Umraism is a monotheistic religion, in the Yehudi-Nazarene tradition, which is believed to have originated on the continent of Eura, where it briefly contested with the rival faith of Zurvanism to become the majority faith of the continent's hegemonic power, the Kingdom of Babkha. The Umraist clergy lost this struggle decisively during the reign of the Osman Shahanshah (1504 AN – 1529 AN) and thereafter Umraism declined towards the status of a minority religion. The revival of the Umraist religion was first observed with rise of the outwardly secular Thraci Confederation, where Hazar on the continent of Corum in particular was noted as a bastion of the faith. The resurgence spread into the Skerry Isles with the establishment of Phinbella, where 54% of the Phineaners who make up the population were estimated as being of the Umraist persuasion. Finally an IIR diaspora population, with a government-in-exile, established New Batavia in 1690 AN on the continent of Corum.
Umraism in the world
- Phinbella: Exists in the Skerry Isles among the Phineaners.
- Ralgon: Concentrated in certain communities of Adrestia. A substantial population lives on the Adrestian territory of Al Hamra, and in the rural areas of Nixtorm. In the early 1700's, a crisis on Benacia spurred immigrants a small community of immigrants from countries of the Benacian Union to come to Glacier City as refugees, joining an already-growing congregation of believers.
- Transprinitica: The Umraist community in Transprinitica is largely dominated by ethnic Baatharzi people expelled from Elluenuueq by the forces of the Benacian Union. The majority of these deportees, allowed to emigrate under the Osman–Spiik Accord, hailed originally from the city and bailiwick Allswell (previously called Beebullahabad in honour of the Umraist missionary Beebullah who visited Shireroth and Alalehzamin).
Umraism has a holy text, called The Recital, which Umraists believe is the literal word of God. The Recital was revealed to the Ultimate Prophet in a vision by God's chief messenger, Gabriel. The Ultimate Prophet, being a Baatharzi, was spoken to in Baatharzi (also known as Arboric), why this language is considered the most holy language of the religion.
The Ultimate Prophet, being illiterate, learnt to recite the entire corpus of The Recital, and recited it several times to scribes. It is said that each recital to each scribe was 100% correct. This is the reason for the name of the religion's scripture.
Mosts Umraists believe in The Ways, various forms of collections of aphorisms and anecdotes from the Ultimate Prophet's life and sayings.
A system of legal jurisprudence, called the True Path of Belief, has also evolved based on The Recital and The Ways.
"They say that martyrdom is the fondest desire of every man who walks the path of the Umrah. Very well, far be it from me to deny them their wishes, I shall happily oblige them in regards to this matter."—The Emir of Raspur, Circa 1557 AN.
Anti-Umraism is an ideology that seeks to actively exclude the Umraist religious community from any given nation, or at the very least to minimise the exposure of said nations to Umraism. Anti-Umraist policies may be found practiced in Floria and the Suren Confederacy, whilst the policies of the Unified Governorates of Benacia result in the de-facto persecution of Umraist worshipers. Hostility towards Umraism is also heavily manifested in the Babkhi diaspora, with consequential outbreaks of communal violence directed both by and against the Umraid community in the Alalehzamini Autonomous Republic (Elluenuueq). While Umraism is not banned in Sankt Ludwigshafen, some common practices such as the mutilation of the genitals of young children are considered to be criminal behaviour. Because of the devastation that Siseranism brought, Sankt Ludwigshafen does not look the other way when religions commit violent acts.
Hostility towards Umraism has been attributed to racism, but while this may be true in some instances it is not in and of itself a sufficient explanation. There is a lingering perception, doubtlessly a holdover from Babkhan propaganda writings, of there being an Umraist capacity for violence that is exceptional compared to that of other religions - setting aside for a moment the far more blood-soaked, indeed barbarous, polytheistic faiths such as Cedrism and the Stripping Path. Partly this perception derives from the centrality of "Jihad" (striving or struggle) to Umraism. Jihad can relate to either an internal spiritual struggle for the attainment of a more perfect submission to the Creator in whose name the Umrah is performed, or it can be used to describe the external struggle waged against enemies of the faith. It is the latter of the two types of jihad that has historically elicited the most concern from the neighbours.
There are also places that collide fundamentally with the faith, yet cause minimal conflict due to the other religion's internal beliefs. One example remains that of practitioners of Draconic in the country of Adrestia, where substantial followers of both religions manage to coexist generally free of conflict. There are, however, numerous disagreements of perception in the faith and it has led to disharmony from time to time.
In late 1702 AN the Benacian Union announced that all remaining practitioners of Umraism, resident in Chryse, Elwynn, and the UGB, would have until the first day of 1703 AN to renounce the faith and make the sacrificial offerings required by the Covenant. Those who refused would be given the choice of either being deported or of a whole life term enlistment with the Benacian Labour Reserve. Eventually the majority of those who refused to apostatise or emigrate were deported to Transprinitica as part of an agreement between the Benacian Union and Hurmu to rapidly populate a recently colonised portion of the Green in northern Apollonia. Comparatively few were executed or worked to death in labour camps, compared to the fate of the Vanafolk during the Froyalanish genocide.