Beliefs of Schmittism
Schmitt incorporated many beliefs of the Eastern Religions, while keeping some Judeo-Christian ideas. It took the belief in reincarnation from the Buddhists, with the goal of eventually reaching as state in which they were never reborn, and live forever in Heaven. There is one Supreme God, which watches over the universe and makes sure that there is a balance between the Yin and Yang forces. There are many lesser angels, which are compared to Christian angels, Daoist gods, and the Shinto gods. The Shinto concept of shrines is another feature absorbed from that religion, as is the ritual cleansing, which absorbed some aspects of Baptism. There is also a belief that there are humans who can ascend to the level of angel after death, similar to how some Daoist deities were once human
Philosophy-wise, it is primarily Confucian, with elements of Daoist beliefs that do not contradict Confucianism as well. Prayer to the angels and the Supreme God is also common, although generally kept to special occasions, with a form of meditation that combines the various Eastern forms serving everyday expression of faith.
In Ethiopia, animists were the first people to convert to Schmittism. As such, there the angels are named after African Gods and Spirit animals and associated with these animals. As Schmittism spreads to other nations, it may absorb their gods and spirits as angels as well.
The Roman Catholic Church had been the dominant religion of western and northern Europe for centuries. However, there were those who thought that it required reform, yet no reform movement was successful. However, following contact and trading with East Asia, many Europeans began to adopt the Eastern religions or attempt to combine them with Christianity.
A North German by the name of Josef P. Schmitt unified these movements to create one reformation in year 1452. Due to discontent over Papal taxes, many nobles joined this movement, and the unity helped increase growth. Hanthawaddy, seeing an opportunity to spread Buddhist thought, began to send missionaries to Europe, which resulted in Eastern ideals becoming more popular.
In 1454, the Schmittists had become numerous enough to begin to attract the attentions of the Christian, Catholic nations, particularly Castille and Burgundy. The Catholics went on a campaign to eradicate this new movement. They were somewhat successful in destroying the original movement, particularly after Schmitt's death in 1465. However, in 1472, new movements inspired by Schmittism arose, and soon merged with the existing reformation attempts.
Schmittism managed to gain permanent footholds in Northern Germany and South France. However, persecution by Catholics drove the movement underground for the next two centuries. It slowly grew and spread throughout Europe, although it remained a tiny minority everywhere. France and Germany remained its strongest areas, although other places with large amounts of Eastern contact began seeing large Schmittist growth as well.
However, during the mid 17th century, contact between Naples and Vietnam resulted in the Eastern ideas becoming popular in South Italy. This led to a Schmittist revival movement, which grew throughout the years. By 1678, the Catholic government of Naples had become alarmed enough to begin severely persecuting all Schmittists within the nation. This led to many fleeing to the rest of Europe, possibly starting a revival of the movement there.
Naples banished many Schmittists to the colony of Istoias (Madagascar), which soon grew to be a large settlement of Schmittists. Many Schmittists from other parts of Europe that did not have religious freedom went to Istoias as well, searching for a haven for their faith. France followed Naples' example and sent many French Schmittists to their colonies. Meanwhile, the Vietnamese vassal state of Nippon in Japan began to receive large amounts of converts.
In 1741 a Schmittist preacher from Naples began preaching Schmittism in Ethiopia. Soon, much of Ethiopia converted to Schmittism. By 1746, enough intolerance of Schmittists was being practised that they revolted in Ethiopia. With enough force, the revolt was put down within the year, though two years later in 1748, Ethiopia erupted into Civil War because of revolting Schmittists.