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Ambiguously Christian

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Ambiguously Christian characters may mention celebrating Christian holidays such as Christmas or Easter (especially if they happen to be Santa Clausmas or Easter Bunny Easter) reference to a Fluffy Cloud Heaven or Fire and Brimstone Hell, make some non-specific prayers to a 'higher power' or give some indication of believing or even mentioning a monotheistic (nearly always male) God, especially if he is of the Grandpa God interpretation. Variations on phrases such as "The Big Guy" or "The Man Upstairs" are sometimes used, but explicit mentions of Jesus Christ (or other religious figures such as the Virgin Mary, the Holy Spirit, saints, etc.) are not used - unless a character is swearing.

This is often used in works where the religious practices of characters are not a major focus (and could distract from the plot). Many of the more exaggerated examples are found in media intended for children, as the closest thing most get to mentioning religious holidays is a Christmas Episode, religion could be a bit too complicated for younger kids to understand, and addressing these things could even be considered controversial. Writers also use this trope to avoid having to research what Christianity or a specific Christian denomination actually teaches.

On the other hand, this can be played quite realistically if the character is Culturally Religious without being especially religious now. They may maintain a respect for their faith but simply not have many occasions to bring it up.

It may also get a bit more complicated if we consider character types like the Churchgoing Villain or Religious Bruiser, who may adhere just as much to the outward trappings of Christianity, but whose behavior isn't exactly on board with its ethical or nonviolent teachings.

Compare/Contrast Crystal Dragon Jesus, where the religion is explicitly not Christianity, yet still holds elements commonly associated with it. Compare Jesus Taboo. Also related to Church of Saint Genericus, where it's a church/religion that's left ambiguous. Often overlaps with Christianity is Catholic. Ambiguously Jewish is the Jewish version of this. Such a character may or may not be the Token Religious Teammate.

See also Everyone Is Christian at Christmas, when a character's Christian faith becomes suddenly apparent at the holidays despite little mention of it before.


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    Anime and Manga 

  • Blue Exorcist: A Zig-Zagging Trope as both Rin and Yukio were raised by a priest in a monastery and are the sons of Satan, but their religious beliefs aren’t really brought up.
  • Captain Harlock: Mayu Oyama attends a Christian school, St. Giovanna's, and is also seen praying from time to time.
  • Code Geass: CC comes from a background that suggests she was at least raised Christian, with her even befriended a nun as a child, but whether she still holds onto her Christian beliefs is unknown. However, if she did lose her faith, the scene were she is shown praying in a chapel during Lelouch's death implies that she regained her faith.
  • Daimos: A Subverted Trope with the Baamites' religion having heavy parallels to Christianity.
  • Death Note: Mello. He wears a rosary necklace note , as well as a matching bracelet, and crosses and even a Virgin Mary graphic appear on his clothes occasionally. He also has a crucifix on the wall, a little cross charm on his gun, and a small Marian shrine on the mantle in his personal living space. He also refers in Another Note to The Almighty. This, and a real name Mihael Keehl that marks Mello as being possibly from a predominantly Catholic country or ethnic background, leads many fans to believe that he is a practicing Catholic. It would also be a plausible reason to fight against Kira besides besting Near, whom he technically gave the role of L's successor to in a fit of sour grapes. However, it is never actually confirmed In-Universe if Mello actually is a Catholic, or if he was one but is not anymore, or is one In Name Only, or if he's some other type of Christian (real or made-up) that's similar to Catholicism but isn't, or if he just thinks the crosses, and such look cool.
  • D.Gray-Man: Cross Marian seems to fit this trope, with even his name being a reference to The Marian Cross. He is also the most affiliated with Crucifixes. He wears a rosary necklace, his mask has a cross on it, and he's the creator of Timcampy, who also has a cross design on his front. Not only these things, but he also appears to be an actual priest. He has been referred to as a priest on a few separate occasions. When Allen first meets him in D.Gray-Man Reverse, he refers to him as a priest -given his wardrobe. A villager in Krory's village mentions him as a priest. Barba always refers to him as "Father." Finally, Mother is a patron of his, and she mentions in Reverse, that she's in charge of watching over the church while Cross is away. Finally, Hoshino Katsura, the mangaka drew official art of him wearing high priest robes on the cover of the Reverse novel. But all of these things are just shown in passing. Over the course of the 224 manga chapters + Reverse novels, Cross' Christianity or Priesthood hasn't been a focal point and is easily missed among many fans given some of Cross' less than Christianly behavior.
  • Fresh Pretty Cure!: Inori "Buki" Yamabuki goes to a Christian private middle school that apparently has its own chapel.
  • Great Teacher Onizuka: The titular Onizuka, surprisingly, may be a Christian as he is sometimes associated with Christian elements. Examples include wearing a cross necklace while riding a motorcycle in the manga, dressing up as an angel before he prays, dressing up as a priest first, complete with multiple crosses, when attempting to rid himself of a curse, and finally being crucified wearing nothing but a banner displaying his perverted actions and covering his Gag Penis.
  • Gunslinger Girl: While it is never noted in-series, there is a chance that some of the girls are Christian, or at least prior to having their memories repressed, due to being set in Italy. Claes is probably best example as she sometimes quotes the Bible, but this could also be explained by her love of reading and books.
  • Isabelle of Paris: The Laustin family being religious is hinted at in episode 3 when Isabelle asks God for Victor's safety in the duelnote  and Geneviève prays to him to save Jules. However, in episode 4, they are outright confirmed Christian when Geneviève and Jules get married in a church and have a traditional Christian wedding. Justified since the 18th-century Bourgeoisie were mostly French Catholic.
  • Kaguya-sama: Love Is War Certain dialogue suggests that Karen might be a Japanese Christian, such as comparing Kaguya to Jesus, attributing various Ship Tease moments between Kaguya and Shirogane as being Good Fortune from God, and outright quoting the Gospel of Luke when she sees their First Kiss.
  • Katri, Girl of the Meadows: The residents of the Finnish Palki Village. There's a Bible in the school library that Katri has been reading ever since she started living there.
  • Love Live! Sunshine!!: The protagonists attend a Catholic high school, so it's possible that they're Christian but it's never explicitly stated. Ruby wears a crucifix necklace in episode 7, and Riko mentions her believing Aqours coming together as an act of God in Love Live! School Idol Festival. Hanamaru lives at a Buddhist temple, but since Japan is famously big on rituals but not faith (as the saying goes, Japanese people are "born Shinto, marry Christian and die Buddhist"), she still falls into this.
  • Niji no Kanata e! Shoujo Diana Monogatari: The "ambiguous" bit is averted as Diana explicitly attends church and prays for her family.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: The cross pendant she wears is at least a strong hint that Misato was a Christian. This, however, may not actually be the case considering: 1) the cross is a keepsake from her father who died saving her life, and thus she wears it in his memory rather than for any specific religious reasons and 2) this is a series that is infamously heavy on Christian Faux Symbolism.
  • Nobara no Julie: Julie Braun sings in the choir of the largest church in Austria, but it's never stated if she's a believer in Christianity herself.
  • Pokémon: The Original Series: Before the Fantasy Pantheon of the various legendary and mythical Pokemon were created, Christian symbols appeared in the first season. For example, Misty once held up a cross when confronted by a Ghastly similar to what one would do to keep a vampire at bay. In another episode, James has a Flashback to his childhood as well as an Imagine Spot of him dying and going to Heaven, complete with cherub-esque angels, while in the same episode, when his parents pretend to be dead, they both have crosses on their coffins.
  • The Prince of Tennis: Choutarou Ohtori has cross pendant and he mentions that he sometimes sneaks into a local chapel since he feels at peace there, however he doesn't seem to be a believer.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica:
    • Homura mentions having gone to a Catholic school prior to transferring, but it is unknown whether she was Catholic herself or even a Christian in general.
    • A major part of Kyouko's backstory involves her father being a minister who was kicked out of his church for his non-orthodox teachings. It's unclear whether she retains any belief due to being rather cynical, but she does toss out a prayer right before making a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Ranma ½: A fairly surprising amount of fanon in the fanfic community grew from one single (non-story) image of Kasumi Tendo wearing a cross on a chain. However, this probably reflects nothing more than Takahashi's habit of creating promotional images depicting her characters wearing whatever happened to be fashionable at the time.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune might be examples. They're searching for the Messiah, and Uranus even sports a cross at times. There is certainly a lot of Catholic imagery in the S season. Michiru telling the story of Adam and Eve and referring to them as the first man and woman drives the point home.
    • Rei (Sailor Mars) is another candidate. She can be seen wearing a cross, she attends a Catholic school (modeled after a very high-class Real Life Catholic school), and in the live-action adaptation, her mother Risa is buried in a Catholic cemetery. She's also a Miko at a Shinto shrine, which could just be an example of how the Japanese don't mind mixing religions.
  • School-Live!: There are signs that Megu-nee is Christian, however it is never properly addressed. Megu-nee wears a rosary, her grave is marked with a cross, and she seems religious. It's vague how much is symbolism and how much is her being a Japanese Christian.
  • La Seine No Hoshi: Simone Rolland wears a cross necklace and attends a convent school. She also lives in 1789's France, where Christianity is the dominant religion; many other characters are implied to be Christian too.
  • Trigun: The setting has a lot of Christian motifs, but no particular religion is ever explicitly mentioned. There are what appear to be Christian churches, but the only clergy we ever see are Wolfwood, his teacher Chapel, and the Eye of Michael in the manga, all of whom are actually assassins. Part of the ambiguity comes from the fact that the creator Yasuhiro Nightow, a Catholic convert, wanted to incorporate Christian themes but didn't want to alienate Japanese audiences by being too explicit about it.
  • Vinland Saga, being set around a generation after Christianity was introduced to Scandinavia, has a number of characters who seem to practice a syncretic form of Christianity that combines some Christian elements with some elements and beliefs of Norse Paganism. Hild Hrafnkellsdottir from the third arc, in particular, offers a sign of the cross and praises God for making her chance upon the target of her blood oath of vengeance, whom she promptly attempts to kill. It takes the rest of the arc for her to remember that atonement and forgiveness are also parts of the Christian faith.

    Comic Books 
  • The Captain America of the regular Marvel Universe is this trope. In Avengers Standoff, Maria Hill identifies Steve as a churchgoer, and he ambiguously invokes the will of God toward the end of Roger Stern's Captain America run. His explicitly Christian Ultimate Marvel counterpart is an aversion: we see him attending church, reading the Bible, and praying.
  • The Punisher (in his earliest origin story, anyway) was actually in training to become a Catholic priest but left the seminary because he couldn't bring himself to forgive people's sins. Religion doesn't seem to matter to him at all now, but he does occasionally use language that suggests he is still a believer on some level, most likely of the Rage Against the Heavens or Nay-Theist variety.
    "There are times I'd like to get my hands on God."
  • In Robin (1993), Stephanie Brown (Spoiler and later Batgirl III) makes some passing comments that make it seem as though she may be Christian and is familiar with the pastor at the Lutheran church near her home, but nothing about her faith or lack thereof is ever made concrete and the only times she's seen at a church is when she's asking said pastor to look after a woman in need of a place to stay for a little while.
  • Spider-Man can be this trope, Depending on the Writer.
    • His co-creators were respectively a non-practicing secular Jew (Stan Lee) and a Randian objectivist atheist (Steve Ditko) and for most of Spider-Man's early run, religion was never discussed except in the vaguest of senses — i.e., Peter would say "My God", or "Oh, my God" and so on. Stan Lee, when he married Peter and Mary Jane, chose a secular non-denominational ceremony presided over by a judge for the newspaper strip, a decision that Marvel's EIC Jim Shooter also honored in the ASM Wedding Annual for the main continuity (where they got married at the steps of City Hall), and the word "god" was not mentioned in either wedding ceremony.
    • Since Peter Parker is Irish-American, it's left ambiguous if he's Scots-Irish (i.e., Irish-Americans who are Protestants and who assimilated heavily, and in fact are more numerous than the Irish-American Catholic community) or Irish-American Catholic. His uncle and his aunt, his adopted parents, are implied to have been churchgoers and religious.
    • Other writers try and present Peter as ambiguously Christian (J. M. DeMatteis) or Ambiguously Jewish (Brian Michael Bendis, writing Peter's Ultimate Marvel counterpart). During The Amazing Spider-Man (J. Michael Straczynski), Peter would occasionally call out to and argue with the Abrahamic God. Jose Molina later wrote a story called Amazing Grace where Peter was clarified to be a lapsed Catholic (which has yet to be referenced by other writers). Mark Millar and Dan Slott, in trying to emphasize his scientific roots, also show him as an atheist or at least someone who is uncomfortable with prayer and religious displays.
  • Superman is often portrayed as being a Christian — which would make sense, considering that he was raised in a traditional American home in rural Kansas. However, most writers tend to only imply this and leave it as ambiguous as possible:
    • According to Elliot S! Maggin, Superman and his parents were Methodists in pre-Crisis stories (at least the ones written by Maggin). However, editorial did not allow him to make this explicit. Geoff Johns, Fabian Nicieza, and Kurt Busiek later co-wrote a post-Crisis story in which the Kents were explicitly members of a Methodist church. In the New 52, Grant Morrison made Ma and Pa Baptists (with no mention of what Clark himself believed).
    • In Superman for All Seasons by Jeph Loeb, Superman is a friend of the local, Protestant pastor in Smallville. In Superman: For Tomorrow by Brian Azzarello, Superman befriends a Catholic priest and takes confession with him.
    • In Superman: Redemption by Kurt Busiek, Superman is basically agnostic, partly because he lives in a Fantasy Kitchen Sink and partly because when he was a boy he stopped going to church because his super-hearing enabled him to hear other members of the congregation whispering nasty things to each other.
    • All of the above examples are somewhat in contrast to an earlier tradition of writing Superman as metaphorically Jewish. Both Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, as well as editor Mort Weisinger, considered Superman's most defining creators, were Jewish, and many argue that Superman's story as an infant and exile and immigrant from Krypton to Earth and America, make him a Jewish coded character, as does the name Kal-El. Throughout the Silver Age and in the pre-Crisis portion of the Bronze Age, Superman is often shown to be a believer in Kryptonian faith, saying "Great Rao" and so on, which many see as a stand-in for the Jewish faith that Superman practises privately while publicly as Clark Kent he assimilates or tries to assimilate as an American and a civilian. Brian Michael Bendis has stated in interviews that his Superman run is meant to restore this subtext, which is why he changed Superman's origin to make him a survivor of a genocide.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • In Wonder Woman (1987), there are multiple signs beyond her cross earrings that Butch Lesbian Quinn Thomas is some variety of Christian, but she suffered from Chuck Cunningham Syndrome before her background and system of beliefs had a chance to be fully explored.
    • Wonder Girl Cassie Sandsmark's mother is well aware that the Greek Pantheon exists and is running around — she had a daughter with Zeus, after all — but is furious at Hermes for trying to scrounge up new worshipers and doesn't seem to see them as much different from any of the other superpowered individuals running around. She also has strong opinions on faith and worship that reflect those of many Protestants and is deeply offended by Hermes' presumptions about what her own should be, though what they are is never actually addressed.

    Fan Works 
  • Several characters from The Black Sheep Dog Series make references to God, and Sirius once describes Christmas as "the momentous occasion when God had seen fit to grace them all with his presence". In a later chapter, he quotes the Bible once while arguing with his father ("the truth will set you free"). However, outside these allusions, none of them seems to actually practice the faith.
  • Tapper started off as this in the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf series, being an Irish Smurf bartender with a spiritual angle, but over time was Flanderized into being a full Christian.
  • In Give In, Give In [and Relish Every Minute of It]', Frollo being Christian is implied, but it's not outright mentioned. He mutters the oath "hellfire", finds Esmeralda's name impure, and has some conservative viewpoints, but his religious beliefs aren't delved into.
  • Though Mary and Michael from Glee Reprise are Christian and go to a Catholic-themed private school, their own denominations aren't stated.
  • When Shadow enters a church in The Heart Of A Monster, he pays his respects at the altar by praying.
  • Sierra Madrigal of The Kedabory Verse is implied to be vaguely Christian/Catholic, seeing that she says prayers to Catholic saints in both The Wrath of Avelina and That Catch in Your Throat, but isn't seen attending church or following any other Christian guidelines. Her religious background from her birthplace of Mexico is never mentioned, either.

    Films — Animation 
  • "The Mob Song" from Beauty and the Beast contains lyrics such as "Praise the Lord and here we go" and "Say a prayer and we're there". This, combined with the time period, implies Belle lives in a primarily Christian area. And in "Be Our Guest", Mrs. Potts says "thank the Lord".
  • Frozen (2013):
    • Elsa's coronation was performed by a man who is dressed like a Christian bishop. Another scene features a portrait of the saint Joan of Arc and is outright described as such, but any details about her are not elaborated upon. Despite this, the closest the movie gets to mentioning religion is Elsa exclaiming "Heaven knows I've tried..." during the song "Let it Go."
    • The Christmas Special short Olaf's Frozen Adventure shows that the sisters celebrate Christmas, implying they're Christian. (Interestingly, some of the voice cast, such as Idina Menzel and Josh Gad, are Jewish.)
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Esmeralda's religious beliefs aren't delved into, however, she does have the song "God Help The Outcasts" while seeking sanctuary inside a Catholic church. The closest the film gets to touching upon her beliefs is her singing "I don't know if You can hear me or if You're even there" to a religious statue at the start of the song, which suggests agnosticism.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas: Holidays such as Christmas and Easter are mentioned, but they are portrayed in a Santa Clausmas fashion. Particularly notable considering an overwhelming majority of the 'holiday trees' Jack finds in the woods are Christian holidays, the two exceptions being Thanksgiving and Independence Day. Jack mentions God once or twice during the song 'Poor Jack' but it's done in a way that is exclamatory rather than overtly religious. It would make the most sense to suggest that Jack and the other residents of Halloweentown are Druid (as the Halloween holiday originally was) or maybe practitioners of Voodoo (since they are all undead beings). The spoof The Nightmare Before Chanukah on an episode of The Critic has that Jack come upon a rabbi in Chanukahtown and asks if he's in Christmastown, the rabbi sarcastically tells him no, he's at the Vatican.
  • Robin Hood (1973): The Church exists (though it's never called the Catholic Church) and the Crusades form part of the backstory, but the characters are all animals.
  • Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse: In the prologue, Gwen, her version of Peter, and her family are seen saying grace over a meal. Given her dad later mentions being of Irish descent, she's probably Catholic.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Avengers, when Black Widow refers to Thor as a god, Captain America, tells her, "There's only one god, ma'am, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't dress like that." Given the time period he was reared, it's heavily implied he's referring to the Christian God.
  • The Batman Film Series takes place in a Christian world, with a Jewish presence here and there (a kosher butcher shop appears in the 1989 film), but outright references to religion are few and far between. Batman Forever does have Bruce Wayne saying, in reference to his parents' deaths, "On the night of the wake, the priest's words brought no comfort" (which could simply be another example of Christianity is Catholic), and both of the Schumacher films deal heavily in such Christian themes as guilt, forgiveness, and salvation without mentioning Christianity itself. The 1989 film shows a medieval Gothic cathedral towering over Gotham City, but the inside suggests that no one has set foot inside it in years, if not decades. Batman Returns takes place entirely during the Christmas season, but the citizens celebrate Santa Clausmas - and, interestingly enough, a line from the speech at the tree-lighting ceremony, "In this season of the Savior's birth...", was ultimately cut from the film, as a somewhat clumsy edit makes clear. There is never explicit mention of Bruce Wayne's Christianity.
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • In Man of Steel, Clark explicitly asks his father at one point "Did God do this to me?", referring to his unique powers and abilities. Later on, he chooses to visit a priest for advice on how to handle General Zod. According to Word of God, it's heavily implied that Clark was raised Lutheran.
    • Suicide Squad (2016):
      • The way El Diablo talks about God and the Devil in his dialogue makes it clear he believes in, and respects the idea of them both; and he has a tattoo of a Christian cross-on-a-chain on his right hand, and sometimes wears a Christian cross around his neck. He also mentions his wife prayed for him. However, he seems to, at least partially, have given up his faith - he thinks his wife's praying wouldn't make any difference, and that "even God can't save him".
      • Deadshot has a Biblical verse printed on his costume’s collar but there’s otherwise no indication of what he believes.
  • The religion of the Kadam family in The Hundred Foot Journey, who are Indians in a Fish out of Water cultural situation, is never specified, but they are shown cooking/eating beef and drinking alcohol, which makes the prospect of them being Hindu or Muslim very unlikely (this is a departure from the novel the movie is based on, where they are explicitly Muslim). In one scene the father (who is intended to be the traditionalist in the family) says he feels as if he's "died and gone to heaven"; he also repeatedly mentions getting messages from his dead wife, which would make little sense in Hinduism's belief in reincarnation.
  • In The Lighthouse, the seasoned lighthouse keeper Thomas Wake seemingly prays to the Christian God on multiple occasions, but he also displays near-pagan levels of superstition, paying homage to the Greek sea gods, Triton and Neptune.

  • Harry Potter.
    • The wizarding world celebrates Christianity-influenced holidays such as Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine's (but in a secular way), and their big hospital (St. Mungo's) is named after a saint, but no one ever mentions/goes to church, prays, or mentions what religion they are.
    • However, in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry carves a cross into a tree in memorial of Mad-Eye Moody.
    • James and Lily's grave has a Bible quotation on it ("The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death" from 1 Corinthians 15:26), as does Dumbledore's sister's ("Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" from Matthew 6:21), but they are never identified as such in-universe.
    • The Hufflepuff House ghost, the Fat Friar, was indeed a friar when he was alive. Make of that what you will.
    • Professor McGonagall's father was a muggle Presbyterian minister. It's not made clear whether she shares his religion.
    • Muggles opposed to magic never seem to bring up religion as a reason. It's one thing when it's the Dursleys, who are modern-day suburbanites, but the series also contains references to medieval witch hunts and never suggests that those might have been motivated by religion. Most notably, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has an anti-magic organization called the Second Salemers. Their name is an obvious reference to the Salem witch trials, and the aesthetics associated with them are very Puritan, but there are still no explicit references to religion.
  • It's stated in Maria Watches Over Us that students aren't required to be Christian to go to St. Lillian's, even though it's a Catholic school. There's an air of ambiguity about who is actually Christian and who is not, but in general the main cast (besides the explicitly Buddhist Noriko) seems entirely Christian, with a possible exception of Yumi in the novels.
  • The Last Church (a short story for the Warhammer 40,000 Horus Heresy series) describes a church led by the priest Uriah. While his religion is never stated, it is heavily implied to be a form of Christianity. Similarly, there is also a religion called the "Catheric faith" that some soldiers follow, which may either be Catholicism or an obscure reference to Catharism.
  • The woodland creatures from Redwall live as a religious-type order (an abbey with an abbot/abbess, various characters referred to as brother/sister, a church named after a saint, etc.). However, a supreme being is never even mentioned, let alone any sort of denomination, and though there is an afterlife mentioned, little detail has been given on it. The first book actually mentions Satan and Hell (however, none did after this).
  • A Twisted Tale: Aurora makes reference to the story of Noah's Ark and Philip's horse is implied to be named after Samson. Given the setting of Sleeping Beauty, it's likely that they're both Christian.
  • Deliberately invoked by J. R. R. Tolkien's Legendarium. There is a supreme God, a cast of angelic beings split into two orders (the Valar and Maiar), and a separation between beings with a soul and beings without: but no mention of Jesus or anything specifically Christian (as opposed to Judaic). There is also nothing resembling a church (except for the cult of Melkor set up by Sauron), and the characters don't really pray or talk about God. However, the text is full of Christian themes and Gandalf's description of the afterlife is very Christian (albeit in a very English sort of way). Though notably, there does not seem to be any equivalent of Hell (i.e. an afterlife dedicated to punishment): the closest thing is Angband or Mordor, but everyone in those places is very much alive. There is however an equivalent of purgatory: Mandos. This is where souls go to be judged and given the chance to repent and redeem themselves (or just wander around forever, if they are too proud). Tolkien did this deliberately for the purposes of a kind of evangelism: spreading what he saw as the principles of the Catholic faith, without the trappings of it. He doesn't shy away from tackling some incredibly complicated metaphysical themes: though he always does so in an intimate rather than formal way.

    Live Action TV 
  • Breaking Bad: Walter White occasionally talks about God and Hell, lists "Judeo-Christian principles" among reasons to not commit murder, and even prays in a moment of desperation in the finale, but it's never really confirmed if he is Catholic or Protestant, or an agnostic theist.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series:
    "Mankind has no need for gods. We find the one quite adequate."
    • The original version of the line was going to be unambiguously atheist, but the second sentence was added at the insistence of the network.
    • In "Bread and Circuses", Kirk and crew come upon a planet dominated by a culture resembling the Roman Empire but with 20th-century technology (Fridge Logic: another planet that had been visited by the Greek god Apollo and his pantheon?), where a persecuted, pacifist new religion worships a sun god. At the end of the episode, Lieutenant Uhura discovers that this new religion does not worship the Sun but the Son, clearly referencing Jesus. Kirk even considers remaining on the planet for a number of years just so they can "watch it happen all over again."
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Kasidy Yates' family is apparently Protestant, as she mentions that her mother would prefer her daughter's wedding to be conducted by a minister (although she herself isn't shown to be religious).
  • Marshall from How I Met Your Mother seems to be Christian. He celebrates Christmas, says Grace at family dinners, and an argument with his wife about whether they should teach their children about Santa was used as a stand-in for whether they should teach religion. However, he's never shown attending church and when he's referring to a higher power it's always "The Universe", not God.
  • Drop Dead Diva features the protagonist going to Fluffy Cloud Heaven and meeting angels (a concept not exclusive to Christianity) However, any concept of God other than a 'higher power' kind of thing is never mentioned. In an episode of the Vlog series Letters to Fred, however, Luke does off-handedly question "Who taught God how to Instagram?!?"
  • Joan of Arcadia features the main character repeatedly communicating with a monotheistic God (that takes many forms). There isn't much description of Joan's faith or the details of God beyond that. One recurring character practices Informed Judaism, however.
  • Riverdale features multiple ambiguously-Christian cults, apparently out of a fear of directly representing an overtly Christian group as villainous. The Sisters of Quiet Mercy are said to be a group of former Catholic nuns, but it's unclear whether they're still Christian. The Farm is a New Age-y cult with a charismatic leader who adopted the Sisters' abandoned compound, some of their religious imagery, and all of their doctrinal ambiguity. The Blossom Ministry, a weird church established by Penelope and Cheryl Blossom, features Christian decor and imagery (and at one point has Kevin and Cheryl singing a number from Jesus Christ Superstar,) but it also seems to revolve around Jason Blossom as a savior figure in place of Jesus, plus a lot more maple syrup metaphors than you'd expect in a Christian sect.
  • Wizards of Waverly Place features mythical creatures such as 'angels' (which aren't exclusive to Christianity) but they are portrayed as secular. There is a bit of a subversion, however, as a viewer may see the Santo Nino candles in the lair, and Max mentions that they go to church in one episode. Considering that they are explicitly an Italian-Hispanic family, they are almost certainly Catholic...if Santo Nino wasn't already a giveaway.
  • The Last Man on Earth: Phil Miller is often seen talking to God (talking, not praying). It could be more not having anyone else to talk to than actual religious beliefs. That said, he still continues to do so even after he finds and meets other people who are still alive. That said, most of them dislike him due to his previous bad actions, or from his rather annoying personality, so it could still be seen as him trying to talk to someone who he feels might actually listen to him.
  • Clarissa Explains It All is one of the few Nickelodeon shows to have any mentions of religion at all, and even then quite subtly, there were a few one-off lines mentioning sin and God and the religious aspects of secularized holidays like Christmas were occasionally quietly acknowledged even if never in the forefront. It was thus heavily implied that the Darling family were Christians (which would be the default assumption of a middle-class white family in the American Midwest in the early '90s), even though they were never shown going to church or engaging in any explicitly religious behavior.
  • Merlin: A major plot point is the persecution of magic and magic-wielding cultures, so occasional mention is paid to "The Old Religion"; no mention is ever made, however, of what the new religion is. Nary a priest or bishop ever appears in Camelot, no cross is ever seen, and no one ever invokes God or Jesus, despite ostensibly taking place in a time when Christianity was spreading like wildfire across Western Europe, and with characters that were historically associated heavily with the religion. That said, the series is clearly not even trying to be historical, and if it weren't for the very final scene of the series confirming it is set in England, you'd be forgiven for thinking it takes place in another world entirely.
  • Both Maddie and London from The Suite Life of Zack & Cody have been enrolled in private Catholic schools. At least one or two references to God have been made within said school as well. Maddie herself also knows the biblical tradition behind Christmas. She also mentions, after getting frustrated with the bad acting of everyone in her student film, that she can't describe exactly what she feels about the production because she'd have to go to confession, which also implies that she is Catholic.
  • While the Halliwells of Charmed (1998) are practicing Wiccans, it's often implied they were raised Catholic, as Piper and Phoebe are seen having a conversation about God and witches with a man that's implied to be the family's priest, and Paige mentioning she and her adoptive parents attending the church where she was found.

  • Alexander Perls consistently references Christianity when he creates music under his alias, 009 Sound System. These songs are featured in internet memes due to their wide usage in YouTube videos before 2013.

    Video Games 
  • The first two The Legend of Zelda games come off this way, with Link's shield bearing a cross emblem, gravestones adorned with crosses, and a cross being a Plot Coupon in the second game. This is due to the original plan being for Hyrule to be based on medieval Europe with its religion being Christianity; starting with the third game they dropped that and switched to a Fantasy Pantheon.
  • The Last of Us has David, an Ax-Crazy cannibal. While he and Ellie are fleeing from infected, he can be heard telling her to watch her language, and after shooting infected he'll sometimes say "Lord, forgive them." He also states to be under the belief that "everything happens for a reason". He admits during his fight with Ellie that she momentarily "shook his faith", and the developer's commentary describes him as someone who believes he's been chosen by a higher power. A banner hung in the steakhouse, possibly written by him, reads "When we are in need, he shall provide!".
    • Carried over to its sequel The Last of Us Part II with a religious cult called the “Seraphites”. Seraphs are the highest-ranking group of angels in Christianity (they’re in the other Abrahamic religions too but not as important) found in the books of Isiah and Revelations. They perform human sacrifice by disemboweling people whom they believe are “nested with sin”. They call people who leave their group “apostates” which is a word from the New Testament describing people who’ve left the church.
  • The religion of the cast of Night in the Woods features churches, Easter, popes, Sunday school, and a video cover associates crosses with priests, but the local church's main symbol is an eight-pointed star, the main winter holiday is called Longest Night, and the female pastor refers to God with "they" pronouns. Religion is often discussed by the characters, especially with the atheist Angus and the observant Bea, but denominations are never stated.
  • Guilty Gear: Ky Kiske is very religious and his faith in "God" is a key part of his character. He is also a commander of the superficially Church Militant (but still very secular) Sacred Order of Holy Knights. However, his specific religion is neither stated nor alluded to, other than the fact that he occasionally makes the sign of the cross, holds to a code similar to knightly chivalry, and speaks of God in vaguely Abrahamic terms.
  • Grand Theft Auto V:
    • Franklin refers to the author of one of The Four Gospels as "my boy Matthew" and can carry on an extended conversation with Jesse down at Vespucci Beach. Pre-release art depicted him with a neck tattoo that showed praying hands holding a cross.
    • Mr. K wears a crucifix while he is being tortured due to being accused of working with terrorists and him coming from Azerbaijan (a predominantly Muslim country). While his faith goes unmentioned, it's heavily implied that he is Eastern Christiannote .
  • Half-Life 2 has an aversion to this trope with Father Grigori and his Orthodox-like church, but not so much that it tells us what type of Eastern Orthodox he and his church are. The beta version of him has this averted even more with the attire shown to be black with an Eastern European crucifix.
  • Persona:
    • The main cast of Persona attends St. Hermelin High School, whose logo features both a Chi-Rho and a Star of David, but it's not mentioned whether any of them are Christian.
    • In Persona 5, Yusuke Kitagawa and Hifumi Togo attend Kosei High School. Yusuke's uniform features a fleur-de-lis and he expresses familiarity with Jesus' suffering on the cross, while Hifumi can usually be found in a church and is named after a Catholic Shōgi player.
  • The characters in the Mysterious trilogy of the Atelier Series (Atelier Sophie, Atelier Firis, and Atelier Lydie And Suelle) follow a monotheistic religion whose deity is called God, go to church to pray, and some NPCs are nuns. Whether the religion of the setting is Anime Catholicism or a Fantasy Counterpart Culture that happens to resemble it is unclear. Over the course of their travels, the characters of these games also encounter a few Physical Goddesses (who can be fought as Superbosses), but the religious implications of this aren't explored.
  • Pokémon Diamond and Pearl has a building in Hearthome City named the "Foreign Building", which heavily resembles a church. Unlike the rest of the game, it is completely silent, and all the NPCs inside talk about the grace of life and other philosophical subjects. However, no explicit reference is made to any real-world or in-universe faith. In the Japanese version, it's called the "Foreign Culture Building", which might suggest it's "foreign" in that Christianity is more commonplace outside of Sinnoh.
  • Edmond from Harvest Moon: Light of Hope makes reference to both the Biblical devil and the story of Adam and Eve. On the other hand, he's also best friends with the local Harvest Goddess and has met the Harvest God.
  • BioShock Infinite heavily invokes Christian motifs — the city of Columbia is described as a heaven above, a metaphorical ark led by a prophet who speaks to God, created to rescue mankind from "the sodom below", its welcome center is an Evangelical-esque church who only allows people to enter through baptism, etc. — so it might come as a surprise that Jesus is never mentioned oncenote . This is probably because in said imagery, said prophet — "Father" Zachary Comstockis busy supplanting himself in his place.
  • Mass Effect: Ashley Williams is explicitly Christian, and she and Shepard can get to discussing religion between missions, including the fact that she's gotten guff for it from other humans. One potential response to Ashley asking whether Shepard has a problem with Ashley being religious is to reply, "You ever hear that expression, 'There's no atheists in a foxhole?' I've been in a lot of foxholes." (The other options are to tell Ashley to leave Shepard out of it, or simply note that the founding documents of the Systems Alliance guarantee religious freedom.)

    Visual Novels 
  • Despite the fact there's a heavy focus put on purity and punishing sin within the Haven, despite the fact that the uniforms of the characters are heavily inspired by Catholic school uniforms and nun habits, despite the fact that the "assembly building" is represented in the game by what's very clearly a church, denomination is actually never mentioned within Bad Faith.
  • It's implied that the half-Scottish Lily from Katawa Shoujo is Christian. She wears a cross on her neck and her parents sent her to a Catholic high school (which, unlike her sister, she didn't mind).
  • The families of the Trio in Highway Blossoms. In Next Exit, Tess recalls being forced to go to Sunday school as a child, and it's possible her much older sister Mariah may have done the same. Joseph and his brother Benjamin's names come from the Bible(something Tess picks up on), and their parents insisted that he refer to Benjamin by his proper name.

    Web Animation 
  • Helluva Boss: Moxxie's father Crimson tries forcing his son into a wedding officiated by a demon in a Mitre, implying his family is either Catholic or a Hellish faith with a Catholic aesthetic (the fact that said Mitre has an upside-down cross could support either interpretation). Despite him being a demon, it fits with his "Italian Mafioso" image.

  • Just about all of Europa in Girl Genius. References are sometimes made to a Papacynote , The Biblenote , various saints both real and made-up, holidays like Christmas, and cathedrals. However, none of the characters are seen actively practicing Christian worship nor is any explicit naming of the religion shown. Though there is a passing mention of one of the characters being Christened. Even the Corbettite Order, while having lots of Catholic monastic trappings up to and including a confessional and having fealty to the Popenote , don't really mention religion much, seeming to believe that running the trains is how they express their religion.

    Web Original 
  • The Nostalgia Critic: The Critic has a notable love for Christmas, and in his review of Eight Crazy Nights mentioned feeling sorry for Jewish people due to the lack of good Hanukkah movies.
  • Todd in the Shadows has discussed this in his videos, often in the context of "Christian" Pop Punk bands that avoid putting explicit religious themes in their music so that they don't get pigeonholed as Christian Rock, instead keeping it mostly subtextual. His rule of thumb is that an album must have 50% "certifiable Christ content" before he'll call it Christian rock. In his One-Hit Wonderland episode on "Face Down", he argued that The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus were this trope in their early career to the point where it seemed like they were doing the reverse of what many such bands did: instead of luring in secular kids with what sounds like pop-punk only to hit them with a sermon, they (especially on their sophomore album Lonely Road) were luring in Christian kids with song titles like "You Better Pray" only for it to turn out to be a song about kicking their asses. (As he notes, however, they did become a more straightforwardly Christian band on their later albums once they went independent.)
    Todd: If this is Christian music, give me that old-time religion!

    Western Animation 
  • Arthur: Arthur Read and his family are shown attending a Christian family wedding in one episode and leaving a church in a Christmas special. Which denomination the family adheres to is not made clear, however.
  • It's left vague what religion Ginger's family follows in As Told by Ginger, if any. Ginger didn't know she had Jewish heritage until partway through the series, meaning their mother either raised them secular or another religion. Carl is seen visiting a prayer room in a hospital after his sister falls ill with appendicitis and his mother says that she thought he was an atheist.
  • The Crumpets: Ms. McBrisk, the neighbor of the titular family who keeps frowning on them for immorality and lack of common sense, has mentioned the Lord and Satan. She also called Granny Crumpet a "saint", and one of the Crumpets' sons whom she unknowingly kidnapped to her house a "sign from heaven".
  • Doug: Although never shown explicitly in the series (the closest it gets to a mention of God is Doug declaring that "someone up there must like me" when he finds out that Patti didn't get his videotape by mistake in "Doug's Secret Song"), Jim Jinkins has mentioned in interviews that the Funnie family are churchgoers and that one would have to look for subtle hints such as the way they're dressed on Sunday afternoons (i.e. Phil in a dress shirt but loosened up) to notice this. This is another way in which the series reflects the childhood of its creators, as both Jinkins and David Campbell were raised Christian.
  • As with a majority of other animated shows for children, The Fairly OddParents! plays this straight. Santa Clausmas is celebrated along with Easter Bunny Easter. Cosmo and Wanda are explicitly referred to his 'Fairy Godparents', albeit without any religious connotation.
  • Soos from Gravity Falls is named "Jesus" (the Spanish pronunciation, thus his nickname), which implies that at least his family is Christian or Catholic. He also mentions his grandpa being in Heaven, and his family has porcelain angel decorations in their home.
  • Dade from Harvey Beaks acts a lot like a stereotypical fundamentalist Christian. He's spoken out against magic and rock & roll, frequently protests against various forms of supposed indecency, and makes sly references to Christian phrases, beliefs, and practices ("sinning" is called "corrupting", for example). However, he and his family have never been confirmed to be religious at all. According to certain other episodes, his family are presumably fundamentalist types as well.
  • Kim Possible sang "Silent Night" as part of a Christmas-themed choir when she was in middle school. Along with her family celebrating Christmas, this is the only hint of any religious denomination.
  • The Loud House: The Louds are implied to be Catholic, the only hints of any religious denomination being that they celebrate Christmas, Lincoln mentioning nuns to the sisters and his dream brother Loni in "One of the Boys", and Lana praying in "Fool's Paradise".
  • Philip Wittebane from The Owl House (before he became Emperor Belos) appears to have been a New England Puritan, but it's never outright stated. He was a Witch Hunter from early 17th century Connecticut (where Puritan beliefs were particularly strong at the time), so a Reformed Protestant faith can be inferred. The final episode "Watching and Dreaming" has him call the Boiling Isles "perdition," which is an old-fashioned term for Hell in Christianity.
  • An episode of The Proud Family shows Penny, her family, and her friends attending a church and singing a hymn about praising God, but which denomination they belong to is rather ambiguous.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In one episode, Plankton insults an old version of Mr. Krabs by calling him "Methuselah". Besides Santa Clausmas, this is the only indication that The Bible even exists in the Bikini Bottom. What makes this particularly egregious is that the inhabitants worship Neptune, god of the seas.