Creating Strict Religions
I would first like to state that a strict religion is not synonymous with a cruel religion, neither is it synonymous with an unaccepting one.
In most cases, in order to be considered a strict religion, if must be strict on one or more of the following ways:
>This includes things like not being selfish or boastful, and any other morals taught by the religion
>This includes things like donating, tithing, not working on holy days, and other such things
>This includes things such as religious paraphernalia, fabric type, garment type, and other such things
>This includes things such as not eating certain foods (usually ones considered unclean), not eating at certain times, or only eating animal products that were made from animals sacrificed in the name of the religion
The strictness can come in the form of requirements or restrictions
>Requirements: things followers must do (followers must pray, must donate, must wear prayer beads, etc)
>Restrictions: things followers are not allowed to do (followers must not break the rules, followers must not work on certain days, followers must not wear certain types of clothing, etc)
The concept of the chosen people
This concept usually appeals to ego (“only the worthy will receive salvation/paradise/etc”)
Is it conditional?
>What are the conditions?
>>Do you have to be birthed in, no exceptions? If they are born of two converts, does it still count, or does it have to be from a long line of followers?
>>Do you have to be birthed in or converted?
>>Do you just have to follow the required behaviors (and nothing else)?
>>Do you just have to believe in the religious teachings (even if you don’t follow the rules)?
>>Do you have to be born in, follow the behaviors, and believe?
>>Do you have to complete a spiritual quest/religious rite?
>>Do you have to convert others and spread the word?
What is the treatment of converts compared to the treatment of those born in the religion?
>Are converts given further rules and restrictions?
>Are converts considered better due to their conscious decision to follow the religion?
What is believed to happen to those who are not chosen?
>>Is this the same thing they believe happens to those who do not follow the rules?
>>>After one has broken a rule, what happens?
>>>>Is it believed they will receive punishment after death, or are they required to repent in life?
>>>>>Is it believed that repenting will completely absolve them, or that it will only lessen their punishment after death?
>>>>If they cannot be absolved completely, how do they convince a person not to break any further rules?
>>>>>Threats? (Ex. "If you don’t behave it’ll be even worse.”)
>>>>>Bribes? (Ex. “If you behave perfectly from now on, there’s a chance your punishment will be lessened.”)
>Do they not get an afterlife?
>Do they receive eternal damnation and suffering?
>>Are there different levels of punishment?
>Is there just a longer waiting period before they are accepted into the afterlife?
>>Is this done in a limbo-like place, or in the same place as sinners?
The more severe the religion, the more severe the punishments will be for not following the requirements and restrictions.
This is a continuation of Creating Cults and Raising Religions.