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Fading Suns

Remnants of prereflective human faiths

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The pre-Universal Church human religions have partially survived in the Known Worlds during the Diaspora and 2nd Republic and into the post-Republic era by combining the teachings of the Universal Church with traditional religious trappings. Christian churches, be they Catholic or Protestant, altered their teachings by calling God the Pancreator, promoting the Omega Gospels as supreme revelation (though the Judeo-Christian Bible was retained as a close second in terms of scriptures), claiming that Zebulon the Prophet was a reincarnation of Jesus Christ, and identifying Jesus' Apostles with disciples of Zebulon.

Islamic mosques combined Muslim and UC teachings by identifying Allah with the Pancreator, promoting the Omega Gospels and Koran as joint supreme scriptures (though with the Koran in a subordinate position), and identifying Muhammed with Zebulon.

Jewish synagogues identified their God with the Pancreator, considered Zebulon a Prophet even higher than that of the ancient Hebrew prophets (though Abraham, Moses, etc. still receive special praise), and promoted the Omega Gospels as even higher than Jewish scriptures.

The clergy, ministers, imans, mullahs, and rabbis of the Universal Church's neo-Christian, neo-Islamic, and neo-Jewish sects are equal to that of an Urth Orthodox deacon, and the neo-Islamic and neo-Jewish sects have a Chief Mullah and Chief Rabbi on Holy Terra equal to that of an Urth Orthodox bishop. The neo-Catholic sect has a bishop on Holy Terra that speaks for the whole sect as part of the Universal Church.

The neo-Protestant sect is governed by a Special Synod on Holy Terra that speaks for the whole sect (it's members have a Church rank equal to that of an Urth Orthodox cleric of the rank of priest).

There are also neo-Christian and neo-Buddhist sects within the Universal Church that have their own monasteries, but these two sects of monks are officially classified by the Church as Hesychasts. The neo-Christian Hesychasts are theologically close to that of the neo-Catholic sect, while neo-Buddhist Hesychasts identify Zebulon the Prophet with Buddha himself. The neo-Buddhists consider the original writings of Buddha sacred as second only to the Omega Gospels as revealed truth. The remnants of ancient Chinese faiths-Confucianism and Taoism-are mainly preserved by Hesychasts of the Via Anima and neo-Buddhist sects.

Japanese Shinto has also evolved into a neo-Shintoist Universal Church sect, with the Japanese deities (kami) identified with Zebulon, his disciples, and various Church saints. The Pancreator is identified with the Japanese sun goddess. Shinto scriptures are still used alongside the Omega Gospels. Neo-Shinto clergy have a Universal Church rank equal to that of an Urth Orthodox deacon. These Universal Church sects exist mostly on Holy Terra, Byzantium Secundus, Tethys, and on planets ruled by the Merchant League and House al-Malik, though there are certain Lihalan nobles who support the neo-Buddhist and neo-Shinto sects.

Certain Hinayana Orthodox and Avestite sect members have questioned whether these minor sects with syncretic mixtures of Universal Church and prereflective teachings should have official Church recognition, but Mahayana Orthodoxy and Sanctuary Aeon have staunchly defended them as legitiment expressions of faith in the Pancreator.

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