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Religion (The British Ain't Coming)

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Religions of have their roots all over the world, and by the turn of the first millennium AD had been changed very little without the presence of the British Isles. However, when the Muslim Caliphates began to spread into Europe, the advance met with somewhat greater resistance due to a stronger Christian presence in the Iberian peninsula. On the other hand, the kingdoms of western Europe did not support the Crusades as vigorously as the isolated Brits had done. As a result, the Ottoman Empire proved stronger in later years.

The Christian Church would see a split when the "Orthodox" churches in the east had irreconcilable differences with the Catholic Church centered in Rome. Meanwhile, the Muslim religion spread eastward into India and challenged the predominant religions there. Indigenous religions would thrive longer around the world with a less vigorous missionary force out of the Dutch Empire.

History

Judaism

Hinduism

Buddhism

Christianity

The Christian religion saw a lot of change in the sixteenth century. Even as the Roman Catholic Church was spreading to the new world in the age of exploration, dissidence that had been rising within the Church reached its limits, culminating a break from the established on a large scale in northern Europe. In 1517, Martin Luther, a Prussian monk and professor of religion, tried to reason with the leadership over what he saw as corruption of the truth as he understood it from the Bible. His protests gave rise to the catchword "Protestant" and a reformation began.

As the Protestant Reformation spread from Germany into France and the Netherlands, a young Frenchmen named Jehan Caluin entered law school. There, he learned the ancient Greek language which allowed him to study the New Testament. In time, he broke from the Roman Catholic Church and quietly began to read the works of Martin Luther and others. After a time of persecution arose in his homeland, he sought refuge in Protestant Switzerland. From there he published commentaries and preached a message similar to that of Luther. The religion of the Netherlands took on much of his teachings, forming what became the "Caluinian [pronounced 'Kal-win-yan'] Church" within decades after his death.

In a reaction against the state churches that formed in most nations of Europe, nonconformist groups among protestants arose mostly in western Europe. The largest among these groups were those of the Baptist Movement. In the beginning, most members of the Baptist churches believed much the same as their Caluinian countrymen, but a different theology arose that moderated towards a middle position closer to the older teachings of the Catholic Churches. This theology followed the teachings a Dutch Caluinian by the name of Jakob Hermanooz (or in Latin, Jacobus Arminius). Both Caluinian and Arminian Christians formed Baptist churches.

As the Dutch Reformed Churches, mostly Caluinian, began to spread out into the Dutch Empire, they challenged the strength of the Roman Catholic Church in the frontiers of overseas territories. Whereas the Catholics of the Spanish and Portuguese colonies either forced conversions or quietly served among them, the Protestants, be they Lutheran, Caluinian or Arminian, believed that the preaching of the message of the Bible, especially the New Testament, was enough to bring people into the churches. However, in the early days of New Orange, the Caluinian Church was the state church in most of the colonies. After independence, the United States of New Orange forbid a national church. This led to harmony among Christians throughout the several states as most states followed the national constitution on this manner.

Indigenous Religions

In the Americas, the tribes of the many native peoples suffered greatly under the Spanish and French "invasion" (as they call the colonization efforts). For the most part, the suffering came by the introduction of Mediterranean diseases during the campaigns of conquest. Though the missions and churches proclaimed peace, and tried to fight the plagues with medical care, the end result was decimated populations. By the time that Protestant Missionaries ventured into the Indigenous nations, there were fewer and more set in their old ways.

In Asia and Africa, much the same thing happened, though the Portuguese colonies were less successful in those areas. The cooler weather in northern Europe had meant a healthier population of surviving explorers as the Dutch Empire spread around the world. Another factor that led to better health issues was the migration patterns in the Eurasian Continent provided a common environment for the diseases that might spread. However, the resistance to "Western" religion in the Orient was intense. In the north, Buddhism was strong, though Russian Orthodoxy made some inroads. In the south, Hinduism battled Islam for the loyalty of the masses.

Islam

With its late introduction, Islam seemed to be at a disadvantage as it sought to spread east. However, Muslims were able to become dominate in Africa and the lands of the ancient religions of Judaism and Christianity. After the Western Roman Empire fell, the "West" had become ripe for change. The Muslim advance a few hundred years later quickly took its African and western Asian lands. By 1000, they were pushing into into Europe. The Roman Catholic Church had fought back, sending "Crusades" east to battle the encroachment and, supposedly, to protect the Christians still in the East. They met with limited success.

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