|Scripture||Articles of Balconi|
|Associations||Faramount Association of Christian Imperialists|
|Merger of||Limonaian Catholicism |
|Other name(s)||Cult of Christ (Culto di Cristo)|
Christian Imperialism, or the Cult of Christ, is a syncretist religion merging elements of Limonaian Catholicism and the Imperial Truth. It was formulated by Adrian Balconi, an Imperial Truther priest who sought in the mid-1800s to bridge the divide between Faramount's Truther and Christian populations. The movement spread throughout Faramount in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, becoming one of the primary religions there with nearly fourteen million adherents today.
The religion is principally based on the life and teachings of two men: Derthalen Emperor Otto and Jesus of Nazareth. Like all Christians, adherents are Abrahamic monotheists who believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament. But like Imperial Truthers, adherents believe in veneration of the dead and the holy nature of Derthalen's first emperor, Otto. Christian Imperialists specifically believe that Otto was a prophet, who promulgated the Cornerstones of Imperial Truth in a bid to put humanity on the right path without the sacrifice of Jesus. Adherents do believe in the supremacy of God over man, and believe that Otto's declaration that men are greater than Gods was a metaphorical statement of the wide moral and technological capabilities of mankind.
Most Christian Imperialists view both the Limonaian Pope and the Derthalen Emperor as their spiritual leaders. Both the Derthalen Imperial Truth Church and the Limonaian Catholic Church view Christian Imperialism as heresy, however. The Pope and Emperor have both in recent decades nonetheless sought to promote interfaith dialogue in Faramount amongst Limonaian Catholics, Christian Imperialists, and Imperial Truthers.
Derthaler traders spread the Imperial Truth to Faramount in the thirteenth through fifteenth century during Derthalen's failed attempt to colonize the Collete River basin. The religion caught on quickly in Faramount, partly because the Derthalers offered substantial benefits to those who converted and partly because of the similarity of the Imperial Truth to traditional Faramontese religions. Even as the Derthalen Empire abandoned its ambitions in Faramount in the 1470s, conversion activity continued, and by 1500, most of the indigenous population practiced the Imperial Truth.
The Limonaian colonization of Faramount halted the spread of the Imperial Truth as Limonaia sought instead to convert the native population to Limonaian Catholicism. Limonaian settlers genuinely believed in the righteousness of the spread of Christianity, and committed substantial resources to that effort. Perhaps more importantly, the Limonaian colonial government viewed the Imperial Truth as a direct threat to Limonaian authority, and thus made it a priority to make Catholicism the primary religion. To this end, colonial authorities discriminated heavily in favor of Faramontese Christians, though they never banned the Imperial Truth to avoid a direct conflict.
The conflicting Limonaian colonial and Derthaler expatriate to convert native Faramontese led to substantial conflict in the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries. Truthers and Christians would commonly discriminate against one another, insult one another, and even attack one another. Circumstances only worsened beginning in the eighteenth century, when certain ethnic groups began to convert to Christianity en masse, adding an ethnic element to the religious split of the nation. Violence between the competing religions became commonplace in the early nineteenth century, and by the mid-century, had become substantial enough of a problem to worry colonial authorities.
Adrian Balconi became famous across Faramount in the 1850s and 1860s for helping to tame the violence. Balconi came from a mixed family in which his father was Limonaian Catholic and his mother adhered to the Imperial Truth. He ultimately chose to follow the Imperial Truth, becoming a priest. But he maintained close ties with the Christian community, even spending three years living amongst Limonaian Catholic monks outside New Sermerio. Balconi travelled Faramount between 1583 and 1867, helping to broker interfaith dialogues, peace agreements, and goodwill between the Christians and Truthers.
Balconi took a sabbatical between 1867 and 1871 after a number of conversations led him to believe that syncretism could be a solution to Faramount's religious divisions. He felt that the two religious had a great deal in common, and that they could be merged into something appealing to both Christians and Truthers. He compiled the New Cornerstone Commandments, a doctrinal statement for a new faith that referred to as the Cult of Christ, using the Derthaler styling for a subsect of the Imperial Truth. He unveiled his proposed new faith to close friends in 1871, and within a few months, word of his work had spread through much of Northern Faramount.
The Limonaian colonial government viewed Balconi's project incredibly favorably. By the late nineteenth century, the Limonaians faced a host of problems in Faramount, not the least of which was the violence between the Limonaian Catholics and the Truthers. The colony's leaders were themselves Christians, but had far greater faith to their own profits than to the church. They thus immediately recognized and legalized Christian Imperialism, and encouraged its spread in the Truther-dominated Northern and central regions of the nation. Thanks to this support and Balconi's own popularity and charisma, the Cult of Christ quickly spread across those regions.