Does anyone have any thoughts about how I could explore New Eden’s (the fictional country where my series takes place) culture while presenting Christianity as the one true faith? I know New Eden is one of 11 Island Nations in the Northern pacific (off the coast of Canada and Washington State). Some of the nations are located in North America, but some are located in Asia and there’s influence from both continents in all 11 nations.
Maybe your heroes could travel cross country and see the culture of New Eden. I remember an alternate history novel I read once, with the hero coming from an alternate dimension to 'Nazi America' and having to be smuggled across the US by the resistance. It thoroughly showed how bad things were and gave the hero a vested interest in staying and fighting.
Thanks! One thing I had thought about several cases where the characters travel to other parts of the island but having most cases take place in the capital (where the characters live). I’m thinking about how faith affects the country. I haven’t decided if Christianity is the religious majority in New Eden or not. I know Brianna was hurt by her fundamentalist Christian upbringing (for spoilerific reasons) but never gives up her faith completely. I also know there was an “immigrant boom” of people coming in (legally) from other countries in the last 20-35 years (not sure how long), which has upset older citizens. How might Christianity factor into this? How can I show New Eden’s unique culture and traditions while presenting Christianity as the one true faith? The island (as well as the surrounding islands) were untouched by foreigners until the late 1900s to early 1920s and New Eden wasn’t a nation until 1970.
It might be a thought to 'steal' from Nazi Germany once more. Perhaps New Eden is a dictatorship and their dictator is attempting to replace Christianity with his own religion. Hitler did the same with a religion based on neopaganistic/Norse beliefs, realizing that true Christians would not go along with his plans. Perhaps the national faith (think of Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Church of England, etc.) went along to keep their power or were forced to go along (I remember hearing that during Russian Revolution that saw the communist party come to power, the fighting in Moscow found the Patriarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church in heated debate over the color of their vestments). The average citizen might hold Christian beliefs but would have little choice but to acquiesce to the powers that be.
Conversely, if the government is benign, the national faith might be an offshoot of Christianity, with Christian belief being polluted by non-Christian practices, such as some cults or perhaps an organization like Rev. Moon's Unification Church. Lastly, you could simply make up a fictional belief system. I did that in one title for humor, but if it has been around for a while, say a century or so, it might hold sway over the population.
In regard to Brianna's faith and past, assuming you use my previous suggestion, perhaps her host or tour guide is a believer and helps to undo the damage done by her upbringing. I remember reading of Corrie Ten Boom, who spent time in a prison camp actually leading her former jailers to Christ after the war.
Hopefully, my ramblings have helped you a bit. All the best and God Bless You.
Thanks! One thing I came up with is New Eden is a culture very based in tradition, which has changed drastically due to an influx of immigrants (Dalton among them), mostly foreign college students who choose to stay in New Eden after graduating. No, it’s not an allegory for illegal immigrantion. There’s also the issue of working the characters’ powers into the world the characters live in.