People feel better about religion on Kassidor than in other parts of human space because they are unable to fight about it. One can openly believe what one believes without worrying about getting blown up or jailed. Religion can still be a strong unifying force and a strong moral force. They really do have morals, in spite of how they dress. The average thin little man in a sapling and tent hut in the middle of three quarters of an acre, three years from the gatehead, can teach any Alpha of Centorin about integrity and honor.
We make no religious claims here but simply catalog the beliefs and what they mean to their believers to the limit of our ability to translate. You will see that their universe of belief is vast and most of ours find places in it. In spite of the modifications they have made to themselves, they are still human and religion is part of the human soul.
The main religion on the planet Kassidor is known as Scientific Kortraxian. In this belief, man is a part of nature, nature provides for man. Two things symbolize this in all their mythology, Kortrax, the giver of all light and energy, and Kassidor, the land, the astronomical body that they were given to live on. In the religion, it is simply known as ground, or earth, with a small 'e', the dirt we dig in every day.
A religion is called 'scientific' if they believe the universe is real. Once you accept that, it is a matter of understanding what God's rules are. The believers in this religion know that a common belief is what unites them into a community and discuss the nature of the meta-creature they are creating by their social and economic interaction while drunk and stoned.
There are hundreds of different sects, what they have in common is a respect for nature, a belief in science, a belief in reality. Their morals focus on being fair, respecting others and appreciating nature. Sex is part of nature and often worshiped for it's own sake, depending on what sect. In many, but not all, sects of Scientific Kortraxian, sex is a sacrament. Beauty in nature is often worshiped and scenic places are often sacred to one or many sects.
Ceremonies and services range from solemn and haunting with robes, choruses and candles; to bawdy frolicking under the waterfall or beside a bonfire. This religion is the largest producer of religious music on the planet. It is found in many genres and ranges from depressing thru erotic to joyous. It is usually an important part of any ritual or service and all often participate in the music.
If you count everyone who at least says they believe in it, this religion holds thirty eight percent of the planet's population and over sixty percent in the Highlands. If you count only those who regularly attend organized ceremonies, at least one a year, it is a little under eight percent of the planet's population, just six percent in the Highlands. However, especially in the Highlands, a religious ceremony can be as simple as pausing on a walk thru the woods and thanking nature. If that is counted as a religious ceremony, it is probably more like sixty percent who actively participate.
Kortraxian split from Scientific Kortraxian when science was introduced to the modern world by the Highland Elves, four thousand years ago. The fundamentalist Kortraxian are the ones who believe that Kortrax is a supernatural power, not a natural power running on nuclear equations. It still has many adherents, especially in places where there is a lot of Orc in the gene pool.
The followers of Kortrax still worship nature and have their own holy sites. Quite often they are the same holy sites used at different times. They believe these places to be the abodes of spirits, not beauty created of itself by application of natural law. They believe strongly in astrology, numerolgy and phrenolgy. To them, the distinction of their religion is very important, to a Scientific Kortraxian they simply believe the other is unable to understand that the universe is real and leave it at that.
Less than thirteen percent of the planet's population refuses to believe in science at all, but twenty percent have attended a Kortraxian ceremony in the past year. This is because their ceremonies are the most artistic and mysterious of all. If you are at all into mysticism you should plan on attending at least one fundamentalist Kortraxian ceremony if you ever visit Kassidor. The churches and their ceremonies are financed by the donations you make to be admitted. Most of the people you will be sitting with will be regulars who know each other. The ceremony may be conducted in an ancient language, not what we call Kassidorian. There are many ceremonies that people still chant by heart, up to an hour and a half long, who's translation was lost before history began.
The second largest category of religions on Kassidor are called Prophetic. In these religions, a man claims to be sent by God in some way. If the prophet claims to be born of God himself via virgin birth, the religion is translated as Christian. It is a translation of the word and not an equation of religious doctrine because the prophetic doctrines of Kassidor cover all forms of monotheism on Earth.
It is a common occurrence that people who gain followers in a new religion will run afoul of the existing power structure, and those who preached in the days before the Instinct were often put to death, thereby becoming martyrs for their cause. Those branches are called Cruxifictionist, after one of the more gruesome ways the establishment would put them to death in those days. Those who were contemporary to Jesus of Earth lived in an era where force was no longer working, and were never put to death for their teachings.
There are 61,750 or so prophetic sects known, though only a few dozen have more than a million followers and only a few thousand have more than a thousand. Altogether, they make up 17% of the planet's population, or over seven billion people. The followers of Christ the Fisherman number 1.7 billion people, making it larger than any Christian denomination on Earth in 4100ad.
Those prophets who have been born since aging was cured also have the advantage of eternal youth, so they can have all the time they need to build their following. Religion is a long term thing however, and of the 31,052 prophets who are still alive, most of them have given up preaching, or joined their flocks with others with similar visions. Some will no longer admit to having been born of God to a virgin mother and many of the oldest claim that back in those days there was a stigma attached to out-of-wedlock birth. Some even complain of God's stinginess with child support.
Their messages range from the meekest, turn the other cheek, to militant evangelism. It is probably no accident that the teachings of Christ the Fisherman have a lot in common with Scientific Kortraxian. He believes in science and reality, respect for nature and the enjoyment of life and beauty. He preaches respect for each other, fairness in all dealings and that his father in heaven knows all you think and do, though his son on land does not. He's still a monogamist, still with Merry, though he rarely more than rolls his eyes about it now. He lives today in a very modest palace on the northeast slope of the Igjarmines of the Old Lands. He tends his own garden when he is home, though he still spends a lot of time touring and teaching his message. He never takes payment for a speaking engagement and uses most of the monies his followers donate to feed the poorest and treat the sickest in the places where he travels. He has made seven trips to Centorin and the other human worlds so far and has over a half a million devoted followers thruout human space beyond the planet Kassidor. Much has been made of the assertion that he was born within six months of the ascension of Jesus Christ on Earth. That is a myth based on an early mis-translation of the date, he was actually born in 281bc by Earth's calendar.
However, there are now 117 prophets claiming they were born within six months of a famous prophet's death on Earth. Many prophets claim to come from a long line of deaths and rebirths on Earth, Kassidor, Kinunde and even Naiho and have the connections stretching back into antiquity to 'prove' it. Many of the 'prophets' involved were ministers to small congregations and a lot of the prophets making these claims have show-business experience.
Spiritualist religions have just over nine percent of the population. These are people who believe in ghosts, poltergeists, angels and demons. They have undergone major revivals each time Kassidor was contacted by another civilization. This was as true of the gateship's arrival as it was of the starships of the 23rd thru 25th century (the 100th in Kassidor's dates). For many of these religions, Narrulla's Tear (a pile of derelict starships orbiting in the null point between Narrulla and Kassidor) is the holiest object in the cosmos and the ghosts that are still running there are some of their most sought-after communication friends.
There is, in fact, scientific spiritualism that believes in science and thinks spirits exist in dimensions mathematicians ponder. They point out that the dark matter holds most of the universe's mass and believe that is the physical manifestation of the spirit world. They even postulate a type of circuitry to provide the computing stratum for the souls in the cryogenic world of deep space. The simulate civilization of Narrulla's Tear is counted as part of this section even though there are only thirty seven thousand of them. The simulates promise life after death, but that required a machine called a cryoslicer that ceased functioning in Earth's 26th century. Some spiritualists still believe in that machine and bring their dead to it even though it is corroded beyond recognition. Their machine is now in the far Marheens of the Lumpral basin.
Most spritualists are not capable of understanding scientific theory if they had to. Since they deny the existence of what they don't understand, they live in a world of rituals and memorization. This cannot deny that some of their rituals are the most beautiful and exotic of any type of religion.
The fertility cults with their ceremonies of sexual union are technically spiritualist religions. However, few of Tahmote's girls today deny the truth of science and most scholars now place them within the Scientific Kortraxian fold.
The Yondure basin is dominated by a head-of-household religion that has only gained ground since Centorin contact. Most of the people at the heads of tables in the castles of the Yondure basin have been sitting at that table since the golden age of Pericles. They may have replaced the upholstery in their dining hall twice since Centorin was settled. In this religion the ancestor and the spirt of the house and family is God. The spirit of the house and family is personified in the matriarch/ patriarch of the family that lives in their castle. In most families the reigning head gives a speech (sermon) at dinner three times a week, even today, in almost every castle in the Yondure basin. In many it's short, a minute or two, but some families must endure an hour lecture or more, every day of the week.
There is an informal pomp to the lives in these castles, his speech may be heckled in some, but in most there will be polite applause and some talking between neighbors at the long table in the castle dining hall. Dining at the family table is almost the entire ceremony of the Yondurian religion.
The Yondurian religion claims 1.6% of the planet's religious, but 17% of the Yondure basin. Most of the population of the Yondure basin actually live on small holds or in single clumps of trees on the agridential plains where the ocean used to be. Only 31% of the basin's population lives in castles and half of those are either hired help or current bedfellows. The great families of Yondure make up almost as small a percentage of the population as the great houses of Centorin. Yondure differs in following the female line of inheritance, not that it matters any more.
A divorce is disaster for the male in Yondure's religion, he loses his house and family completely and the female head of household soon selects a new partner who will give the family lecture at dinner from then on. This breeds a land in which men are spokesmen for their wives, their wive's personal secretaries. It is not uncommon that the head of the castle reads the dinner lecture from his end of the table.
Religions that believe it is immoral to extend life technologically are called Kluboeb, and most of the believers in these religions are long dead. A few survive via virgin marriage in pockets of the Lumpral basin, the Korst, remote areas of nZhiktar and abandoned parts of Yondure. Very few have been able to keep their children following any of those creed's since the time of Earth's Christ. By then, life extending treatments were generally available, well tested, effective and relatively inexpensive considering the alternative. Soon after that, eternal youth became free and contagious on Kassidor. To the businessman who released it, it was well worth the cost in heath care savings alone, never mind the retraining costs. Education could finally move ahead instead of constantly teaching the same things over and over. Thus less than a few hundred thousand on Kassidor remain Kluboeb today.
There is only one way one can age on Kassidor, refuse to mate with anyone, refuse to eat anything but what you grow. Thus Kassidor has by far the fewest aged people of any major planet, even Naiho has more, even though they are all in New Heartland. (Keeping one's person free of age has been required of all citizens of Novo Grosso since 3071 to control health care costs.) On Kassidor there is no one to carry out such a program and in the Lumpral basin isolated valleys still keep to ancient ways and some kluboebs find a way to survive.
The Lumpral basin holds dozens of other religions with millions of followers. A person from the Lumpral basin is more likely to attend a religious ceremony then a resident of any other basin. They follow a lot of the same patterns as some of the other religions, but with their own ceremonies, means and places of worship.
The Lumpral basin is also one of the most populous basins, so it has 17% of the people of Kassidor who have attended a religious event in the past year. The land is dotted with religious structures and monuments of all different ages and designs. Whole cities have been laid out as religious centers and not all of them are completely in ruins (see, Hb'Nah, Dzenovah).
Even so, anyone can notice that the percentages don't add up to 100%. There are 7% of Kassidor's people who swear they have never had a religious thought ever, and 13% who don't believe there is any such thing as a supernatural power of any kind. The remainder are splinter groups that might have a few dozen to a few thousand followers. They believe in whatever it is that keeps their group together.