Mufastism

Jump to navigation Jump to search
The flag used by many Mufastas to represent their religion. It combines the Lion of Atudia(?), used to represent the strength of the Bahian people, with blue, gold, and green

Mufastism, sometimes called Mufasti, is a religion that developed in Île d'Émeraude during the 1920's. It is classified as both a new religious movement and a social movement by scholars of religion. The religion has no central authority in control, and as a result much diversity in religious belief and practice exists within it. Practitioners are known as Mufasti or Mufastas.


Mufasti beliefs are based on a specific interpretation of the Bible. Central to the religion is a monotheistic belief in a single God, who is known to Mufastas as Yé, who is believed to reside within each and every individual. Mufastas accord a key importance to Alphonse Amsalu, a key figure of the Sougoulie rebellions that took place in Bahia in 1883-1884. Many regard him as the Second Coming of Sotiras and Yé incarnate, while others see him simply as a human prophet who fully recognized Yé's presence in each individual. Mufastism is a Bahio-centric religion and focuses a lot of attention on the Bahian diaspora, who Mufastas believe are oppressed in western society, or "!notBabylon". Many Mufastas call for the resettlement of the worldwide Bahian diaspora in Bahia, the region of Coius that they consider the Promised Land, or "!notZion". A select few followers extend these views into black supremacism, though these beliefs have been rejected by most followers of the religion. Mufastas refer to their practices and lifestyle as livity. Communal meetings are known as "connectals", and often involve music, chanting, discussion, and the smoking of cannabis. The latter is regarded by Mufastas as a sacrement with many beneficial properties. Mufastas emphasize what they refer to as living "naturally", adhering to an ital diet, wearing their hair in dreadlocks, and following egalitarian gender roles.


Mufastism first originated among impoverished and socially-disadvantaged Bahio-Emeraudian communities in 1920's Île d'Émeraude, which at the time was under the Gaullican Viceroyalty of the Emerald Isles. The Bahio-centric ideology of Mufastism originated as a reaction against the Gaullican-dominated colonial culture present in Île d'Émeraude at the time. It was influenced by the Emeraudian Spring and the Back-to-Bahia movement promoted by black nationalist figures such as Jean-Baptiste Canmore. Mufastism began to develop after numerous Catholic Sotrian bishops, most notably Mufast Martin, proclaimed that the sacrifice of Alphonse Amsalu to the cause of Bahian liberation had fulfilled a Biblical prophecy. By the 1950's, the countercultural stance of the Mufasti brought in into conflict with wider Emeraudian society, including violent clashes with law enforcement. In the 1970's and 1980's, it gained increased respectabilty within Île d'Émeraude and increased visibilty worldwide through Mufasti-inspired Rande musicians, most notably Robin Gautier. Enthusiasm slightly declined in the 80's following the death of Gautier, but the movement would survive and eventually rebound, while ahveing a presence in many parts of the world.


Mufastism is highly decentralized and organized in a largely sectarian basis. There are numerous denominations of Mufastism, the largest and most prominent of which being the (TBD), the Bobo Rwizi, and the Ten Tribes of Adunis. Each denomination offers a slightly different interpretation of Mufasti belief. There are an estimated 800,000 to 1,200,000 Mufastas around the world. The largest population is in Île d'Émeraude, though communities can be found in many other parts of the world. Most followers are of Bahian descent, though people of all races are welcome into the faith by most followers.


Definition

Mufastism has been classified as a religion by many; it meets many proposed definitions of a religion and is legally recognized as such in numerous countries. Multiple scholars of religion have called Mufastism as a new religious movement. Others have called it a sect, a revitalization movement, and a cult, the latter of which is often used derogatorily. Having arisen in Île d'Émeraude, it is often classified as a Bahio-Emeraudian religion, and more broadly a Bahio-Arucian religion.

Although Mufastism focuses on Bahia as a source of identity, it is a product of creolization in the Asterias, described by Chloéois scholars from the University of Sainte-Chloé as a "Creole religion that has roots in Bahian, Euclean, and Satrian beliefs and practices." Some scholars have also suggested that Mufastism is an emerging world religion, not from the number of adherents of the religion, but because of its global spread. Many Mufastas nevertheless reject the descriptions of Mufastism as a religion, instead referring to it as a "way of life."

Emphasizing it's political stances, most notably it's support of Pan-Bahianism, some have classified Mufastism as a political movement or a protest movement. Alternatively, it's also been labeled as a social movement or a cultural movement. Many Mufastas also reject the classification of Mufastism as a movement. In 1991, a Gaullican municipal court concluded that Mufastas could be classified as an ethnicity because "they have a long, shared heritage which distinguished them from other groups, their own cultural traditions, a common language, and a common religion."

Mufastism has continually evolved and changed, with significant doctrinal variation existing among practitioners depending on the group to which they belong. It is not a unified movement, and there has never been a single leader followed by all Mufastas, barring maybe Mufast Martin when the religion was first conceived. As a result, it is difficult to make broad generalizations about the religion without obscuring the complexities within it. One Gaullican scholar of religion Michel De Saint-Pierre suggested it'd be more appropriate to refer to Mufastism as "a plethora of Mufasta spiritualities" rather than one common phenomenon.

The term "Mufastism" originates from the first name of Mufast Martin, who changed his first name upon converting. "mufast" is (random Bahian language) for "reborn", and symbolizes his rebirth through Yé. It is unknown why early Mufastas chose this form of his name as the basis of the term for their religion. It is most commonly referred to by scholars and commentors as Mufastism, though many Mufastas disparage the term, as they believe the use of "-ism" implies religious doctrine and institutional organization, which are both things they want to avoid.

Beliefs

Mufastas refer to the totality of their religion's beliefs and ideas as "Mufastology". Some have described the religion as having a rather cohesive world view, while others believe it's beliefs are fluid and open to interpretation, citing the many denominations of Mufastism. Attempts to summarize the movement within Mufastism have never accorded the status of creed or catechism. Mufastas place great emphasis on the idea that personal experience and intuitive understanding should be used to determine the truth or validity of a particular belief or practice; No Mufasta, therefore, has the authority to declare which beliefs and practices are orthodox and which are heterodox.

Mufastism is deeply influenced by Abrahamic religion, and shares many similarities with Sotirianity. A Gaullican scholar Robert Boissonade observed that it's theology is "essentially Atudi-Sotirian", representing "a Bahio-centric blend of Atudism and Sotirianity". Some followers openly describe themselves as Sotirians. Mufastas accord a key importance to the Bible, regarding it as a holy book. The religion adopts a literalist interpretation of the Bible and its contents. Mufasti approaches to the Bible result in the religion taking an outlook on the Bible that resembles approaches taken by Amendism. Mufastas regard the Bible as an authentic account of early black Bahian history and of their place as Yé's favored people. They believe the Bible to be key to understanding both the past and the present and for predicting the future, while also regarding it as a source book from which they can form and justify their beliefs and practices. Mufastas often regard the final book of the Bible, the Book of Revelations, as the most important, because they see its contents as a parallel to the current world situation.

Contrary to scholarly understandings of how the Bible was compiled, Mufastas commonly believe it was originally written on stone in the Talanzi language of the Yebase of Garambura. They also believe that the Bible's true meaning has been warped, both through mistranslation into other languages and by deliberate manipulation by !notBabylon in an attempt to deny black Bahians their history. They also believe the Bible has many hidden meanings. They believe that its true teachings can be revealed through intuition and meditation on the "book within" which allows them to commune with Yé. Because of what they regard as the corruption of the Bible, Mufastas also turn to other sources that they believe shed light on black Bahian history.

Yé and Jesus Sotirias

Mufastism is monotheistic, worshipping a single god named Yé, a shortening of the Gaullican translation of Yahweh, the ancient god of the Atudites. Much like Sotirians, they believe Yé created Kylaris and every living thing that calls it home, while also believing that he inhabits every living thing. This belief is reflected in the aphorism, often cited by Mufastas, that "God is man and man is God". Many Mufastas speak of knowing God rather than simply believing in him. In seeking to narrow the distance between humanity and divinity, most Mufasti turn to mysticism.

Jesus is also an important figure in Mufastism. Like Sotirians, they believe he was sent down from Heaven to live, preach, suffer, die, and raise from the dead to redeem mankind from transgressions of original sin. However, practitioners reject the traditional Sotirian view of Jesus, most notably his portrayal as a white Euclean believing that this is a perversion of the truth. Mufastas believe Jesus to have been a black Bahian, and that the white Sotiras was a false god. Many Mufastas regard Sotirianity as the creation of the white man, and they view it with suspicion out of the view that the oppressors (white Eucleans) and the oppressed (Bahians and their diaspora) cannot share the same god. A reccurring view is that the God worshipped by Sotirians is actually Satan, and that the Pope is actually the Antisotiras. Mufastas therefore often view Sotirian preachers as deceivers and regard Sotirianity as being guilty of furthering the oppression of the Bahian diaspora, frequently referring to it as having perpetrated "mental enslavement".

Alphonse Amsalu

Alphonse Amsalu in 1877

From its origins, Mufastism was intrinsically linked with Alphonse Amsalu, a Gaullican sailor, philosopher, and author, who lived from 1838 to 1887. He is known most for the Sinking of the NMS Insulaire during the Sougoulie rebellions that overtook Bahia from 1887-1888. He remains the central figure in Mufasti ideology, and all Mufastas hold him in esteem, though precise interpretations of his identity differ. Understanding on how Amsalu relates to Jesus vary among Mufastas; some say that the Yebase, the ethnic group that Amsalu claims heritage from, are members of the bloodline of King !notDavid, and therefore Amsalu is a direct descendant of Sotiras' bloodline. Many, though not all, also believe that Amsalu was the Second Coming of Sotiras. By viewing Amsalu as Jesus, these Mufastas also view Amsalu as the messiah that was prohesized in the Old Testament, the human manifestation of Yé, and "the living God." Many of these Mufastas also regard his as part of the Trinity.

Other Mufastas see Amsalu as embodying Jesus' essence and teaching but reject the idea that he is the Second Coming. Members of the Ten Tribes of Adunis, for example, argue that this event has not yet occured, as do a few other denominations of Mufastism. From this perspective, Amsalu is perceived as a prophet and emissary of God rather than the literal manifestation of God himself. Mufastas holding this view on Amsalu often refer to the deification of Amsalu by other Mufastas as ignorant or naïve.

Many Mufastas have professed the belief that, while Amsalu had been executed, he continues to live on as a spiritual force that continues to interact with members of the Mufasti faith and the world at large through divine intervention.

Bahio-centrism and views on race

The Bahian nation of Garambura, the birthplace of Alphonse Amsalu, is given high prominance in Mufasti doctrine

According to Michel De Saint-Pierre, Mufastism is "concerned with, above all else, rediscovering the identity, personal and racial, of black people." The religion was conceived among Bahio-Emeraudians who wished to reject the Gaullican colonialist culture prevalent in Île d'Émeraude at the time of Mufastism's conception in exchange for a new identity based on the Bahian heritage of the vast majority of Île d'Émeraude's population. Its emphasis is on the purging of any belief in the inferiority of black people, and the superiority of white people, from the minds of its followers, which has roots in the anti-racism and egalitarian attitude of the Emeraudian Spring. Mufastism therefore is Bahio-centric, equating blackness with the Bahian subcontinent, and endorsing Pan-Bahianism.

Mufastas identify themselves with the ancient Atudites- God's chosen people in the Old Testament- and believe that all Bahians are descendants of these people. This is similar to Atudism, though many Mufastas view that the contemporary Atudites claim of being descended from the ancient Atudites as a false claim. Mufastas typically believe Bahians to be God's chosen people, therefore they have a covenant with Yé. They also argue that the true identity of Bahians as God's chosen people has been lost and needs to be reclaimed.

Mufastism lacks a clear general consensus on race, but most agree with the basic principles of egalitarianism. Black supremacism was embraced by a select few during the early formative years of Mufastism, though most of the movement rejected it. (TBD), a prominent member of the Bobo Rwizi denomination, professes that "regardless of race or creed, we are all children of Yé. Yé views all of his children as equals; therefore it is our duty as Yé's chosen people to view all of our brothers and sisters that share this planet with us as equal to ourselves, as we are all equal in the eyes of the Lord." Some Mufastas believe that a "Bahian" identity does not inherently require black skin, but is rather about if an individual possesses a Bahian "attitude" or "spirit". A vast majority of Mufastism's followers are of Bahian descent, though "awakened" individuals of other races are welcomed and widely accepted into the religion by most denominations; Mufasti communities in Euclea have a significant White minority within them, communities in the Asterias often attract those of mixed ethnicity as well as Native Asterians, and communities in parts of Coius outside of Bahia also have members from the native populations, though not quite to the extent of the previously mentioned areas.

Morality, ethics, gender roles, and sexuality

Most Mufastas share a pair of fundamental moral principles known as the "two great commandments": Love of God and love of neighbor. Many Mufastas believe that they should consult the presence of Yé if they ever need to decide whether or not to undertake in a certain act.

Mufastism promotes what is referred to as "living naturally", in accordance to what Mufastas view are the laws of nature. It endorses the idea that Bahia is the natural home of the Bahian diaspora, calling it a place where they can live according to their Bahian culture and tradition and be themselves on a spiritual, physical, emotional, and intellectual level. Mufastas believe that !notBabylon has detached themselves from nature through "overboard" technological advancement and thus have become debilitated, slothful, and decadent. Many Mufastas express the view that they should be bound only by Bahian laws and not laws put in place by !notBabylon; they often use this view to justify their involvement in certain acts which may be illegal in the countries that they are living in. For example, they defend the smoking of cannabis as a religious sacrement.

Numerous scholars have observed that Mufastism has combined a radical, or even revolutionary, stance on social issues, especially when it comes to race, with rather traditional approaches to other on other religious issues. Many Mufastas view modern capitalism with scrutiny, condemning consumerism and materialism. They favor more small scale, pre-industrial, and agricultural societies. Many Mufastas have promoted activism as a means of achieving socio-political progress, while some others believe in awaiting change that will be brought through Yé's intervention in human affairs. In Île d'Émeraude, Mufastas typically do not vote, and often do not involve themselves in political parties or unions. Many Mufastas, however, engage in other forms of political activism; Mufastas supported Emeraudian independence both during and after the Great War, the Emeraudian Mufasta singer-songwriter Robin Gautier was involved in campaigns promoting racial equality and democratic elections, and many Mufastas have supported the overthrow of military juntas and oppressive regimes around the world.

Mufastism promotes what it refers to as an "Adam and Eve doctrine", believing that Yé created man and woman to be equal. They justify this through their interpretation of the first chapters of Genesis. It espouses egalitarian principles, including the idea that a man and a woman should be equal partners in a relationship. External observers note that Mufastism accords women into an equal position to men in most areas of life. As a result, quite a few women are attracted to the religion, and today women account for about 41% of Mufastism's followers.

As it existed in Île d'Émeraude, Mufastism did not promote monogamy. Mufasti men are allowed multiple female partners, although women are usually expected to reserve their sexual activity for one partner. Marriage usually isn't formalized with a legal ceremony but is a common-law affair, though some Mufastas are legally married. Mufastism places great importance on family life and the raising of children. In Mufasti relationships, the man often stays home to raise children while the women often works; sometimes the roles are reversed, but that depends on the denomination of Mufastism. While some elements of feminism are employed in the religion, such as the equality of men and women in relationships, most radical forms of feminism are rejected by the movement.

Mufastism regards procreation as the purpose of sex, and as a result, oral sex and anal sex are frowned upon. Both contraception and abortions are also censured, and a common claim in Mufasti circles is that these were invented by !notBabylon to limit the black Bahian birth rate. There is no uniform view of the LGBT+ community, and levels of tolerance vary by denomination. Some denominations of Mufastism are welcoming or at least tolerant of the LGBT community, some are homophobic and hostile towards them, and others are indifferent towards them. It is unknown how many followers of Mufastism are openly LGBT, likely because any of these people conceal their sexual orientation for fear of rejection.

Practices

Connecting

Use of cannabis

Music

Language and symbolism

Diet

Appearance

History

Emeraudian Spring, Back-to-Bahia, and Jean-Baptiste Canmore

The Early Mufastas: 1926-1948

Growing visibility: 1950-1969

International spread and decline: 1970-1994

Revitalization: 1995-present

Organization

Denominations of Mufastism

Demographics

Conversion and deconversion

Regional spread