native faith, the majority religion, founded rather unintentionally
by Prophet Ierecina who died a plain, un-miraculous death in 999
AD (except for all the butterflies). This faith has minimal dogma,
but full of practical disciplines. It is a
"psychological" religion, like Buddhism, holding that
human psychology is defective, easily warped and weakened
through bad living, and that humans can achieve real vision through
good living, prayer and devotion. Real vision results in
awareness of the holiness and universality of all things. This
religion has no dogma about any afterlife.
Over the course of the centuries, long before the White Man came, Bergonians developed
complex religions, rites and theology. In ancient
the dominant (though hardly the only) religion was called Shufrantei, founded
by the prophet Ierecina, who died in 202 BC. Shufrantei
dominated nearly all Bergonia.
Over the course of a thousand
years Shufrantei splintered into sects and suffered challenges from the upstart Hiestat
and other sects. People grew
cynical. Into the spiritual vacuum stepped a new prophet. His name was Krathnami
and he founded
Miradi, the religion that thrives today. In
999 A.D Krathnami died an ordinary death, unadorned by ascension or other
miracles. Miradi is the simplest of religions, eschewing doctrine and ritual in
favor of prayer and meditation. It superceded both Shufrantei and
major religion of ancient Bergonia. Its founder, the
Prophet Ierecina created a great written body of polytheistic
myth and proclaimed a detailed theology and psychology. He
also established a conquering military regime that spread out after
his miraculous death in 202 BC and conquered most Bergonia.
Shufrantei believers practiced cleansing rites to wash the soul of
spiritual pollution that builds up from sinful acts (not thoughts
but acts). A polluted soul will not survive death and have no
afterlife, while a cleansed soul survives the ordeal of dying and
crosses over to "the Mansions of the Heavens."
of religious faith throughout Berg history, including Ierecina and
the Nine Minor Prophets who followed him, and Krathnami.
Ancient Gods of
led by Arcan and Icotesi, Emperor and Empress of the Universe.
These are the figures in the mythology prescribed by the prophet
subversive religion in medieval times, opposed to and persecuted by
brought by European conquistadors, missionaries and colonists.
Approximately 29% of Bergonians are Christians or
in Bergonian religion.
of the ancient Bergonians.
Books of Dreams
Religion and Socialism,
why the two need not be opposed.
62% of Bergonians,
106 million people, practice Miradi,
organized as follows:
Eight main denominations
called "Temple Affiliations," each with
its own customary "rule and rite," and each with a network of affiliated
universities, print, television and internet media, monasteries, charities
and art trusts.
There are also five "Night Ways" of magic and traditional healing. There is nothing
exclusive about the affiliations between any of the eight denominations
and any of the Night Ways. Most worshippers actually have
nothing to do with the Night Ways.
(including "neo-Christianity"), a total of 48 million, of which:
Catholic, 25 million.
6% are Protestant,
10 million, largely
consisting of Whites, divided
into four groups: (a) French-speaking Calvinist
from French settlers,
English speaking Anglicans, descended
from English settlers, (b) a handful of
Quakers, Mennonites, Anabaptists and other dissenters, descended
from English settlers (plus a few Germans),
(d) a handful of Pentecostals
and evangelicals, of all races, American influenced,
3% are affiliated with
native Christian churches,
including the 2 million affiliated with the "Bergonian
Catholic Church of Christ," which imitates Catholic
ritual and doctrine in Bergonian vernaculars, founded by "Saint Alberto" in 1634 and headed
by an Archbishop in Varsca.
4% are affiliated with
native "Neo-Christian" sects.
These small churches accept Jesus Christ as the Son of God, but reject the Trinity or otherwise deviate
the Nicene Creed which has defined Christianity for centuries. All Christian churches considered
these sects heretical.
live in Bergonia. The first Jews arrived in Bergonia in the late
1500s, fleeing persecution in Spain and France. Because Christians
constituted a minority of the population, Jews were freer to construct
their own institutions. The Bergonian Jews avoided all the ethnic
conflicts of the 1830's. When the atrei realized how the Christian
Europeans persecuted Jews, they sympathized with the Jews. Jewish
colonists quickly learned to speak the atrei languages. In time Jewish professionals and educators served
as an important link between atrei
intellectuals and other Europeans.
This leaves about
9% of the total
who disclaim any religious affiliation or practice.
in a democratic socialist state:
The citizens of the commonwealth enjoy complete religious freedom.
This is one socialist state that tolerates and to an extent encourages
religious organization and practice.
much more explicit about the role of religion than the American
constitution. Religious expression and education are explicitly
guaranteed. However, the constitution prescribes how a church may be
punished or disbanded when it ceases acting like a church.
It is, in the Bergonian view, ridiculous for socialists, radicals and
other revolutionaries to condemn religion and alienate religious
people. Likewise it is ridiculous for Christians and other religious
people to believe that socialism is anything but compatible with their own
values. (See A. Huxley, The Perennial Philosophy.) Religious and socialist values both include altruism, social
interest, compassion and loyalty to the community, and both should
properly oppose capitalist greed, pride, materialist fetishism, and
excessive individualism. In general, religion does often serve valid social
purposes, and every materialist should admit to its social utility.
modern capitalist societies religion is irrelevant to dominant marketing
priorities, and even inimical to them, and thus corporate-controlled media
has virtually banned all mention of God and all religious themes. It
is not surprising that Christian and other religious tendencies have
greater visibility in socialist Bergonia's media than in the US.