The RP Conclave, when ruling on major issues, will post its opinion in this thread. For more information about the conclave, see this thread: http://forum.thenorthpacific.org/topic/9048686/[hr] [hr] RP Conclave Ruling #1 Christianity in Eras The RP Conclave has been asked to rule on the question of whether to permit the use of Christianity in Eras. After hearing testimony from many members of the RP community, and aware that given the controversial nature of the topic we will certainly not please everyone with this ruling, we have decided on the following: Summary: Christianity will be permitted, with alterations. Detailed Review Question 1: Does Christianity exist in some form on Eras? To answer this question, we considered three points: Originality, potential exclusion of players, and the future growth of the community. The existence of Christianity within Eras is inherently unoriginal. It is a real world religion, and Eras is not the real world. Eras is a fantasy constructed world that only maintains a semblance of realism compared to real life Earth. Christianity is a real life Earth religion, founded by a denizen of Earth in locations found on Earth, not Eras. However, the majority of roleplayers in our community with nations on Eras already violate originality in other ways. The vast majority of government structures established by the player base are also unoriginal. The concepts of Kings and Queens, elected parliaments and communist dictatorships are all systems founded on Earth, not Eras. Most languages are unoriginal, either being based on an existing language, such as the relationship between Gotic to German, or straight-up copies. (Mercanti is a special exception where it is a language of real-life convenience so that every player can simply type posts in English and be understood.) Religion could potentially fall under the same umbrella, and we must keep in mind that religion is also one of the most contentious areas of human thought. Wars have been fought over it, unlike languages. The prohibition of real-life religions could potentially create a moral dilemma for players who believe that the practice or promotion of other religions, fictional or not, or the practice of no religion, is heretical or immoral. For players who believe strongly that their constructed nation must, under their moral code, be Christian, a ban on real-world religions would prove to be exclusionary, diminishing the player base. There are certainly high-caliber roleplayers who can commit to inventing everything about their nation from scratch, and we both congratulate and revere those players. But there are also players that don't quite meet a perfect originality target that are still high-caliber players. It would also be wrong of us to demand such high creativity and time requirements of all players without considering each player's unique situation and availability. The potential for players to simply abandon TNP roleplay would be too high if we fail to take such factors into consideration. We must also consider that our community is derived from a feeder region on NationStates that actively promotes the RP community, so we will naturally attract players of all skill levels, and we should be accommodating within reasonable limits and within the rules of the world's realism we have established, of which we do not feel Christianity would run afoul of. Therefore, in the interest of being an open, accommodating, and welcoming roleplay community, the RP Conclave rules that Christianity can exist in Eras, with limitations. Question 2: Where does Christianity originate on Eras? In the interest of ensuring that no player can claim to be the originator of a real-life religion, and considering that our portion of Eras is only about 1/3rd the surface area of Earth, Christianity shall be considered to be founded outside of our area, off-screen. Christianity simply migrated to our region from far away lands. Question 3: How should we deal with church history? The foundation of the religion itself is off-screen, and so should its history. For regional purposes, the history of the church shall be ignored. Each player can come up with a history on how the religion spread to their nation, but no player can claim to be the originator of the religion and set its off-screen history. This also means that each nation is responsible for creating their own denomination or working with other players on a shared denomination. The moderation team and the conclave reserve the right to break up any partnership seen as attempting to hold a monopoly on the religion or possessing any other factor that creates an unfair or un-fun experience for other players. Question 4: Should the name "Christianity" be changed? There are options available to make real-world religions less obvious by using alternative names, and we have decided that Christianity shall be subject to that. We have considered multiple alternative names but the one that has been settled on at the moment is "Messianism" (short name) or "the Messianic Church" (long name). This name is derived from the word Messiah which is an alternative for the title of "Christ". Should anyone have further suggestions for the alternative name, the RP Conclave is open to ideas but for the time being, this shall be the name used. Question 5: Should the name of "Jesus" be changed? Given that we have already stated that the origin of the religion is off-screen, the early formative history is ignored, and the religion is not pegged to any individual player, we do not believe changing the name Jesus is necessary. Question 6: Should the Via be removed from the map? So that no player can claim ownership of a single organization that claims to be the governing body of the church, and so that we do not have a governing body in Eras that tries to do that regardless of player control, we recommend that the Via be removed from the map. Question 7: Are other real-life religions impacted? It would be best if all religions with established doctrines and histories should have said history left off screen, but there are religions with no shared history, mainly neo-pagan and reconstructionist religions that could easily be explained at a national level. The use of elements of real-life religions to construct a new religion is also fine, as long as it is unique to each player. Use your best judgment, and consult with the moderation team and the conclave.