The church organized around the two competing pantheons of light and of dark. On Rifts Earth, these are the Egyptian deities, organized around those who follow Ra
, the Sun God, and Set
, the Lord of Darkness.
The church is dominant in Africa and parts of Europe and Southwest Asia, but it is also present in parts of North America like the Lyn Srial
of the Grand Canyon and wherever the Zem
have been or where individual members of the Pantheon may have established a presence.
See mythology of Ancient Egypt. This is mostly believed by the people of Rifts Africa and Europe.
In Rifts North and South America, this church has a different image.
In North America, because of the presence of the Zem
, knowledge of the two pantheons of the Church of Light and Dark has a more practical aspect. They are still acknowledged as being God-like, but their galaxy-spanning empires are also known. As such, some peoples of Rifts North America typically view them as invaders rather than as dieties of Earth.
The one exception to this are the Lyn Srial. These golden warriors of the sun fully believe their god, Horus, member of the Pantheon of Light under Ra, is a true God and a force of good for the world.
In Central and South America, there was an effort by a rival Pantheon that had attempted to copy the success of the Pantheons of Light and Dark. Arriving on Earth thousands of years after the Egyptians had become forgotten by their own gods, the Pantheons of the Aztec, Maya and Inca plied the same strategies to build pyramids in order to create an army of undead followers in the same way the Pantheons of Light and Dark did in Africa. Unfortunately, by this time there was very little magical energy on Earth to siphon. The number of mummies even their massive pyramids could support was pitifully few, and those Pantheons eventually gave up and moved on to other worlds. (with the coming of the Rifts, they have also returned, but that is another subject)
There have been times (each spanning thousands of Earth years) when the Pantheons of Light and Dark were combined into a single Pantheon. In the beginning, both were united under the leadership of Osiris. They never quite got along, though, being divided between those allied with Ra and those with Set. When Set destroyed Osiris, they split into two warring Pantheons, neither eager for the return of Osiris. This civil war became too detrimental and they agreed to call an end to their open hostilities and form a united church of worship from which they could both share the spoils.
This has worked out well for them; although a cold war still rages, often boiling over into actual conflict.
Planet Earth was originally involved with the pantheons right at the end of the leadership of Osiris. When Osiris was destroyed and the Pantheons of Ra and of Taut went to war with each other, neither could return to Earth to claim it as it was not yet a crop ready for harvest. Neither Pantheon could afford effort to maintain the crop (steward the ancient Egyptian civilization) and so it died of neglect as did many other similar societies created by the pantheons during this time.