Zesucutò

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Zesucutò is one of the four main religions of the Empire of Japan. It developed in Quiùxù during the Tocugawa era from a blending of Xintò and Christianity. Zesucuto-ists have 3 supreme deities, the male Josu (<Pt. Dios) and the female Malía (from Maria), and their son, Zesucu, or more formally Zesuculisuto (from Pt. Jesucristo. Malía has been identified with Amaterasu, and Zesucu with the father of Ninigui, ancestor of the Imperial House.

It is believed that after death, a person can face one of three fates. The truly evil are sent to Hell, the truly saintly ascend to Heaven, becoming a seidjin (originally coined as a translation of "saint", but now more of a god-like concept), where they dwell with Malía, Josu, and Zesucu, and all the other angels and seidjin. The third fate is purgatory, where the soul awaits reincarnation. Purgatory is seen as less pleasant than this world, but not hellish. Those here on Earth can pray for their deceased loved ones, to reduce the time speant in purgatory. Even those in Hell may be allowed to rise into purgatory, if those in this world pray hard enough for them. The saints also have godlike powers, and can be prayed to, especially those who are one's own ancestors.

Zesucutò is fairly decentralized, being headed by the Bishop of Edo (this name was even retained during the period in which Edo was called Tòquiò), advised by the Sub-Bishops' Council. Effective power is held by the sub-bishops themselves. The first Bishop of Edo was Tocugawa Ieyasu, named to the position by the Pope of Rome in the hopes that he would be able to use his political position to hasten the Christianization of Japan. For a short period it appeared that Japan was heading towards complete Christianization. However resistance not only to Tocugawa's rule, but also to his Christian evangelizing, was strong. In 1605, Tocugawa retired from the position of xògun (as *here*), continuing to exert influence, and remaining in the position of Bishop of Edo. Ieyasu's sons did not convert to Christianity, however, and after Ieyasu's death in 1616, the political situation turned against Christianity. Small-scale persecutions in the 1610's and 20's grew into larger rebellions, culminating in the Cañei War of 1625-1628 during which a rebel Christian Kingdom of Japan was declared in northern Quiùxù and southern Honxù, aiming to eliminate the "pagan idol" as they called the Emperor, and institute a Christian regime in Japan. The self-proclaimed kingdom was crushed with Dutch assistance, and in 1629, the Xògun, Tocugawa Iemiçu, initiated the sacocu (Closed Country) policy, as well as issuing the Western God Decree, which legalized Christianity, but banned active proselytizing, and gave the daimyò the right to determine the status of Christianity in their domains. Xintò and Buddhism were given legal protection in all of Japan. The Bishop of Edo created various sub-bishops underneath him, and gradually Christianity began to mingle with Xintò-Buddhism, becoming further and further from the original Christianity brought by the Europeans, with no further influence from Europe. The Latin language and alphabet are considered sacred by Zesucutoists, who continue to worship using a Japanese-influenced version of Latin, primarily deviating in matters of pronunciation.

Zesucutoists celebrate Christmas on Djùitxigaçu 25, which corresponds to between December 21 and December 26 in the Gregorian calendar. Easter is the 3rd Sunday in either Nigaçu or Sañgaçu (which month is determined in a 19 year cycle, with Nigaçu in 10 years and Sañgaçu in 9), which corresponds to between March 16 and March 27 in years where it's in Nigaçu, or April 15 to April 26 in years where it's in Sañgaçu. This custom developed in the late 17th century when Easter was reset to the old lunar calendar (varying between the second and third just as now), approximating the old system, but simplifying it. Previously, Easter had been determined by the Gregorian calculations. Likewise, originally Christmas was Gregorian December 25, but became a fixed holiday relative to the lunar calendar. When the Meidjirequi was adopted, the dates were simply transferred thereto.

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