Religion on Emeria is a simple thing. At least, it is on the continent shared by Geheim and Aerlion. You see, there's only one recognized religion on the continent, and you either follow it, or you don't. And while Atheism isn't necessarily applauded across the Kingdoms, those who choose that particular life path aren't shunned, either.
There are exceptions to this, of course. Some secluded communities, those that don't have much contact with the larger, more modern cities, tend to be much more religious. They can sometimes resemble real-world Amish in that respect, eschewing modern conveniences like plumbed latrines and aqueducts in favor of more archaic amenities. As more and more Argents set out into the world, however, they are reaching these communities and teaching them the ways of the wider world.
Women in Religion
Because the first Gifted person ever recorded, Saint Antistia, was a woman, females feature prominently in this continent's religion. In fact, it was originally believed that only women could hold positions of any rank in the church, which was very difficult for a patriarchal society to absorb. The religion had quite a difficult time garnering any support in the larger cities, especially if their King had refused to convert from the former, nature-worshiping ways of the ancients. But as Queens and other females of note urged their families to accept the ways of Antistia, the religion slowly began to spread over the continent.
Men in Religion
It wasn't until some several hundred years later that Emerians began to see an upswing in males born with Gifts, and the church began to realize that women AND men were capable of using these god-granted abilities. Then, as before, the followers of Saint Antistia (called Antistians) had another fight before them. Now, men had to fight for the same acceptance as their female counterparts. It took another century or two before both men and women could hold positions of rank within the church.
The Tenets of Antistianism
The principle beliefs of this religion are pretty straightforward:
- The Angels granted Antistia her Gift in order to bring peace to the world. Therefore, war and violence are frowned upon.
- As Antistia sacrificed herself for the sake of revealing the truth, so too must her followers sacrifice for their fellows.
- The Argents speak directly to the Angels and carry out their Will.
Every large city houses at least one Church of the Blessed Saint, which are ornate buildings exhibiting the best that architecture has to offer, and are decorated in copious amounts of silver. Weekly services are held, where Priests and Priestesses give sermons about being honest and truthful, valuing human life, and generally living life in such a way that, were Antistia to come down from the heavens that very day, you would not be ashamed to allow her to see into your heart.
Religion on Other Continents
Few people have crossed the great sea to the other continents, so very little is known about their religions. Those few humans who do make the voyage are traders, and tend to be tight-lipped about their belief systems. For all anyone on this continent knows, the Outsiders are still following nature-based faith paths.
It should be noted that Angels and Demons do not actually exist in this world. They are believed to exist, and sometimes other phenomena are attributed to their presence, but in reality there are no Angels or Demons at all. The presence of an invisible Sylph, an air-elemental, toying with wind chimes or tousling someone's hair might be mistaken for the caress of an angel. The scurry of a Salamander, a fire-elemental sometimes glimpsed in the coals of a fire, can be mistaken for the presence of a demon. There are a handful of other supernatural creatures that Do exist in this world which are mistakenly called Angels or Demons.
As for a god or goddess - most Antistians believe in a Goddess, some of the more stubborn patriarchs still believe it's a God. The truth of the matter is that there IS an existing entity that can be called God, but It is genderless. It is an all-seeing, all-knowing Being that can choose to manifest itself to Emerians, or not. There have not been any God-granted miracles seen by any currently-living Emerian, nor any in the past several centuries. The God chooses to allow its creations to make their own choices, and will only intervene if the human race as a whole is threatened with extinction-level events.
Having said that, please note: The Emerians know none of this. They simply believe that God(dess) is real, that miracles happen daily, and that's the end of it.