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Chiumism (Originally from Lisanic קיומות, Qiyyūmūt, "Chium" via Old Chalcian and Fiorentine) is the ethnic religion of the Chimish peoples. It is an ancient, pantheistic and monlatric religion which shares common origins with early forms of both Alydianism and Irsad. It encompasses the religion, philosophy, and many foundational social mores of the Echsish peoples around the world, who view Chiumism as a concord between themselves and Emhakkol (sometimes simply "Em"), which is viewed as the living essence of the universal soul, and is both transcendent and immanent in all of the body of creation, which itself is Emhakkol. Emhakkol speaks through the Malakim, worldly incarnations of her will which seek to bring knowledge and prosperity through their teachings, who often act through prophetic figures known as Silihim. It is a vast range of beliefs and practices, composed of a wide body of texts, theological and cultural schools of thought, and forms of social organization. Its chief text is the Hitglot, a collections of holy texts assembled around the year 1000 BCE, which is further supplemented by other oral traditions later codified over the centuries, including the Mispats, which are worldly laws for individuals and communities, and Duhots, which are writings of recognized Silihim, respected Lenchwits (priests) and other scholars of the faith produced following the fall of . Much of the religion's liturgical development beyond the Hitglot and First Mispat occurred following the breakdown of the old Echsid homeland surrounding the city of Gatt, and spread of the diaspora throughout the Sifhar, Catai, Eastern Asura, and North Arabekh.
Within Chiumism is a multitude of religious traditions, nearly all of which are rooted in the traditions of Esnogaic Chiumism, the preeminent form of the faith since around the 5th Century CE. This set of traditions teaches that the contents of the Hitglot was bestowed by eight Malakim upon eight craftsmen of various trades in the village of Carmel (believed to reside in modern-day Fahran) over the course of 45 days, thus making the Hitglot immutable and divine in nature. These craftsmen, called the Habbanim Habbahurim, or Chosen Sons, became prophetic figures considered archetypes for the core virtues and practices of the Chimish peoples in both their religious and day-to-day lives. Furthermore, the Esnogaic tradition teaches the importance of community and the need to foster cooperation between peoples in order for individuals to live a spiritually whole existence. As such, Esnogaic tradition stresses that while not all may serve the cause of Emhakkol, those who do must serve all as they would with one another.
Over the years, especially among Togacien communities of Central and Southeastern Asura, numerous further offshoots were forged, including Humanistic branches of the faith, which often feature nontheism. Today, the largest branches of the faith are Orthodox Chiumism, Conservative Chiumism, and Modernist Chiumism (including Liberated Echsidism and Akhsdotism). The largest divides between these groups come in the form of differences on proselytizing and conversion of persons outside of the traditional Chimish Diaspora, the authority of Esnogaic Traditions and the presence of an overarching religious heirarchy, the role of the Lenchwit in religious and community life, and the significance of Carmelism in social, political, and spiritual discourse. Orthodox communities stress the immutability and divinity of the Hitglot and other core texts, as well as the primacy of autocephalous religious structures which oversee their respective nation's adherents. Conservative branches tend to disdain highly organized and codified religious structures, instead viewing each congregation as an independent entity which, while sharing similar backgrounds, beliefs, and rituals, are ultimately required to adapt to the specific needs of each community within traditionally-set lines of conduct. Modernists, however, see traditional law less as restrictions set on individuals from a religious standpoint and instead as cultural touchstones which are universally applicable, and often do not require nearly as much devotion to ritual as their Orthodox and Conservative counterparts. As such, the Lenchwit is typically the preeminent authority on the faith and observance of canon law and interpretation of the Hitglot in most cases, save for in the Orthodox Community, which conform to a more universal dogma set by the Great Synod, a gathering of the heads of the National Esnogas which occurs every eight years in Yarouq, Fahran.
Chiumist theology is based around the pursuit of the three Great Works of the Malakim: Harmony, Knowledge, and Righteousness, which are to be undertaken in three paths in relation to the practitioner: within, without, and beyond, which are meant to encourage efforts towards the Great Works in one's self, one's community, and the world at large, respectively. In the Esnogaic Tradition, The Great Works are not meant to be completed so much as undertaken throughout one's life, believing that they are crucial to maintaining the health of the body of Emhakkol, synonymous with the whole of the universe, portions seen and unseen.
The Great Works
The Nine Precepts
Chiumists observe nine moral precepts or duties which are considered core tenets of the practitioner's life inside and out of their practice of the faith. They include:
- Observing truthfulness and veracity of thought, word, and deed, and detestation of falsehood.
- Providing unconditional protection, support, and mutual aid to other Chiumists.
- Recognizing the immutable truth of the Hitglot and renouncing all invalid creeds and idolatry in public and in secret.
- Celebrating and defending the universal oneness of all peoples in acceptance of Emhakkol's eternal and universal wisdom.
- Contemplating and seeking out the Great Works in all aspects of life.
- Combatting idleness, waste, and self-pollution in all aspects of life.
- Safeguarding the sacred spark of life imbued within all beings, and avoiding the needless taking of lives or bringing of harm to others.
- Respecting the personal agency of individuals over themselves and their property, providing that they do not act in violation of the Precepts and Scripture.
- Ensuring the practice of a just and pious life in accordance with the Precepts and Scripture in all aspects of life, and promoting these essential mores in public and in secret.
The practice of Zhurvat (Lisanic זהירות, literally "prudence, caution") is a custom of concealing or obfuscating religious doctrine, often observed among more conservative or esoteric branches of the faith, and in areas where Chiumists and Chimish peoples face persecution. This is utilized to protect outsiders and the uninitiated from access to sacred wisdom which could be misunderstood by those unready or unwilling to receive the teachings therein. In areas where Chimish peoples are a vulnerable population, Zhurvat states that it is not considered a sin to violate the First Precept in order to keep one's self, family, and community safe from harm. As such, some areas may actually contain higher populations of Chimish individuals than are actually recorded in official census information, as they may declare themselves to practice Alydianism or Irsad, secretly meshing Chiumist beliefs with these more accepted faiths, sometimes developing communities which vary radically between national lines.