic here? How could I've missed that!? Well, that's exactly my cup of tea! Well, my degree likes to think so at least...

I do find the first post (by Bainbridge Islands) to be very subjective about the item of Atheism. All his definitions imply that there is a 'supreme being', though for atheists the matter is quite different. No rejection of this higher power, it simply doesn't exist. Life is all about science and a good dose of morality. Oh well, that's a rant I won't be posting here.

 

The Jilders hard nose Atheists (though most often referred to as Naturalists) and extremely religious about it. Science and learning are held in the highest of regards. This is expressed, besides daily life, in various aspects of life. First is the fact that all education is free in Jilderen and people are activly encouraged to keep on learning throughout their lives. The 'Great Affairs of State' (e.g. coronations end formal appointments of ministers) all occur within centres of higher learning (most common in an university). Not only because of this do universities take up such an important place in society, but most people visit them weekly.

During the weekend, most colleges and universities provide open lectures on a wide range of topics. People come and listen with great interest. This habit is one of the keystones that bind society, forms a sense of community and through discussion and reflection it has shaped a path of morality and ethics for people to adhere to. These are, however, not set in stone. This fluidity allows for it to be easily adapted to present time.

 

In a more historic context, especially during the colonial era of Jilderen, the idea of a 'higher power' was introduced on several occasions. This idea, however, never quite managed to take hold. Terms as 'worse that fairy-tales' and 'crude figments of imagination'. In a society with a very high levels of social securities and education, a belief in a higher power fades away quickly. Forcing your own ideas unto others therefor has no real place in Jilder society.

Of course there various different denominations of atheism in the nation. Most are of the 'let others be' idea, some are a lot more militant about it all.

 

So, basically Jilderen is a Naturalistic haven.

 

OOC p.s.:

@Sa Hara: I do think that you're only muslim nation here so far. People get quite creative when they can shape their own nation (and faiths)

Edited by Jilderen (see edit history)
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  • 5 months later...

God View

1) Animism. All natural phenomena and objects (trees, rivers, wind, ect?) are caused by or inhabited by spirits or demigods.

2) Polytheistic Animism. Certain natural phenomena are associated with specific gods or goddesses, arranged in a distinct hierarchical order.

 

Spiritual Aim

10) Believers seek to promote peace, harmony, and order to improve the quality of life for all.

11) Believers seek to expand the frontiers of knowledge through inquiry and speculation.

12) Believers seek to preserve the knowledge and wisdom of the past.

13) Believers seek to improve their own lives by self-discipline and training.

 

Devotion Required

10) Quarterly. There are several seasonal rites one can participate in, but none are compulsory.

12) Yearly. Remembrance and cleaning of the ancestral grave. Not participating is frowned upon, but not punishable.

 

Organization Structure

11) Local organization without regulations. Within a town there will be several shrines. Maintenance is up to the local community. Participation may vary.

 

Liturgical Formality

5) Services are conducted by rote in common languages.

9) Rituals are combined with an open teaching policy.

10) Emphasis is laid on communal teaching with limited ritual.

 

Missionary Fervor

8) Conversion attempts are highly infrequent.

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