Largely unchanged from its Earthly roots over three thousand years ago, Buddhism, with nearly half a billion followers across The Extent, means to "Awaken" or become "Enlightened". To many of its followers, Buddhism is more of a philosophy than a religion. Many Buddhists consider themselves to be seekers of truth or knowledge. To them, the faith helps them lead a more moral life, to be mindful of their thoughts and actions as well as develop wisdom and a deeper understanding of the human place in the galaxy. As a result, Buddhists tend to peacefully coexist with believers of other religions and some AIs have embraced the philosophy as one by which they can live.
Guilds are groups of people that band together for common cause and are a development of the Solar Unions, a means to help each other and resist company management but, over time, developing a wider support system. Most are secretive and the most notorious example is The Assassins Guild, an organisation of trained killers that live by the simple rule, "Assassins kill, get killed but don't talk." Membership of The Assassins Guild protects assassins on "legitimate" missions ensuring the commissioning party is held responsible for all actions taken in their name. Guild membership is banned across the Extent militaries and the Kochevnik nations.
Kami-no-Michi translates as "The Way of the Gods" and is the largest Akatsu religion practised across The Extent. It traces its roots back through its Shinto parentage to ancient Japan, establishing the Akatsu Imperial family as direct descendants of Amaterasu and the foundation of Akatsu culture. Like Shinto, there are various cults and it is deeply wrapped in tradition.
Kami worship is done both publicly and privately and, while there are no specific gods, there are standard Kami, the sacred spirits of the mountains, rivers, trees, waterfalls or weather with the most important being the sun-goddess, Amaterasu. The faithful believe that bad things happen because of bad spirits, that people are fundamentally good, that there are no absolutes, no rights, no wrongs, no good, no evil and no perfection and that they will become kami after death. In Kami-no-Michi, some deeds are pure whilst others are impure and those who are killed without being shown gratitude may hold a grudge, become powerful kami, and seek revenge. Purification rites, a vital part of the religion, are practised daily, weekly and in other cycles and some of these rituals have been adapted to modern life with new buildings blessed by priests.
Like most religions, the N'Chari religion is a philosophy but unlike many others, it is also a culture and a way of life. In other words, N'Chari describes both the N'Chari who is of the N'Chari culture so it is entirely possible to be an N'Chari atheist i.e. a nonbeliever who is culturally N'Chari.
The belief, a spinoff of Judaism, is monotheistic and it is part of the faith that its followers have a true relationship, a covenant with their god describing themselves as The Children of N'Chari.
The N'Chari believe that their homeland is somewhere as yet unfound amongst the stars and the religion has broken up into many sects, Orthodox, Conservative and Reformist as well as the Culturally N'Chari Humanist movements.
New Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on around the teachings of a book known as The Bible and, more specifically their Messiah, Christos. It is one of the largest religions practised across The Extent with over two billion followers, approximately the same as Islam. The New Christian holy book of scriptures is called The Bible, the most popular variant being The New Extent Edition... there are other versions but it is to that one the rest of this article will refer. The bible is split into two sections, the Old Earth and New Extent testaments with the coming of the New Christian Messiah prophesised in The Old and confirmed in The New. New Extent Christians believe in a Holy Trinity comprised of Theos, their universe creating god, Christos, son of Theos and their Messiah and The Spirit, an animating, life giving force. New Christians base their moral code around The Ten New Commandments which are claimed to directly devolve from Theos during Old Earth Testament times. New Christianity offers hope beyond the mundane, physical lives that most of its followers have, claiming that on Heaven there will be lives of peace with no disease, evil or injustice. It offers hope in the promise of a second coming of a new age through its Messiah and a final reincarnation as well as a better existence in the afterlife on Heaven as well as bliss beyond life. New Christianity propagates its message through new recruits, missionaries, marriage and procreation.
Primarily practised within the UCS sphere, the Vivanian polytheistic religion revolves around the overarching god of life, Vivanus, and her siblings, the four elementals, Terranus, Neronia, Anemos and Pyranium. Like the majority of religions births, deaths, adulthood and marriage are celebrated though the latter usually only when a couple enter the third stage. Each of the elementals has their own holy week but Vivanus's, Festival of the Holy Mother, the overarching god of life, runs from the last day of the year and lasts two weeks. The main Vivanian temple is in the Vortex system.