New Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on around the teachings of a book known as The Bible and, more specifically, a Messiah called 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.
The essential tenets of the New Christianity are that Christos was born of a virgin on Heaven, embarked on a universal pilgrimage and eventually came to the planets of The Extent. He suffered and was tortured on the planet Ka'aba and was finally crucified for all humanity across The Extent on Quraysh, both planets in The Akkadia system. New Christians claim that he visited Hell after his death, that he awakened from the dead and that he ultimately rose to the sky atop a pillar of burning fire. Having left his people behind, Christos now reigns at the side of Theos, his father, on Heaven, a planet that is yet to be discovered but believed to be somewhere near the centre of the galaxy. Theos and Christos seek to banish evil from The Extent, evil propagated by Sathariel, once Guardian of the Galaxy, now fallen from Theos' grace. Sathariel and his followers seek to destroy Theos, Christos and all that is good across The Extent at every opportunity, Sathariel rules over Hell, a planet also believed to be located somewhere near the galaxy's centre and, when Heaven is discovered, there will be a war to end all wars, Armageddon. The dead will rise and separate into factions of light and dark who, judged by Theos (the Time of Judgement), will fight each other. Theos' Army of Light will strive to win for if the Army of Darkness is triumphant, the galaxy will fall into a million years of darkness and despair. Christos' story is referred to as "The Gospel" and the primary accounts of his actions on Earth were written by Matthias, Markus, Lukas and Jon.
There are many Christian cults, the largest being Catholicism whose leaders, La Sancta Sedes, are based on Civitas Vaticana, a moon orbiting Rōmulus in the Valentian Pollux system. Most, if not all, of the various Christian cults claim to be the one true religion that will gain their followers access to their god and eternal life and most despise the Catholics whose leader claims to be Theos' one true servant in The Extent, the only one with a direct connection to Theos.
Across the many cults there is a lack of consensus about exactly what being Christian actually is with cults often denying that others are even Christian at all.
The core beliefs of New Christianity are:
- Belief in Theos the Father, Christos as the Son of Theos, and The Spirit.
- The death, journey to Hell, resurrection and journey to Heaven of Christos.
- The holiness and authority of the Church and the communion of saints.
- The second coming of Christos, the Time of Judgement and the Salvation of the Faith.
There are a number of places of pilgrimage for New Christians including Quraysh where their Messiah, Theos, was baptised and Shalim on Ka'aba where he was crucified. The most scared symbol to New Christians is the crucifix representing the death of Theos and the dove representing The Spirit but there are others such as Alpha and Omega, the fish and chi rho. Important figures in the New Christian faith are The Trinity (Theos, Christos and The Spirit), the Mother, the Apostles, the Saints, Seraphim and of course Sathariel.
Like most religions, New Christians celebrate births, deaths and marriages but they also have an early induction ceremony for their children called baptism. There are also a series of special days or periods such as Repentance to represent Theos wandering for forty days across the wilderness, The Welcome when the people of Shalim welcomed him to their city, The Crucifixion when the same people cried out for and had him executed on a cross, the Resurrection when Theos rose from the dead, The Coming of The Spirit when the Apostles were blessed and the Birth of Christos himself.
New Christians base their moral code around The Ten New Commandments which are claimed to directly devolve from Theos during Old Earth Testament times:
- Do not hold other gods above me.
- Do not make idols.
- Do not blaspheme.
- Be grateful.
- Love your parents.
- Be faithful.
- Do not steal.
- Do not murder.
- Do not lie.
- Do not cheat.
Many New Christians, especially those claiming to be "born again", say they have joy and are thankful for the wonders and mysteries of creation but there are many, especially in the cities, who say that they are made to feel guilty or remorseful by their religious teachings. A major positive of New Christianity is the sense of community based around the way members group together for regular prayer and so bond socially.
Christians pray both individually and communally to their god. They believe that their god listens to all their prayers and sometimes answers them. Some Christians believe that mediation is the best way to commune with their god whilst others believe that they can work themselves up into a state of euphoria for example when speaking in tongues.
Although it is generally understood to be metaphorical, the bible states that the Christian god created the universe in 6 days, resting on the seventh. As said above, it also says that the universe will end in Armageddon with the dead rising to be judged and armies of light and dark fighting across oceans of space. There are many "morality plays" within the bible including The Good Samaritan and The Prodigal Son.
New Christianity is managed by the hierarchically organised priesthood from the ordinary priests up to the highest archbishops and, in the case of La Sancta Sedes, The Pope herself. There are also some more reclusive components based around monks and, in some cases, nuns. In physical terms, the organisation is based on a series of churches, cathedrals and monasteries and all priests except those of the catholic religion, are free to marry someone of the opposite sex (in some cases, of the same sex). Despite not allowing its priesthood to marry, it is worth noting that ever since a series of scandals in the twenty-third century, La Sancta Sedes has been rigorously non-discriminatory in terms of sex with almost two-fifths of its priests' female as well as mixed sex monasteries.
New Christian dress code varies between cults with most of the more enlightened ones unconcerned with how parishioners dress. Some of the more extreme cults however, specify dress codes which typically affect women far more than men. For example, one cult based on Fulcrum claims women should dress modestly, not wear clothes or accessories to attract or "show off" and that inner beauty should be far more highly desired. Many New Christians believe that they should forgo many materialist pleasures and items and instead dedicate themselves to serving their god. This can affect them both socially and in terms of their career. Other aspects of the bible can affect personal moral codes including, in some more extreme cults, rejection of differing sexualities and the suppression of women's rights.
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.