Pagan nations of the Western World?

Which non-Christian (and presumably any non-monotheist) nations could have been formed in the Western world, and survived to the modern day or at least the 18th century?

Just by going with Empty America alone:

Norse Scandinavian nations

Pagan Lithuania (I think they were the last to convert to Christianity of any European state)

Mongol Khanates (only if you're going with the Mongols steamroll Europe approach, but they don't quite count, since they're not indigenously formed)

Aside from that:

In the New World, there's always a Haiti that makes Vodoun it's official religion. Same goes for alt-Louisiana.

However, aside from the Norse and Lithuania, I'm most interested in what other nations that are today host to Reconstructionist movements were most likely to retain their polytheism. I was thinking maybe a splinter Roman state, but that would require a POD that's too far back (pre-Constantine's reign), and without a drastic change, Christianity would steamroll all other faiths in most of the Roman Empire, I'm guessing.
 
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However, aside from the Norse and Lithuania, I'm most interested in what other nations that are today host to Reconstructionist movements were most likely to retain their polytheism. I was thinking maybe a splinter Roman state, but that would require a POD that's too far back (pre-Constantine's reign), and without a drastic change, Christianity would steamroll all other faiths in most of the Roman Empire, I'm guessing.

Why not go with the good 'ole Julian the Apostate? Say, he lives to a ripe old age (he died at around 33 in OTL), if he lives to his mid-70s, and has a similarly minded successor he might be able to salvage parts of the Empire as pagan. From there, splinter states can form upon the Empire's fall (if it still happens) that retain paganism as a part of their legacy.
 
this task is more difficult than expected!!!

easy way is to stop christianites succuss early enough, but somehow thats cheated.

Mayby some small and remote nation could develope a new form of paganism? i am thinking of some remote alpine or pyrenee valleys.





Voodo, btw, is not really a pagan religion. its quite near to catholizm, with more exorcist action.
 
You can't do it without changing European history beyond recognition. It just isn't in the nature of Christianity, post-Theodosius, to acknowledge the right of a pagan to worship, or even exist. There are, of course, instance osf this happening, but they are invariably deplored deeply in the sources. And since Theodosian-style Christianity was in control of the most populous and advanced areas of the Continent, it really was only a matter of time. And Europe without the imperial church would not be at all like the Europe we know. So if you make an early change, you can have much of northern Europe (or even all of the continent if you decide to nix your Islam-analogue) stay pagan.

Without major changes that early, your chances are small. Lithuania would die with its first military defeat. That was always the fate of militarily successful pagan holdouts - Christians only need to be lucky once, pagans need to be lucky all the time. The Tatars IIRC converted to Islam at a fairly early stage, and I don't see them surviving very long if they hadn't. Basically, you're limited to the peripheral holdouts - Sami, the Icelander asatruarmenn, Karelians, Greenland Inuit, hypothetical Iceland Inuit, Nientzi, Mordvins and various other cis-Uralic tundra peoples. If you want to be very optimistic, you could posit a less socially invasive Christianity and allow the survival of consciously pagan communities on Sardinia and Corsica (last recorded in the 8th century) or Malta.
 
Without major changes that early, your chances are small. Lithuania would die with its first military defeat. That was always the fate of militarily successful pagan holdouts - Christians only need to be lucky once, pagans need to be lucky all the time.

Hmm. OTL, Lithuania didn't convert until what, 1387?

What if we combined Lithuania holding out for a few more years with a longer lasting Schism? Then conversion involves a load of baggage it didn't a few years before. The French Pope, or the German? Or maybe the Spanish/English?

In this situation, the baggage that comes with choosing a branch of Christianity might make it easier to remain pagan.

Or convert to Muslim. Can Europe stand before the Lithuanian-Ottoman onslought?
 
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Gurps AE 2 has the Vikings take Constantinople, discover Greek fire, and weaken Christianity drastically (it helps that the also pagan Hungarians overwhelm the HRE). Later, however, Europe is re-christianized, although in Vinland Thorism survives.
 
Just which major areas were the last to convert, besides Lithuania?

From good ol' scattershot Wikipedia:

The period from 1219 to 1295 also shaped future conflicts: the pagan Lithuanians were surrounded by the aggressive Roman Catholic orders to its north and southwest, and by adherents of the Orthodox Church in the east... The Lithuanian relationships with the Orthodox Church were more peaceful. The people were allowed to practise their religion; Lithuanian dukes did not hesitate to marry daughters of Orthodox dukes; the dukes' scribes were probably Orthodox as well... Struggles with the Teutonic Knights and expansion to the east were characteristic of the years from 1295 to 1377.[6] It was inevitable that Lithuania could not endure religious, political, and cultural isolation forever and would have to choose either Roman Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy. In 1386, Grand Duke Jogaila elected baptism in the Catholic rite in order to marry Jadwiga of Poland and become King of Poland. The last pagan state in Europe was converted.

I'm wondering, though... could they have somehow managed to get protection from the Orthodox without converting? Or play off them against the Catholics?
 

Leo Caesius

Banned
Lithuania was the last one in Europe to convert. Noone else left.
Unless you consider the Mari El Republic (slightly larger than Maryland) and the Udmurt Republic (slightly larger than West Virginia) to be part of Europe. The Udmurts and the Mari people, speakers of Finno-Ugric languages, still practice shamanism to this day.
 
But that would be a monotheistic deism, not pagan (polytheist/pantheist/animist)... it's an interesting proposal, though. I'm not sure if that religion could survive even if Robespierre did, but if it did, I suspect that it would be considered the communism of religions- an evil atheistic boogey-man.

Lithuania was the last one in Europe to convert. Noone else left.

Second to last, I mean.
 
An idea I considered recently but not sure how successful it could be. When the Norwegian king who converted to Christianity starts putting pressure on the pagans in Norway and Iceland they are defeated instead of him being killed in the resulting conflict. This only delayed the end for the pagans.

Instead survivors free to Iceland, where they are strong enough to defeat the pro-Christian elements. [Say the fighting in Norway has been heavy enough to weaken both sides]. They realise the various Christian powers will be after them soon enough so they must do something.

They know of the Norse settlements in Greenland and hear reports of the existence of Markland [probably Labrador] and Vineland [Newfoundland]. As such a significant number flee further west.

They are numerous enough and desperate enough, knowing what mercy they would get from the Christians, [i.e. none] to establish settlements and change their lifestyles accordingly to survive. [Been reading Diamond's history of the Greenland Norse in his collapse book]. As such they establish a viable community and over the next few centuries intermingle with the local Indians and establish a strong series of states. [This would need some reason why the Christian's don't follow up with attacks but possibly Norway is weakened by say attacks from Denmark and no one else really knows or cares]. Possibly a bit later pressure on Iceland forces its conversion but leads to further refugees fleeing west.

The settlers might also be numerous enough to bring some Old World diseases which disrupts the native cultures but also provides some protection against later infections.

By the time Christian Europeans reach the Americas again they find a series of states deeply anti-Christian and powerful enough to resist the intrusion. [Possibly given their naval expertise the exiled Vikings will have traded far enough that Columbus and later Cortes and their equivalents have a much easier time of it].

You could thus see a partially European culture with a strong element of the Norse parathion lasting for quite a while. Especially if you advance the Reformation so that by the time the America's are re-discovered Europe is in the middle of bitter internal fighting. Or some other reason for Europe not to have the resources and inclination to conquer the exiles while their society is too weak.

Steve
 
If the gypsies had stopped moving, they could have tried to set up a Roma holy state, however, the nations around them would land like a ton of bricks. the only way for them to survive is to get a really powerful ally (like Spanish Islam) who is willing to protect them from the inevitable crusades.
 
stevep

mostly lurcker here, and i don't know much about norse mythology/vineland info, but that timeline sounds very facinating. i would very much like to see something on that! if you have the time that is,

tarrant
 
Hmm. OTL, Lithuania didn't convert until what, 1387?

What if we combined Lithuania holding out for a few more years with a longer lasting Schism? Then conversion involves a load of baggage it didn't a few years before. The French Pope, or the German? Or maybe the Spanish/English?

In this situation, the baggage that comes with choosing a branch of Christianity might make it easier to remain pagan.

Or convert to Muslim. Can Europe stand before the Lithuanian-Ottoman onslought?

This post only attracted my attention because of the sig., I was in Germany between 85 and 87, and I was amazed by the plethora of cultures that were there. Of note was the fact that US troops were encouraged to not patronize establishments with large clientel's of Turks and/or Africans. These in fact turned out to be the coolest places to hang out:)
 
Just which major areas were the last to convert, besides Lithuania?

From good ol' scattershot Wikipedia:



I'm wondering, though... could they have somehow managed to get protection from the Orthodox without converting? Or play off them against the Catholics?
Main reason of Lithuanian conversion was struggle in ruling house instigated by mother of Jogaila.
 
Mari and Udmurt lands saw missionary orthodox activity (and even islamic to a lesser extent) since late Middle ages though.
 

yourworstnightmare

Banned
Donor
Just which major areas were the last to convert, besides Lithuania?

From good ol' scattershot Wikipedia:

I'm wondering, though... could they have somehow managed to get protection from the Orthodox without converting? Or play off them against the Catholics?
Most likely they'll convert to Orthodox then.
 
Mexico has plenty of pagans, and it is typically considered to be in the western world. Perhaps if the missionaries were even more incompetent, the conquistadors less competent, and not have the native population so thoroughly devastated, you could have a Mexico or other Latin-American state remain mostly pagan. Hell, if you count the bizarre, syncretist religion that the Maya free state of Chan Santa Cruz (in the 19th Century mostly) practiced, you could say it was already the case.
 
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