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Ideas for a Thieves Religion

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Cheka Man:
that might one day become something worthy of a submission.

Secrecy

In almost every country (with perhaps the exception being a country with near-total lawlessness) the Religion of Thieves is going to be one that, however otherwise religiously tolerant the country is , has to stay on the quiet in the shadows. It has no written bible, but instead an oral one passed down through the priests/priestesses. They have no church buildings...at least no *open* church buildings. (Again, the sole exception might be in a lawless land, protected by it's acolytes.)

Priests/Priestesses

Old thieves, near the end of their lives, too old to steal and rob anymore, but with a wealth of experience who have dedicated their lives to the cause of crime. Unable to help physically anymore, they have turned to religion...their religion. They live  on the offerings given to them by those who beleave. Inoffensive, they don't make waves, noone would have a reason to hurt/kill them. They have very little money, other then that needed for the basics of staying alive. If a thief murders or harms a priest/priestess, the God of Thieves will turn his back upon them, and it is said, his/her crimes will fail and land him/her in prison or worse. As well as criminal advice, they do the things of other priests in open religions....christenings, weddings, blessings, funerals and the like. The thief afterlife belief is that the God of Thieves will break a hole in the wall of Heaven for them, allowing them to enter despite their crimes.

Symbols

Perhaps a broken key?

Religious commandments

Every religious belief small or large has a code of conduct for it's devotees to follow. What sort of code would a Thieve's Religion have?

MysticMoon:

--- Quote from: Cheka Man on May 05, 2012, 03:06:16 PM ---The thief afterlife belief is that the God of Thieves will break a hole in the wall of Heaven for them, allowing them to enter despite their crimes.

--- End quote ---

 8)

Forganthus:
You might want to read about Santa Muerte.  The Mexican Catholic church calls her a cult, but she's very popular with the criminal underworld for a few reasons.  (1) Many Mexicans are brought up religious, and gangsters need something to pray to when they're being shot at, but (2) the Catholic Church condemns their lifestyle as sinful, so (3) they create they're own outgrowth of mainstream Catholicism.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Muerte#Prevalence_of_the_cult_in_Mexico

Most modern religions have a million little branches and subdivisions anyway.  Yesterday's cult is today's denomination.  Heck, Joseph Smith broke from traditional Protestanism when he started preaching that Jesus had been in America.  And today, BAM!  Mormons.

If you split the god of judgement/trickery/wit into two different factions, one of which uses their faith to justify thievery, you might get a more interesting--although messier--version.

Although, if your setting has gods granting power to clerics that further their agendas, it complicates things a bit.  How can both sides be wrong when both sides still have divine powers?

Mourngrymn:
When one side is right and the other side is being played by demonic forces making them think it is a true religion.

Forganthus:
@Mourn: Brilliant, sir!

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