The Pure and Unsullied is the smallest religion in Thenia and is a breakway sect of the Followers of the Seven Divine
. The Pure and Unsullied are located only in Skanzia
and live a fairly isolated life. They believe that they must participate in rigorous rituals in order to become pure so one may enter the afterlife. The government of Skanzia permits the existence of this religion in their country only because of their liberal religious tolerance laws, but they have stepped in when they felt that adherents had gone too far.
The Pure and Unsullied is a breakway sect of the Followers of the Seven Divine
; the schism occurred about two centuries ago. The rift occurred because the Pure and Unsullied believed the Followers of the Seven Divine's less strict beliefs were risking the Pure and Unsullied's chances of entering the afterlife; as such, they broke away.
Relationship with Followers of the Seven Divine/other religions
The Pure and Unsullied consider the Followers of the Seven Divine
to be corrupted versions of themselves. Therefore, they believe that only Followers can even have a hope
; those of other religions have no hope at all.
is the divine being central to the Pure and Unsullied. The Innocent of this religion is considered to be a more pure version of the Innocent found in the Followers of the Seven Divine. The Innocent is not really a god or goddess, but rather the personification of purity; therefore, the Innnocent may be depicted in many ways, including as a virginal young woman, unicorn, and dove.
The priesthood consists of the Pure and the Unsullied.
make up about 1% of the entire religion; these are individuals that have proven (through rituals and other exercises) to be so pure that they have attained this status in the earthly life. They are the leaders of the religion.
make up about 4% of the entire religion; these are individuals who are farther along in their purity than the laity, but are not yet considered Pure. The Pure vote on an Unsullied's Ascension.
Both of these groups are responsible for guiding the laity, called the Unclean
A person's journey from Unclean to Unsullied to Pure is called the Ascension
. An Ascension is based on the completion of prescribed Rituals, Worship, and Education (described below), as well as a vote by the Pure. Most will not Ascend.
The entire life of a Pure and Unsullied is their religion; as such, it dictates everything that they do. Because the Pure and Unsullied believe that life is simply extended preparation for the afterlife, everything done in this life must be with the afterlife in mind. Their goal is constant purity.
Murder and rape are considered especially egregious acts, as they are considered unclean. If a Pure and Unsullied commits an unclean transgression, they are executed by drowning (a sort of "ritual" purity).
The Pure and Unsullied's tenets of faith are all based on purity and how to attain it. Every member must be strenously working towards attaining purity, and any deviation from that is cause for punishment.
The Pure and Unsullied believe that the Innocent
created the world as a gift, and unclean people have ruined it. Thus, it is their duty to thank the Innocent for the gift by participating in their religion.
The afterlife for the Pure and Unsullied is considered a pure paradise. A person can only be guaranteed their afterlife if they are Pure; therefore, most know they will not reach the afterlife. If someone dies as an Unsullied, their afterlife is akin to Purgatory
. If someone dies as an Unclean, their afterlife is neverending torment; there is no release.
The only exception is if a Pure and Unsullied dies during a Ritual: dying while purifying is considered the most "holy" way to die. This is because if this occurs, the Innocent may
decide to give the person the "Ultimate Ascension" (the afterlife) without them being a Pure in the earthly life. Of course, this means that some adherents purposefully try do die during Ritual, although the Pure frown upon it.
Ritual is the name given to the practices the Pure and Unsullied undergo in order to Ascend. Rituals may be anything from praying, to flagellation, to self-mutilation. All Rituals are decided by the Pure and depend on a person's own personal journey to purity. Unsurprisingly, there is abuse among the Pures when it comes to assigning Rituals to the Unclean.
The entire life of a Pure and Unsullied is about their religion; however, there is time throughout their day that is devoted solely to Worship, which consists of studying important texts, chanting, hearing sermons, and participating in prescribed traditions.
All Pure and Unsullied must participate in education by the Pure every day. These lessons are almost always theological based, although some are simply practical.
Called partnerships, they are engineered by the Pure; the goal of a partnership is to produce as many children as possible so they may reach the afterlife.
Called the Ultimate Ascension, the funeral rites are reserved only for the Pure, since they can only attain the afterlife. The Unsullied and the Unclean are allowed "Ultimate Purifications;"
these rites depend on status.
The Pure and Unsullied have zero political influence anywhere in Thenia.
Other religions' views
There is not a single religion on Thenia that is not either frightened or disgusted by the Pure and Unsullied.