Christianity is the largest religion in Lovia (if non-theism is excluded). Whereas many Christians entered the country in earlier days, the present Christian community often descends from immigrants, mostly from Eastern Europe. Estimates show that of all Lovian Christians, about 50% is Protestant and another 42% is Roman Catholic. Only a small minority is Eastern Orthodox.
Exact figures on the percentage of Christians in Lovia have never been collected, but traditionally they have always been assumed to have been outnumbered by non-theists. Based on the growing popularity of the CCPL in the recent elections, however, Christian politician Semyon Breyev has suggested that there may now be more Christians than unbelievers in Lovia. There is no real evidence to back this claim. In 2011, Ygo August Donia became the first Christian Prime Minister of Lovia, heading the Donia I Government.
Notably, a large number of Lovia's first Founding Fathers were Christians, although in many cases their faith was arguably only nominal. In the early years, most Lovians were Christian, due to the fact that nost immigrants came from traditionally Christian parts of the world, such as Belgium.
In the early years of the twentieth century, non-theism gradually overtook Christianity as the main religion of Lovia, although the exact date when this took place is not known.
Originally, at least twenty denominations of Christianity existed in Lovia, a result of the varying religious backgrounds of many immigrants. As Lovia grew older, however, and a recognisable unique Lovian culture emerged, so did Lovian religion coalesce. Some denominations, such as the Old Believers of Novosevensk and the Calvinists of Skyllenn, disappeared completely, while others merged. The most recent and drastic example of this process was the formation of the UPC from six different Protestant churches.
Current denominations Edit
Eastern Orthodox Church Edit
There is a small population of Eastern Orthodox Christians in Hurbanova. The community built its Orthodox Church Saint Andrew in 2009. Most Orthodox Christians in Hurbanova belong to the Romanian-Lovian community, though there are also Bosnian-Lovians and Ukrainian-Lovians, concentrated around Hurbanova. The Church is not officially affiliated with any Orthodox body, but follows the Romanian Orthodox tradition. A well-known Eastern Orthodox Christian is CCPL politician Cristian Latin.
The other Orthodox church in Lovia is the Church of St. Abraham in Novosevensk. It is older than the Romanian church, but has a smaller congegation. The priest is Dormidont Petropavlov, and the church falls under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church in the USA.
There are few relations between the two churches, but the reason is not precisely known. Father Dormidont has suggested that cultural differences between the state of Oceana and the rest of Lovia are the main issue.
United Protestant Church Edit
The United Protestant Church (UPC) is the largest religious body in Lovia, and it unites six former churches: the Lovian Methodist Association, the Presbyterian Church in Lovia, the Episcopal Church (Lovia), the Church Union of Lovian Baptists, the Reformed Church of Noble City and the ecumenical Church of Unity. The UPC is mainline Protestant and rather liberal, religiously speaking. It has eight separate parishes. Due to its small size, it has no bishop, but is run administratively by a dean, the Very Reverend Henry John Ludd.
The Protestant community is spread across Lovia. In the State of Oceana though, there are remarkably less Protestants. The largest Protestant communities can be found in Noble City and Newhaven. A well known Lovian protestant was August Magnus Donia of the LCP who was the secretary of Tourism and Leisure.
Unified Lutheran Church Edit
The Unified Lutheran Church (ULC) is the second largest Protestant church, and the only one not to be incorporated in the UPC. The church hierarchy is rather conservative, and the UPC claims to be willing to set forth "the church's tradition as guard of the faith." Its members however, have already expressed the need of a more liberal church governance.
Roman Catholic Church Edit
- Main article: Roman Catholicism in Lovia.
The Roman Catholic Church is among Lovia's most important denominations. The largest community resides in Hurbanova, Oceana, and its surroundings. Other major Catholic groups can be found in Sofasi and inland Sylvania. Of the Hurbanovan Catholics, most are of Eastern European or Limburgish descent. Other predominant Catholic ethnic groups are the Belgians and American Roman Catholics. There are two Roman Catholic churches in Oceana and one in Noble City. In the past, many prominent Lovians have been Catholics. Famous members at this moment are Oos Wes Ilava, Robin Ferguson, Jhon Lewis and Christopher Verne.
Former denominations Edit
Anglican Church of Lovia Edit
Founded in 1938 by Nigerian Lovians, the Anglican Church had two parishes located in Sofasi and Noble City but the largest church of the Anglican Church is the Most Holy Trinity Church in Beaverwick. Although technically, like the Episcopal Church (Lovia), a member of the Anglican Communion, it held far more conservative views than the Episcopal Church.
Gradually however, during the last thirty years, the Noble City parish became more and more liberal theologically, due to the growing humanist atmosphere in Southern Lovia. Thus the Lovian Anglican Church, like the Anglican Church worldwide, became polarised between the conservatives of the north and the liberals of the south.
On 4 November 2009 Pope Benedict XVI issued an apostolic constitution, Anglicanorum Coetibus, to allow groups of former Anglicans to enter into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. This caused the two parishes to finally split. On the 3rd February 2010 the Sofasi parish formally accepted the invitation and joined the Catholic Church. Four months later, the sole remaining parish merged into the UPC.
Records show that the hamlet of Scotland contained a Calvinist church. No traces remain, however, as it burnt down shortly before Scotland was abandoned.
Old Believers Edit
The Old Believers (Russian: старове́ры) separated after 1666 from the official Russian Orthodox Church as a protest against church reforms introduced by Patriarch Nikon between 1652–66, continuing liturgical practices predating the reforms. The Old Believers in Novosevensk were a group that had fled tsarist persecution in 1917. After conflict with the rest of the Novosevenskians, however, they relocated to British Island, where their numbers dwindled over the years. By 1970 only around 20 fairly old people remained, most of their children having left the closed settlement. Today none remain, although some that have been absorbed into the mainstream Orthodox Church express a personal preference for Old Believer traditions such as the method of crossing oneself.