Shrekism is the native pagan religion of the Waddenzee area, and is an official religion of Saxony, the town of Friesland and its colonies of the Saxonic Empire, and a tolerated official religion of Austria. Not to be confused with the unrelated and inferior Shrekist Catholicism. It is found around the low-countries, Saxony, Ostend, Switzerland, Bohemia, and as far as Antarctica, Southern Australia and the Cape of New Hope. There is the main Saxon Denomination, and Eastern Shrekism.
The ancient native religion in Waddenzee, it was standardized by Pastelant in August 2021. Around this time, the Epic of Shrek was compiled.
Conversion of the Saxon people
On the 24th of August, the King of Saxony -KristauxSoftQT- converted to Shrekism and vowed to build a great Shrekist temple, on the condition Waddenzee becomes a march of Saxony and technically joins the nation. The numbers increased by ten players and the religion grew. Coincidentally upon the same day the first Shrekist Temple was consecrated on the Waddenish Fort's tower, dedicated to the Saint Reviewbrah.
As Sion joined Saxony, the religion also spread there, due to the complete tolerance of the faith in the German Confederacy. This established its presense around Switzerland and Provence and the shift of the religion from being a small native one to a distributed multicultural religion. Soon after, the town of Ostend converted from an influx of Shrekists and Andrew Cheese's zealous devotion to the religion. The numbers soon rose to be around sixty-six followers, with about half being practicing members.
Introduction to Antarctica and Africa
The nation of SSRBV become a vassal-colony under the Saxons on the 6th of September, and the Shrekist faith spread down to Antarctica and the town of Rigy, marking the first time the Religion has travelled to another continent. The inhabitants became quite zealous rather fast due to how desolate the land really is, making Shrek's promise to come down and reclaim more usable land for his followers -as he did for the early Frisians in the Epic of Shrek- as a desperate need. Whenever the land provided them good ores and soils, they rejoiced in Shrek.
Meanwhile, in the Saxonic African colony of Cape, on the 12th of September the Viceroy Puyi converted in return for PastelAnt's revoking of his claim to the title of minister within the Saxon Kingdom, which therefore introduced the faith to Africa- though this over a month since the colony joined in the first place. Such inhabitants in it were less quick to convert, and about half the population stuck to their old animist ways.
When Frisia finally fell on the 29th, Waddenzee conquered the surrounding lands and became the town of Friesland. The population quickly converted and the native religion finally spread across the entire region.
Rise of the Shrekist Kingdom
Prague and Lorraine
As Saxony spread into Lorraine and Prague during October 2021 , the religion was carried there. Though Alsace-Lorraine stayed quite zealous and majority Shrekist, Shrekism struggled to spread into Prague due to the deep Catholic tradition. Approximately 30-50% converted and co-existed with the Christians in a non-hostile fellowship that caused a unique art style that thrived during that month. A month later, the Zeont people migrated to an area in Southern France and brought the Shrekist faith with them.
Adoption by the Veche
Tictachead69 migrated Eastwards to the slavic lands and proclaimed the Kievan Rus under the vassalation of Saxony and became the Grand Prince on the 4th December, 2021. Shrekism was brought but the distance and the difference between the Saxon and Rus people caused significant changes in liturgy: such as the practice of Shrek worship in the Novgorod-Kyiv Russian dialect (rather than Waddenish or Frisian), and also the theological idea of низкий лорд (that Shrek remained also partly mortal after celestial coronation, which allowed him to descend to Earth to give his teachings in a perpetual spiritual duel-form) rather than the traditional transition from mortal to immortal. Other differences in art and practices and even clergical names caused a shift between the traditional Saxon faith and the Kievan clergy which led to the denomination of Kyiv Shrekism.
After the formation of the Stephanic Church, Shrekism was still tolerated due to the faith's ideals in tolerating other religions and allowing them to convert at their own accord. All though the King of Saxony adopted the religion, most followers remained Shrekist, Synist or Secular. The numbers, however, did decline but much of it's tradition continues to this day.
The Kievan Rus remained Shrekist after being given to the Kingdom of Estonia.
The Epic of Shrek
As told in the 3000-line Frisian/Waddenish saga of the Epic of Shrek, before our time, Gods clashed and fought over their different forms of life and worlds of their creation, which they each thought were superior, as thousands of beings across the multiverse were brutally eliminated in their terror and constant quarreling. The saga tells how one great and just God, Shrek, defeated them all with his diplomacy and might and brought them to his side -which was no small feat.
After all these lesser Gods were thoroughly defeated, he fought with the short yet immensely powerful and evil Farquaad of the Twin-Vagabond and the Consumer of Darkness (the devil/satan figure), before winning an awesome strategic victory where all the other Gods sang or played trumpets and cymbals in his glory while the Princess Feona was finally rescued. He was anointed and crowned the Omnipotent Grand Prince of the Universe, and the good, reformed lesser Gods were turned into the Knights of Light -an order of fair angels devoted to Shrek and his wisdom. However, he feared other mortal beings may follow the same process as the reformed lesser Gods had before, as all the species were created in their ideal images. So, he made the Knights of Light merge or the realms into a grand celestial bowl of beans. He graciously gave thanks, and ate it. Soon, he thunderously farted out the three new realms - the Higher (Hejiriesc) , the Middle (Madoelriesc) and the Lower (Deofilriesc). He casted Farquaad the evil one into the Lower to rot, and all the combined species into the middle, and gave them other new fair species, and horrible hostile mobs to create literally the moderate world -not too good, not too bad.
To help spread his name among the quarreling players at a time of profound crisis, he rose from the Wadden Sea and created great swamps in his higher's image amidst him, and became known as "Hie dat fraam diepe eriesef" (He that rises from the deep). These gifts gave great awe to the tired population, who were suffering from the lack of land to use. After preaching for seven days, he ascended up with the Knights of Light, singing in heavenly counterpoint "it's all ogre now", before leaving the mortal lands to re-join the heavenly higher. In his place he left the young but well-learned Arthur Pendragon to erect the first united human Kingdom of Camelot amongst the remains of the old Realm of Sudatol. From which the modern middle realm began to develop from his holy knowledge until his passing, where the kingdom was given to Merlin Aurelianus as a warlock-regent until his children were of age. The Epic has few more short stories before it ends. Not much is known about the era after Merlin's regency and the dark age from the holy days to the modern times of a split human realm with many kingdoms, but it is thought that humanity will be united under Camelot once more when Shrek arrives again in a time of secularism and conflict to offer new wisdom to make sure more reach to higher realm to be with him.
The combined species, known as players, have to let go of the primal need for competition -that originated from the lesser Gods- to final rise to the Higher: a swamp, but instead of reeds, there are paddies of sweet onions and intertwining rivers of Shrek's green coom. To do this, they must believe in placidity and honesty, and pledge to never start an aggressive war. They also must never kill another player, unless in retaliation. If they are cruel and bloodthirsty and break these rules without confession and a bid for forgiveness, they are sent to the Lower to rot there with Farquaad. It is forbidden to depict such a place, but it is said the Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch is the closest depiction anyway. A few believers seem him as the first Shrekist, but this isn't fully accepted. It may take many rebirths to finally earn the right to ascend to the higher. Some never do, despite Shrek's eternal compassion. This, obviously, makes him quite depressed when some don't make it through- but it weeds out the bad ones that can never redeem. Shrek can always forgive, but only if you reform.
There is no clergy or religious leader, and all members practice lay-preaching and the sacraments- which including bathing in the Wadden Sea at least seven times in their lifetime. The Wadden Sea is a holy site and the waters are said to have healing-powers, and can talk to you in wisdom and guidance. In a way, it is one of the Knights of Light, and you can ask it for less important, and more whimsical things too such as to allow someone to show feelings for you or to get a pay-rise. However, some of this greed is reported by the sea to Shrek and could lower your chances into entering the higher, depending on what you ask for. All other swamps and small inland seas are also considered holy and are seen as chunks of the Higher Realm upon Earth. Though they are not cited in the Epic, or enforced, small temples are often build on or next to them and smaller pilgrimages sometimes take place. These are becoming more commonplace in Shrekist lands, probably from Pissist/Christian influence, and are slowly becoming official.
A famous temple is the first ever Shrekist Temple of St Reviewbrah found in the old town of Waddenzee (now Friesland- Texel) that continues holy relics such as Reviewbrah's 1930-something suits, shoulder-pads and the blue chalice from which he drunk that fateful Florida summer where he reviewed that disappointing and day-ruining Popeyes Butterfly Shrimp.
There is no complex baptism or rite of passage, but you must show belief in all it's teachings. Even though other religions are respected, in the eyes of the faithful believers you must go by all the rules set by Shrekism. But never does it mention having to fully believe in Shrek. If you're a good boi that's never heard of him, Shrek will let you in anyway. There is equality between the sexes, races, etc (though, furries are seen as mocking the Good Teacher Asni and the Ceolings -donkeys- and if you are revealed as one, you shall be persecuted) . But Frisian and Waddenish are seen as holy languages and are considered pure tongues. The Margrave of Friesland is directly patrilineally descended from Arthur Pendragon- the good King crowned by Shrek himself at the beginning of the three realms.
The Religion is found mostly in Friesland, Ostend, Amsterdam and Atlantis, and also in Saxony and parts of the Low-Saxon area of the German Confederacy. There is an Eastern denomination in the Kievan Rus.