AHC: Destroy a major religion

With a POD no earlier than 1750, and the later the better, have (at least) one major religion fall down!

This can be Catholicism, Protestantism, Orthodoxy, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, or any other major religion with worldwide adherents and influence. Atheism/Agnosticism/secularism does not count, but e.g. Shintoism does.

By "fall down" or "destroy" I mean that the religion affected has at most as many followers as Mormonism OTL (i.e. around 10 million), worldwide, so no total destruction is necessary. It is also not necessary that a negative image ("sect") becomes attached to the religion, but it would probably happen.

Bonus points if you manage it after 1900 (I have also posted this in the After 1900 forum), and/or if the religion becomes as marginalised as the Jehovah's Witnesses.
 
Well - say at one point of time the leaders of the great christian religions come together and discuss the differences in their faith and come to the conclusion that the differences are so marginal and that a common ground can be found so they abolish all "sects" and thus all religions like catholicism, angicans, ... become extint on the premis they are all "Panchristians" now ;)
 
much, much more aggessive prostelyzing (from both Muslims and Christians) in India, could maybe knock Hinduism out ...
 
much, much more aggessive prostelyzing (from both Muslims and Christians) in India, could maybe knock Hinduism out ...

No, it couldn't.

I think it's tough to understand sometimes just how deep Hinduism's roots are in the subcontinent. Hinduism, because it is not an organized religion in the Abrahamic sense, is not something that can be easily attacked. It is multi-faced, multi-faceted. It's a telling sign that both Muslims and Christians in the subcontinent (Christians more so than Muslims) adapted their faiths to slot into the Hindu caste system and Hindu society. That's the cultural argument.

Not only that, but historically and politically, there was never a time when it would have been feasible for Muslim or Christian powers to try to stamp out Hinduism without provoking a massive backlash and losing control of the subcontinent.

The late Mughals tried, not even that strongly (simply higher tax rates for Hindus, mainly) and provoked a Hindu nationalist rebellion (the Marathas) which led to the loss of their effective power.

The British were smart enough to never make any strong efforts to proselytize - they let missionaries in (as did the Portuguese and French) but did not provide strong support or actively work against Hinduism. The one exception (their campaign against suttee) was backed by prominent Hindus as a Hindu reform movement, not a alternate path of faith. If the British every tried to replace Hinduism, they'd face such strong resistance India would simply no longer belong to them.

In short, Hinduism ain't going anywhere. The best chance to get rid of it is pre-modern, in the post-Maurya phase, if you avoid a revival and keep Buddhism as the main Indian faith. But of course, some Hindus (my mother, for example) see Buddhists as just slightly weird Hindus with one fewer god.

Maybe, maybe, maybe if Muslims keep control of the subcontinent for another 400, 500 years (if they can). Maybe. But it's worth noting that Bangladesh is still 10% Hindu today, and Pakistan was 15% Hindu in 1951, after the partition.

Cheers,
Ganesha
 
Well - say at one point of time the leaders of the great christian religions come together and discuss the differences in their faith and come to the conclusion that the differences are so marginal and that a common ground can be found so they abolish all "sects" and thus all religions like catholicism, angicans, ... become extint on the premis they are all "Panchristians" now ;)

Also highly unlikely. A pan-Christian conference? It could happen, but it would never come to agreement. All the previous ones simply agreed on who to throw out as "not Christian enough."

I think the best example is from OTL - Zoroastrianism. Here's a faith which, over the course of about six centuries, has shrunk from one of the world's top 3 or 4 to not even making the top dozen. With some small PODs, you could probably make it even weaker today.

Cheers,
Ganesha
 
With a POD no earlier than 1750, and the later the better, have (at least) one major religion fall down!

This can be Catholicism, Protestantism, Orthodoxy, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, or any other major religion with worldwide adherents and influence. Atheism/Agnosticism/secularism does not count, but e.g. Shintoism does.

By "fall down" or "destroy" I mean that the religion affected has at most as many followers as Mormonism OTL (i.e. around 10 million), worldwide, so no total destruction is necessary. It is also not necessary that a negative image ("sect") becomes attached to the religion, but it would probably happen.

Bonus points if you manage it after 1900 (I have also posted this in the After 1900 forum), and/or if the religion becomes as marginalised as the Jehovah's Witnesses.

UberStalinist world totalitarian Atheist regime? If it manages to remain in power for a century or two, could work. No plausible idea as how to create such a thing, though.
 
In 701 b.c. if I'm right they say a plague saved Jerusalem. if that's the case maybe if the sacking and destruction of Jerusalem happened earlier before the bible was put together it might work.
 
The Manhattan Project fails to deliver. The defeat of Japan, whether by blockade or invasion or both, is therefore even more disastrous for the Japanese. The few starving survivors abandon Shintoism as part of a reaction against the way of life that led them into that disaster.
 

KaiserCorax

Banned
What about Jewish people in places like the USA or Canada?

America gets conquered by Japan and the Nazis? Far-right government is elected in America?

Vast majority of Jews in America aren't religious anyway, many of the religious ones only moved over after WW2.
 
America gets conquered by Japan and the Nazis? Far-right government is elected in America?

Vast majority of Jews in America aren't religious anyway, many of the religious ones only moved over after WW2.

That's fantasy- how are Nazis going to transport all their troops to America?

Although idea itself is good- it really decreases nr of Jews (although I imagined a bit less violent way, when I read op). On the other hand, even now there are about 13 millions of Jews (at least wiki says so), so "only" few millions would have to disappear.
 
With a POD no earlier than 1750, and the later the better, have (at least) one major religion fall down!

This can be Catholicism, Protestantism, Orthodoxy, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, or any other major religion with worldwide adherents and influence. Atheism/Agnosticism/secularism does not count, but e.g. Shintoism does.

By "fall down" or "destroy" I mean that the religion affected has at most as many followers as Mormonism OTL (i.e. around 10 million), worldwide, so no total destruction is necessary. It is also not necessary that a negative image ("sect") becomes attached to the religion, but it would probably happen.

Bonus points if you manage it after 1900 (I have also posted this in the After 1900 forum), and/or if the religion becomes as marginalised as the Jehovah's Witnesses.

A slightly more successful Holocaust, coupled with greater Arab competence ni Israel (or just continued alliance between the Grand Mufti of Jerusalerm and the Nazis) while WWII continues to 1946, or 1947 ... and you would have managed to wipe out MANY jews, including those in arab lands and the million or so that ultimately immigrated form Russia after the cold war.

This really isn't much of a challenge.
 
You might be able to do a Catholicism-screw ~1800 by having the aftermath of the French Revolution work out differently. Napoleon was at least nominally Catholic and while he had a fair amount of friction with the Papacy, he made no attempt to suppress Catholicism, and let the Church reassert important ceremonial roles in the state.

However, there are other major figures in the French Revolution and its aftermath who were aggressively atheistic. If there were someone with Napoleon's charisma and military talents, but who enthusiastically supported the National Assembly's dechristianization policies, in a position to come out on top, they'd be in a position to deliver a major blow to Catholicism in Europe, especially if they managed to last as long as OTL Napoleon.

*Napoleon could probably destroy the infrastructure of the church in France and Italy and a generation of suppression would have a fair shot of making the majority of the population non-Catholic. I don't think he'd have the reach to push these policies to any effect in Spain or the Catholic parts of Germany -- I'd expect him to have less reach than OTL Napoleon, since dechristianization policies would be a major drag on his home front support and resources -- and New Spain is right out. However, if he were to succeed in wrecking the Papacy as an institution (perhaps with rival replacement Popes being established in Vienna and Toledo), Catholicism would be fundamentally changed and significantly weakened. I don't see this achieving the AHC conditions, but it's the closest I can come up with off the top of my head.
 
I have a few ideas, a couple which have to do with political repression... most are barely formed, though. Feel free to grab and run or criticize.

  • Communist takeover of India - Hinduism and Buddhism likely take a huge loss
  • Secular facet of Nasserism - Islam may liberalize to a point that it is not really recognizable as what we think of Islam
  • No WAllied Landings - Commies from the Pacific to the Atlantic means a severely weakened Catholicism
  • Coup against Hirohito suceeds - Japan turned into a nuclear wasteland proly means no Shinto
  • Napoleonic wars lead to a French Revolution-ish atheism across all of Europe - again screwing over Catholicism

EDIT: Now that I look most of these have already been said already. Move along.
 
A slightly more successful Holocaust, coupled with greater Arab competence ni Israel (or just continued alliance between the Grand Mufti of Jerusalerm and the Nazis) while WWII continues to 1946, or 1947 ... and you would have managed to wipe out MANY jews, including those in arab lands and the million or so that ultimately immigrated form Russia after the cold war.

This really isn't much of a challenge.

Too easy.

An extra-nasty strain of bigotry excludes Jewish immigrants from the western hemisphere, precluding any New World refuge for Jewish community to take (alternate) route.

Presumably, for this scenario, the Nazis and WW2 are not butterflied off by this.

American non-interventionist government prevents American participation in World War II and the above-noted bigotry prevents Jewish refugees from coming across the ocean for safety. (What? Too close to otl? You see what I did there...)

Hitler takes the continent and the USSR almost up to the Urals and holds it for most of a decade.

USSR resurgent somehow gets nukes, blasts the Nazis out, and when taking over Eurasia et al, myriad anti-religion campaigns and efforts to blame "world zionists" for what have you, remains of Jewish communities are further whittled down.

Oh, and the Brits stay away from support for a Jewish homeland and collaborate with the prevailing population at hand, and seek to accommodate Nazi mores too, etc. (Churchill et al are hit by a bus, taxi, motorcycle, what have you.)

Jewish people would be a fable of a rumor of a tale by 2013.

Edit: That's f---ing depressing.
 
Too easy.

An extra-nasty strain of bigotry excludes Jewish immigrants from the western hemisphere, precluding any New World refuge for Jewish community to take (alternate) route.

Presumably, for this scenario, the Nazis and WW2 are not butterflied off by this.

American non-interventionist government prevents American participation in World War II and the above-noted bigotry prevents Jewish refugees from coming across the ocean for safety. (What? Too close to otl? You see what I did there...)

Hitler takes the continent and the USSR almost up to the Urals and holds it for most of a decade.

USSR resurgent somehow gets nukes, blasts the Nazis out, and when taking over Eurasia et al, myriad anti-religion campaigns and efforts to blame "world zionists" for what have you, remains of Jewish communities are further whittled down.

Oh, and the Brits stay away from support for a Jewish homeland and collaborate with the prevailing population at hand, and seek to accommodate Nazi mores too, etc. (Churchill et al are hit by a bus, taxi, motorcycle, what have you.)

Jewish people would be a fable of a rumor of a tale by 2013.

Edit: That's f---ing depressing.

In this scenario (which is almost ASB anyway) probably Judaism won't be the only major religion that ends up screwed.
 
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