Created by: Danku-Chan (Danku-Chan#8953)
This document is an out-of-character explanation and expansion on the role of religion and spirituality in the world of Shibuya Meltdown! Including how religions have changed, adapted, or been established over the next 67 years.
In this first section, we will discuss religions that are mostly intact in their original state.
Christianity has been on a downward slope since the late 2030s, being seen as a relic of a former age where the individual was wealthy and land was plentiful, many former Christians share the sentiment that Christianity is a religion that was popularized in a golden age, and that all the prayers answered by it were simply the treats of the aforementioned golden age, not proof of its religious merit. Plus, crosses and bibles aren’t a very good aesthetic for the modern solo.
Catholicism has remained largely the same in its traditions, which is why its presence is quickly declining. Catholics have argued for the immorality of the Arch, in the early years of its release, many people going to have Arches implanted would be met by crowds of Catholic protestors, protests have mostly calmed by 2087, but some small crows still gather around the larger clinics. The intensely centralized presence of Catholicism has been its major Achilles’ Heel, though. With soaring property costs making the sprawling cathedrals and temples of old, nigh impossible.
Protestantism has shrinked along with the other sects of Christianity, but it has been on a slower death march than Catholicism, with its more decentralist leanings serving the faith well. But when churches are needed, so called ‘petitparishes’ have filled the role, some being small enough to be converted from a studio apartment, and placed along residential districts to incentivize their use by the average citizen.
Buddhism is a faith that has been on a steady increase since the 2000s, but began to accelerate in growth around the 2030s, as climate and political refugees from China and Japan began to enter the western world. Though many of its finer details have been lost in translation, and refined down to a much more digestible religion; Classical Buddhism is mostly practiced by middle class or upper class individuals, and others with the time and energy to research the complexities of the faith.
In this second section, we will look at religions that exist in our modern day, but have changed in some fundamental way.
Neo-Islam, while not existing in our world today, is the direct successor to the Islamic faith. The seeds of Neo-Islam were planted in the 2030s, as climate refugees from the Middle East and North Africa began to flood into the first world, many coming the U.S.A, where they would often find homes in penitentiaries, spreading their faith to fellow inmates. In the late 2040s, as augmentations became more commonplace, a fundamental split began to form over whether or not the faith would allow such a modification to the human body: The old guards of Islam would take a luddite’s point of view, whereas the new muslim immigrants to the US and other parts of the first world would embrace augmentations, leading to a split in which about 80% of the faith took a technophobic stance, as Classical Muslims would join with Catholics in protests against clinics that implanted Arches, and these rejected followers would break to create their own faiths, which would eventually coalesce to form Neo-Islam. Neo-Islam would go on to supplant the Classical Islamic faith in the late 2060s.
And in this final section, we will cover faiths that have formed or become legitimized after our modern day.
Pastafarianism has been a long running joke in our own world, but in the world of Shibuya Meltdown! It became a legitimate religion in the late 2020s, the thought leader at the time, going only by the title ‘Chartreuse’, turning the once cult-like, highly central joke of a church into a decentralized, hedonistic faith worshipping the state of intoxication and inebriation, the religion performing a big-bang of sorts around the mid 2040s, increasing participation and belief to a never before seen amount for a religion created in the 21st century. Belief in Pastafarianism is around as popular as Hinduism in our own current day America.
Anchali is a mysterious faith, emerging in the late 2010s from various internet forums and imageboards. Anchali is a strange beast of faith, containing many sects and beliefs, with the only unifying traits being a desire to reach a state of complete anonymity (absentonymity), and a common language with which to share their perspectives. Followers of the faith often wear masks to confuse or block out facial recognition, some even going as far as to augment their face, and the wealthiest among the followers having a multitude of android bodies that can be swapped out at will. Anchali are a rare breed, being about as prevalent as Paganism in the modern United States.