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Interfaith Smoothie

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"[Netty's] faith is omnistic: finding truth in every religion. She draws on American folk magic for blessing; works with Catholic saints; uses Buddhist house-clearing techniques to help Reddit friends with ghost problems."
Jessica Rawnsley, The New Statesman, "The Witchcraft Generation"

This is when a constructed fictional religion is clearly a mix of any number of real-world religions. That Other Wiki knows this process as it happens in Real Life as syncretism.

Differs from Crossover Cosmology in that this creates a "new" cosmology from pieces of established idea systems. Popular in Space Opera and Science Fiction as representative of alien cultures. A subtrope of Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot and a Sister Trope to Culture Chop Suey. Can also be Truth in Television since there are few religions that don't share certain rituals or beliefs with other religions.

This seems to come up a lot in anime fantasy settings, though it could (and oftentimes appears to) just be a cultural misunderstanding of Western ideas and philosophies while substituting familiar concepts (like Buddhism and Shintoism) into the knowledge gaps. Also, sometimes in anime, instead of All Christianity Being Catholic, you'll see a mix-mash of ideas from various Christian denominations all pooled into a single faith.

Related to Emergency Multifaith Prayer, when a character in a tight spot offers a prayer to every deity they can think of in the hopes that at least one of them will be listening.

Compare and contrast Church of Saint Genericus, where the religious details could cover any number of faiths simply because they're left nonspecific. See also Universal Chaplain, who will provide services for someone of any faith if necessity calls.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • High School D×D is largely a Crossover Cosmology, but still makes this trope out of Heaven and the Angel faction, which appear to be a broad-strokes amalgamation of every major Abrahamic religion. What makes this stand out is one character being a properly-researched Protestant, as contrast to the usual all-pervasive Catholicism. The writer has stated this just made the whole mess much easier to keep track of, while the story explains that Heaven being more unified than its followers is classified information, as God Is Dead and the faith-based mechanism Heaven gets its power from if already close to falling apart without Him, and revealing the truth could sink the faction entirely. Also, while Church-faction civil wars do drive a couple of conflict arcs, they're always Catholic schisms who know the truth or never have their denomination made clear.

    Comic Books 
  • Buck Godot: Zap Gun for Hire: The Church of Slag-Blah are "militant agnostics" and celebrate a different religious holy day every day.
  • Tintin: In Tintin in America, it's a mixture of Judaism, Buddhism, and Islam, they claim they were the fastest growing religion, and want Tintin to become a member of them.

    Film — Live Action 
  • Gandhi:
    • Invoked consciously by the titular character:
    • He also mentions that it was common for him as a child attend religious services where the priest would quote from the Vedas, Qu'ran, and Bible alike.
  • The Matrix movie trilogy is all over the place, embedding clear (in order of dominance throughout the series), Buddhist, Christian and Gnostic philosophies not only throughout the characters and plot, but including the music score, especially in The Matrix Revolutions soundtrack, which uses Ominous Latin Chanting, Sanskrit flavored, while the Big Bad ridicules the hero about being a Messianic Archetype.
  • Pitch Black has 'Chrislam' (which is a real thing) pilgrims heading for the planet of New Mecca.
  • Star Wars: The Force, once described by Mark Hamill as "Religion's Greatest Hits!" The religion of the Force has strong elements of Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism, Daoism and a bunch of other mystical traditions, with Christian symbology (the Jedi are Knights In Brown Robes who have a fair bit in common with monastic knightly orders, and not for nothing is the hero named Luke, to say nothing of Anakin's virgin birth).
  • The Film of the Book What Dreams May Come blends Eastern mystical concepts of reincarnation with Christian concepts of monotheism, heaven and hell,note  as well as an Epiphanic Prison for those that commit suicide. Dogs go to heaven, too.

  • Peter F. Hamilton's Confederation Universe has more a case of intra faith smoothies, with the various factions of Christianity and Islam reconciling their differences and each forming a single religion.
  • Philip K. Dick was particularly fond of this: in several novels (notably The Divine Invasion) there was a merger between the Catholic Church and the Soviet Union in the backstory.
  • The far future religions in the Dune series are either this (i.e. the Orange Catholic Bible) or the Coca-Pepsi, Inc. type (Zensunni). The Coca-Pepsi, Inc. ones are the more numerous though. The Orange Catholic Bible seems to be more dominant in the first novel, but then a Zensunni branch ends up overrunning the known universe. There is also the fact that the Orange Catholic Bible was created to be the most universal holy text reasonably possible, not necessarily the most universal religion reasonably possible.note 
    • The prequel novels show that the creation of the OCB was far from a peaceful and universally-accepted process (taking place less than a century after the end of the Butlerian Jihad). In fact, the people who compiled the book nearly got themselves lynched by the angry mobs. They were only spared when The Emperor intervened and granted them sanctuary in his palace. That is, until his young daughter caught one of them supposedly raping the Empress (said daughter would later start to suspect that the act may have been consensual). The Emperor then had all the translators publicly executed, making his daughter watch the consequences of her actions. It's not clear when that hatred for the OCB turned into nigh-universal acceptance.
  • "Unto the Last—Stand Fast", a Short Story in The Four Horsemen Universe, features a syncretic religion resulting from cultural exchange between Roman Catholic human colonists and Crystal Dragon Jesus Arritim colonists (they had inadvertently both colonized the same planet, fought over it, and then ended their war when they noticed the similarities in their religions). Both groups' home churches consider this faith heretical, and the Arritims' progenitors the Arezzo (same species, different church) are engaged in a crusade against it.
  • The Janissaries by Jerry Pournelle has a world that has both Christians and pagans, with the pagan religion being very loosely based on Classical Mythology. When a Christian nation enters into a political alliance with two pagan nations, a bishop has a rather convenient revelation that the two religions in fact worship the same god, resulting in the creation of a politically backed syncretic religion.
  • Enigma Babylon One World Faith in the Left Behind books, which consists of Roman Catholicism merged with various Christian sects.
  • In Life of Pi, the title character manages to be a practicing Hindu, Christian, and Muslim all at once, to the confusion of most of the other characters. He was born a Hindu but chooses to simultaneously practice both Islamic and Christian rituals as he grows up. His stated reason is that he "just wants to love God."
  • The Lost Years of Merlin: In-Universe, Merlin's mother Bronwen worships both the Celtic gods such as Dagda and also Jesus. The series has Dagda show a lot of traits traditionally attributed to Jesus as well (possibly in the books they are the same being).
  • The end of the Pendragon series has Ravinia, in which people see life in the rest of the universe (Halla) for the first time. This is not a religion in itself, but something that attracts people regardless of religion into one group. On the other hand, it divides people based on social class.
  • Played for Laughs in Phaic Tăn:
    "Whilst primarily Buddhist, over the years the people of Sukkondat have absorbed a wide variety of religious influences, including Taoism, Animism, Hinduism and Sikhism. Because of this the dominant religion throughout the province could best be described as Confusionism."
  • Gaianism in Paul McAuley's The Quiet War combines generic nature worship with Catholic ritual. It's "green saints" are similar to gurus.
  • The Church of God Awaiting in David Weber's Safehold series is an In-Universe example. It is a mash-up of real religions that was created for the purpose of putting ultimate power in the church's hands and precluding the possibility of technological advancement.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire seems to do this with fictional religions in the cult of the Many Faced God. The temple includes shrines to gods from all over, and his adherents believe that all gods (or at least all death gods) are avatars of him. There's also some implication of the religion taking elements from other faiths in the universe in its theology and worship.
  • Sorry, Bro: Erebuni was raised an Orthodox Christian like most Armenians. She also practices Wiccan magic though while taking communion and sculpting traditional cross statues, blending both.
  • Stranger in a Strange Land has Valentine Michael Smith form a union of every single religion called "The Church of All Worlds," which eventually inspired a real religious community of the same name.
  • The Sword Of Saint Ferdinand: Agatín is half-Christian half-Islamic. He assures his guests he is fully Christian but he merely keeps Islamic relics so he is not given grief by potential Moorish visitors. Fortún and García are not convinced, since he casually will quote both Jesus Christ and Muhammad in the same breath, but they will not give him grief about his weird syncretism either.
  • Sanshinto or Tritheism in Tasakeru is based primarily on Shinto, but has elements from Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology. The species' differing beliefs draw from everywhere, even, according to the author, the Cthulhu Mythos.
  • The Thursday Next series has the Global Standard Deity (GSD), a church that openly and shamelessly mixes and matches elements of various faiths apparently at will — her brother "the Very Irreverent Joffy Next" is basically a hedonist. This is partly down to the fact that in this world literature is the major Serious Business in people's lives, with sport, religion and television distant runners-up.
  • In The Unincorporated War by Dani and Eytan Kollin, the various religions in the Outer Alliance get together for a conference in order to come up with something like this. Mostly the Abrahamic religions but others as well. Unfortunately it's interrupted by an attack from the United Human Federation resulting in slaughter.
  • In one of the Uplift novels a crazy alien evangelist preaches that a single Creator made humans without one of the sinful Galactic species uplifting them, a species-wide virgin birth. And cites not only Jesus but also Moses, Buddha, Mohammad, Tipler, and Weimberg-Chang.
  • The Videssos books, being chockablock with Fantasy Counterpart Cultures, have lots of these. The religion of Videssos proper (the fantasy analogue of the Byzantine Empire) looks a lot like Orthodox Christianity (with bishops, monks, ecumenical councils, schisms over variations in the Creed), but the dualistic belief system is much more like Zoroastrianism (two powerful gods, one good and one evil, at war). There are heresies with variant understandings of the war (Videssians believe the good god is sure to win, Khatrishers believe the two gods are perfectly balanced, Namdaleni believe the gods are balanced but you ought to act as if you're sure the good god will win). The main other empire starts out as practically-Muslim (with belief in a single God and four supreme Prophets), but ends up being dominated by a diabolist religion that worships the evil Videssian god.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Wayism in Andromeda is this. It's mostly Buddhist 'peace in suffering' teachings, with a few other things thrown in. In universe it was created by a Magog who was taught the concepts of various religions to him by the human host he was spawned from.
  • Babylon 5 has a few varieties of these. Dr. Franklin follows a religion called Foundationism that believes all religions in the galaxy reflect the same greater truth at their core, and freely adopts customs from all of them for its own use (such as the Australian Aboriginal practice of going walkabout). There's also a The Maker religion, a belief so generic that members of several different cultures take it up and integrate it into other faiths. We are also introduced to an order of Catholic monks who have made it their mission to find out all they can about alien faiths in order to "learn all the names of God".
  • Satirized in a sketch on A Bit of Fry and Laurie in which a schoolmaster (played by Hugh Laurie) invents a new religion to accommodate all his students' diverse beliefs, which he describes as "a kind of religious Esperanto, if you will." Named "Lip Wip Wip Wip," the religion believes in "a committee of Gods. There are eight voting members and a non-executive chair who rotates every four years," and worships air, flexible work-share schemes, and things with rounded corners. Unfortunately, the religion has already split into a rival sect that worships oblongs instead, resulting in Inquisition-style tortures and burnings for little heretics.
  • Firefly is a subtle example, as the only explicitly religious ceremony it shows is a funeral which combines Christian and Buddhist elements, which may just be Artistic License - Religion.
  • Lost always favored the archetypal over the specific, and throughout its run contained references to many different religions and philosophies, hinting that there's some universal basis to all of them, even John Locke's personal shamanistic and prophetic belief system. The finale reinforces this by showing a stained glass window with symbols of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Taoism and Hinduism on it, all radiating outward from one single source (that's also the same color as the light at the heart of the island).
  • Motherland: Fort Salem: The witches seem to practice some kind of paganism, judging by their Beltane orgy and other references. Raelle is mocked by another cadet for using a Bible quote in her spells though, described as "Christo-pagan".
  • The Church of Confusion sermonette on Saturday Night Live is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. For starters, it's delivered by the Most Reverend Archbishop Maharishi O'Mulliganstein, D.D.S.
  • Star Trek:
    • The Klingon belief system seems to be an odd mish-mash of Shinto and Norse mythology, with a Messianic Archetype figure (Kahless) and a quirk (they had gods, but killed them as too much of a bother) thrown in. Vulcan spirituality seems to have elements of Shinto ancestor worship within a predominant Buddhist philosophy, with 'logic' substituted for Dharma. The Bajoran faith which features prominently in nearly every episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine combines elements of all three Western monotheisms (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) together with Eastern Hindu/Buddhist mysticism (with the bonus that their gods are definitely real and occasionally show up to chat with the heroes). Plus, they once had castes like Hinduism. And a Catholic style leadership (The Kai and the Vedak Assembly lining up with the Pope and the College of Cardinals respectively).
    • One episode of Star Trek: Discovery featured a Lost Colony whose ancestors were whisked away from Earth during World War III. They believe they were saved by God, but couldn't agree on which God saved them. As a result they created a religious text that brought in aspects of, among others, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, and even Wicca.
  • On Teachers (2016), Ms. Bennigan's religion combines Catholic, Mormon, and evangelical stereotypes.

  • George Harrison's song "My Sweet Lord" features background vocals that begin by chanting "Hallelujah," gradually shift to chanting "Hare Krishna," and eventually become a Vedic prayer to Vishnu, all while the main vocal continues in the same prayer to "my Lord" (of course, Hindus also refer to their gods as "lords"-e.g. Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva, etc.). This could also reflect his personal journey from Christian to Hindu beliefs.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Handbook: House Davion sourcebook for BattleTech details a religious movement in the Federated Suns called the "Unfinished Book Movement" which is a literal mash-up of a number of existing religions (most of which still exist elsewhere in the setting, even within Davion Space) into a single entity with a single, collected, holy scripture. Apparently it's becoming quite a major player in the realm by the time the book was set.
  • Since its earliest days, Dungeons & Dragons has liked to present players with the option to include "pagan" religions as real pantheons of deities in their settings. This has on occasion led to pantheons being offered up which are actually made by rather crudely combining different faiths together; the most infamous examples, which hail from the game's earliest days, are the Native American pantheon (which combines heroes and deities from many different beliefs) and the Celtic pantheon (which combines Continental Celtic, Romanized Celtic, Irish and Welsh gods into a single group).
  • The Forgotten Realms are an incredible blend of deities from multiple real-world religions operating alongside both each other and completely fictitious deities. The core pantheon alone includes the Nordic Tyr, Finnish Loviatar, and Irish Oghma alongside a Crystal Dragon Jesus in Ilmater and the elf & dwarf creator-gods Corellon and Moradin.
  • In Legend of the Five Rings the state religion of Rokugan, a Fantasy Counterpart Culture of Japan, is Shinseism, a fusion of Japan's two most common faiths (Shinto and Buddhism), plus Taoism.
  • In-Universe for Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000: While there are four Chaos Gods (representing the emotions of rage, desire, hope and despair) and many of their worshippers devote themselves to a single one, it's also possible to worship them as a pantheon as a follower of Chaos Undivided. (The possibility of worshipping just two or three of the four is never mentioned.) The Imperial faith from 40k is a mix of all kinds of things in and out of universe, although at its core is a cult of personality.

    Video Games 
  • In After the End: A Post-Apocalyptic America the end of the world brought new faiths, some which try to mix old ones into one:
    • The "Druidism" of Northwest Canada combines Celtic paganism with the religions of the Innu and Inuit peoples of the region.
    • The cult of the Falling Star is a a syncretic mix of the shamanism of the native Miskito people’s and the Moravian church which became a major part of the Miskito people’s culture when missionaries arrived, with the addition of a messianic figure of the titular "Falling Star", an angel that prevented the world to be destoyed. The Moravian church can be restored through an event chain reveals that the "falling star" was simply a falling meteor, however.
  • In Civilization: Beyond Earth, Kavitha Thakur of the Kavithan Protectorate is some kind of religious leader, though the tenets of her belief system are mostly left ambiguous. However, an in-game quote from one of her prayer devotionals unambiguously reveals how mish-mash the faith's mythology is.
    Seraphim, Cherubim, Devas, Fravashi, and Yakshas, extend thy arms to cover us, hear us and convey our prayer to the Lord Creator.
  • At the outset of Crisis of the Confederation the Pilgrimage has elements of this. Formally it is only a loose association helping to organize pilgrimages to Earth, but this exists to a large part because seeing Earth as sacred has become a shared element across many religions (there are those that reject it, but that is a cleavage point across modern-day religions rather than between them). If chance should place a faithful Pilgrimage adherent in a strong enough position over Sol, it is possible for the Pilgrimage to be reformed into an actual, if broad, church, the Terran Orthodoxy.
  • Crusader Kings III adds a lot of syncretism between faiths and allows you to create new faiths and syncretize with others through certain tenets. There's also a lot of faiths which are syncretic by nature.
  • In-Universe in The Elder Scrolls series with the original Eight Divines pantheon. Founded by Empress Alessia of the First Cyrodilic Empire, she is said to have consciously made a synthesis of elven and Nordic gods, in order to appease both her Nord allies (notably Kynareth/Kyne and Stendarr/Stuhn) and the elven Cyrodiilics and Ayleids (notably Auri-El/Akatosh and Xarxes/Arkay)she now ruled.
  • In Escape Velocity: Nova , the Church of Krim-Hwa is this in-universe.
  • The heroine of Hatoful Boyfriend describes herself and her family as Shin-Buddhist, but is perfectly willing to celebrate Christmas if given the opportunity. This is pretty much exactly how real Japanese people treat Christmas.
  • New Era - Old World, an unofficial spin-off of After the End set in the Old World has a few flavors:
    • Muwahidunna is an Islamic sect located in Sahara, which preaches that all Monotheistic religions of the world follow the same God and as such, are all brothers which shouldn't fight.
    • Chrislam, the religion of the Nigerian Empire is a syncretic blend of both Christianity and Islam, incorporating elements of both.
    • Yugoslavism of well, Yugoslavia, is a blend of Catholicism, Orthodoxy and Sunni Islam, attempting to bring peace to a crumbling Empire.
  • Angels in Nexus Clash each follow one of three Elder Powers, only one of whom can win the battle to shape the next world. However, since every Angel is a Player Character and most players don't identify with specific Elder Powers, most Angels just identify with Good generally, regardless of which Power it says they follow on their character sheet.
  • Oracle of Tao has a strange mix of Shintoism, Taoism, and Christianity. They call it Aiken (based on Japanese ai ken, not Clay Aiken). It's basically very heavily into nature and love (and ancestor worship).
  • Scientism from The Outer Worlds is a weird mix of Christian Scientist, Taoism, Confician Philosophy, and megacorporate Cargo Cult.
  • Rift: In the backstory, the Guardians, made up of humans, high elves, and dwarfs, had all at one point worshipped the five gods separately. But when the Dragon of Death, Regulos, had tried to invade Telara, the gods came together to form the Vigil, and now all three races worship all five of the gods together.
  • Solatorobo's Oshilasama seems to be one part the Buddhist-Shinto amalgam common to Japan and one part Functional Magic. Oh, and something about an evil dog-god who loses his powers if you turn his statues upside-down.
  • Shadowrun: Hong Kong has Ten-Armed Ambrose share that his sister was a practitioner of Trans-Catholicism, a mix of Catholicism and Hinduism. With the academic etiquette, your character knows some prayers for it.
    "Ambrose silently bows his head as you recite a string of words in Sanskrit and Latin, invoking Karen to rejoin the Trans-Catholic concept of universal oneness: the Atma Brahma of the Holy Ghost."
  • Siren has the local religion of Hanuda, which combines village and Japanese folklore with Christianity and worship of an "alien god" who the locals ate during a famine and whose new physical incarnation serves as the final boss of the game.

  • In Freefall omniquantism is the idea that if God is omnipotent and all things are possible, then it is possible that all religions are correct simultaneously. One in three A.I.s lock up after hearing the concept, Florence managed to make sense of it though.
  • Gamzee's religion in Homestuck seems to be based around Christianity, with a little Islam for flavour (he gets very upset about seeing video depictions of his Messiahs), and perhaps with a little Judaism (his ancestor was responsible for the persecution of the Troll Jesus), mixed up with stoner / hippie culture, and then all applied to Juggalo fandom. A parody, obviously. Word of God is that is was inspired by an Eldritch Abomination and his Manipulative Bastard Dragon, arguably making it a Religion of Evil.
  • In Koan of the Day, the guru is an amalgamation of Jesus, the Buddha, and Socrates.
  • Pangaeism, the most politically correct religion ever, is briefly mentioned in Last Res0rt, apparently they have a minor holy war every time a new species is contacted and the scripture needs to be revised to include their mythology.
  • Rusty and Co.: There are enough Odd Job Gods from different pantheons that they group up to offer themed LLC (Limited Liability Congregation) spellcasting packages to worshippers.
    Derek the Cleric: Before, if you wanted to worship, say, the Sun, you had to compare plans with Apollo, Mitra, Ra, Shamesh, Surya, and like a dozen others... Now you'd just sign up for a general Sun-worshipping package, and the gods invested in it will share the devotion and spell-granting duties among themselves.
  • The Eastern Dragon in Sinfest is a living embodiment of all East Asian religions.
  • In an xkcd strip, this discussion takes place:
    "I'm the kind of Christian who only goes to church on Christmas and Easter, and spends the other 363 days at the mosque."
    "… I don't think that's a thing."
    "Our rabbi swears it's legit."

    Web Original 
  • The Chaos Timeline has the Indian Chandramoorthy develop his own religion, which combines elements from Hinduism, Islam, Catholicism and the classical Greco-Roman religion.
  • Parodied in Gaia Online by the Church of Non-Specific Worship. This may exist because one plotline has shown that not only do Physical Gods exist in Gaia, they're numerous and varied enough to make categorization and organized religion difficult.
  • Piecing Together the Ashes: Reconstructing the Old World Order:
    • One of the major post-Deluge religions, Widdhism, is a fusion of Wicca, Taoism and Buddhism, along with some smaller sects.
    • The major post-Deluge branches of Christianity in America also qualify — the Reconstructionist Christians are the result of remaining Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and some Protestants while the Southron Church of Christ combines numerous Protestant denominations together along with Confederate nostalgia.
  • The SCP Foundation has several examples:
    • SCP-3004 is a horrific form of this: an old cicada-based nature deity that found itself syncretized with the Christian God by missionaries to win over its cult. Unfortunately, this worked too well, as this meant the cicada god itself was convinced it was the Christian God, and is essentially trying to replace God as the central figure of Christianity—and it doesn't help that it also conflated the idea of venerating Jesus's sacrifice with just venerating pain and torture in general. This manifests in abrupt and inexplicable instances of staunch Christians and churchgoers performing bizarre sacrificial rituals that usually end in live cicadas crawling out of someone's orifices.
    • The Fifthist Church is this trope played for a different type of horror. The Church's central tenet is something about transcending reality and assimilating into the mysterious 'Fifth World', which is so alien that the only way they can relate to normal human belief systems is by co-opting a kludge of whatever beliefs are common to the area, some astral symbolism and Lovecraftian themes. A lot of modern Fifthist cults take a New-Age Retro Hippie look, but there's versions that appropriate Christianity, Buddhism, Communism, Aztec polytheism, Confucianism, self-help books, chapstick sales, and every other belief system under the sun. The general effect is to highlight how creepy the Fifthists are.

    Western Animation 
  • Futurama plays with a somewhat joke-y version of this trope in the First Amalgamated Church, headed by Father Changstein El-Gamal. Supposedly created from the merging of major 20th Century religions - Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism as well as agnosticism, and the logo shows it. Differs from more serious examples in that part of the joke appears to be that the Church doesn't have even a semi-coherent belief system and mostly just tries to be as generically 'spiritual-ish' as possible.
    Father Changstein El-Gamal: Dearly liked, we stand here before one or more gods, or fewer; to join this couple in pretty good matrimony. If anyone objects to this union, may they speak now, or forever hold their peace; or do something else.
  • God's Gang is a cartoon about an interfaith themed crime fighting superhero team.
  • The only thing you can definitively say about Reverend Lovejoy's church in The Simpsons is that it's some variety of Protestantism. In an episode where Bart and Homer convert to Catholicism, the Rev describes the One True Faith as being "the Western Branch of the Reformed Church of American Presbo-Lutheranism".
    • Ned Flanders confesses in one episode that he's "kept Kosher to be on the safe side."

    Real Life 
  • Certain Unitarian Universalist congregations can end up like this. Since UUism rejects the idea of central dogma in favor of emphasizing the value of spiritual community, nothing stops any individual from being a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Pagan or even atheist/agnostic and still a practicing UU. It's not too far from the truth to joke that UUs begin their prayers with "To whom it may concern..."
  • Messianic Judaism, which combines the main tenets of Judaism with a belief in Yeshua, or Jesus as Messiah. Most Jews consider Messianics to be simply Christians by another name, or at worst, disguised proselytizers.
  • The proper term for this trope is Syncretism. As you can see, there are enough examples of it in Real Life.
  • Manichaeism claimed its prophet Mani as a successor to Zoroaster, Gautama Buddha, and Jesus.
  • Some Anglicans (Church of England) embraced Catholic spirituality and outward elements (i.e. Mass, the rosary, vestments) while still remaining with the Church of England. They're called Anglo-Catholics.
  • In the 19th century, it was very common among scholars of world religions to seek a complete understanding of God by bringing the knowledge of all religions together to create a unified whole. While certainly admirable, religious authorities of all religions were mostly unimpressed and didn't share the belief that other religions had anything to contribute to their models. However, such pluralism is quite popular in liberal religious circles now, and it's fairly standard to hold that "all religions are a path to God".
  • The independent/noncanonicalnote  Eastern Orthodox denomination named the Evangelical Orthodox Church that blends Orthodoxy with Protestant (mainly Evangelical and Charismaticnote ) elements, and their current mission is to spread their religious beliefs through the world. There are currently 120 churches under the EOC and most are in Burundi.
  • This (text: "Basics of religious cultures and secular ethics") was a reaction on the introduction of this experimental "obligatory facultative" school course — which, obviously, managed to unite everyone, if only in condemnation of this offense.
  • Very common in East Asian cultures. While Judaism, Islam, and several modern denominations of Christianity forbid syncretism, major East Asian religions like Shintoism, Buddhism, and Taoism have no such restrictions. And Sikhism explicitly declares that no religion (including itself) can hold a monopoly on the divine truth. For instance, most Japanese religious people are Shinto Buddhists.
    • Similarly, during the Middle Ages and even into the early 20th century, a form of Christian syncretism was common enough among the educated classes. Greek and Norse and Celtic and other ancient European pagan gods were often reinterpreted as Christian angels who had been mistakenly worshiped (whereas the gods of other parts of the world were often assumed to be demons who had been mistakenly worshiped) or reinterpreted as Christian saints who had been deified against their will.
    • The Mune Shinri, a web-based religion is a syncretic blend of Taoism, Shintoism, and Christianity. If Christianity forbids syncretism, and Taoism allows it, does that make it right or wrong?
  • The Baha'i faith is arguably an example of this. It basically recognizes the prophets of a wide range of other religions (including Moses, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, and others) and claims that they all founded "the religion that was necessary (and possible) at the time", in a scheme for humanity's collective evolution, whereas Baha'i is (obviously) the appropriate religion for our own time. The actual belief system seems to be a syncretic mish-mash of (primarily) the monotheistic religions, with all the nasty bits taken out and a pinch of rationality and egalitarianism thrown in.
  • The currently under-construction Temple of All Religions in Russia aims to offer services for, well, all religions.
  • Historically, this was the case for most non-monotheistic religions. An ancient German could adapt very well to Celtic, Tengri, Greek, or any other gods you could name. Exactly what the relationship between the various pantheons was depended on the priests, but most laity simply accepted that All Myths Are True until their local priest told them otherwise.
    • It helps that polytheistic pantheons often included the same basic archetypes (Love Goddess, War God, patriarch deity in the sky etc.) and thus could easily be mashed together by explaining the foreign gods as alternate names for your own pantheon, as the Romans were particularly fond of doing, especially with their War God Mars, whom they believed themselves to be descended from.
    • According to historians, the Roman, Greek, and other nearby faiths really are different branches of an earlier Proto-Indo-European religion as they had developed after the conquerors merged with local peoples and developed in isolation over centuries. Calling them alternative names for the same god is, more or less, true.
    • It also helps that polytheism by its nature holds that multiple gods exist. So even if a newly-introduced god can't easily be explained as any of the currently-worshiped ones under a different name, adding another god isn't that big a deal. For example, the ancient Canaanites believed that the gods of other pantheons they were aware of (such as those of Egypt and Greece) were the children or cousins of their own gods.
  • Chapels in public facilities such as hospitals or airports have to accommodate anyone who wants to visit and pray, regardless of their religion. So they can become like this simply out of necessity— if four patients' families are Muslim, Hindu, Catholic, and Protestant, it can make for a rather eclectic prayer service.
  • Interfaith families often practice a mix of both parents' religions. A Jewish/Christian family, for example, might celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah.
  • This concept actually played quite an important role in initially winning over the Turkic and Mongol tribes to Islam, as the belief in Tengri was close enough to an Abrahamic monotheism that Turkic tribes such as the Volga Bulgars were able to look upon Islam and see a basically more refined version of their traditional religion.
    • The Mongol ruler Ghazan of the Ilkhanate also converted to Islam and argued that his ancestors' veneration of Tengri was actually a form of proto-Islamic religion.
    • Also employed in the Dastans of Dada Korkut, a collection of sagas regarding Oghuz Hakaan, the mythical father of the Turkic peoples, where it is said that Dada Korkut (a figure similar to Merlin, or Odin) is said to have journeyed to Madinah where he spoke with Muhammad (PBUH) and accepted Islam, carrying that religion back to his people in the steppes. Over time, that belief in Islam was misinterpreted as the worship of the sky god Tengri. It's quite clear that this was added by Turkic chroniclers sometime after their conversion to Islam in order to mitigate their pagan past.
  • The conversions of many formerly pagan areas to Christianity resulted in a lot of this.
    • Mexico's Día de Muertos combines the Catholic All Saint's Day with an Aztec festival.
    • South American Catholics often practice what were originally Incan religious festivals. For example, the parades with the statues of the Holy Family and major saints were originally done with the mummies of Incan kings.
    • What little we know of Slavic pagan beliefs comes mostly from extrapolation backwards from records of Slavic/Christian syncretism. The Slavs seem to have initially taken Christianity as simply an afterlife, while still paying obeisance to pagan spirits in day-to-day life.
    • Several Afro-Caribbean faiths mix Catholicism with the native religions of enslaved Africans: Yoruba in the case of Santería; Ewe, Fon, and related cultures in the case of Voudoun; and so on.
  • There is a lot of debate over whether Christmas originated as a syncretic co-option of pagan celebrations such as Saturnalia, Dies Soli Invicti, and Yule. While today this is mainly brought forward by neo-pagans to argue that it was a plot to suppress their own faiths, historically this argument was primarily used by Protestants to denounce the 'impurity' of Catholicism. Prior to the mid-18th century (and in places, well into the 19th), some Protestant sects rejected all religious holidays except Easter (and even then often preferred to called it the Celebration of the Resurrection, as the name 'Easter' was seen as syncretism), and went to great lengths to reject Christmas and Halloween in particular. This even reappeared in the 20th century among a number of Christian sects and offshoots, especially those in the Charismatic and Millenarian movements.
  • This trope was - partially - the reason why Japan was so eager to convert to Buddhism. Before that, gods were treated as mons - each clan had its own, and the power of each kami was closely tied with the family's standing. So, when Buddhist missionaries from Korea started to preach about this "Buddha" - who's said to be stronger than everything else - some people were more then eager to adopt him as their personal Olympus Mons.
  • The Lord's Resistance Army is a heterodox Christian terrorist group operating in Uganda, Central African Republic, Sudan and South Sudan that practices a bizarre mixture of Christianity and Acholi mysticism. Their leader Joseph Kony is a former Catholic altar boy turned Dark Messiah whose aim is to establish a theonomy based on the Ten Commandments. This isn't unique to the LRA, though. A lot of other cultures across the continent have syncretized their native traditions with Christianity or Islam, usually with more benign results than what Kony thought up.
  • The "God Worshipping Society" of Qing Dynasty China mashed up elements of Protestant Christianity with Chinese folk religion, at the hands of Hong Xiuquan, who claimed to be the second son of the Judeo-Christian God (and thus Jesus' younger brother), and also considered God to be the true Chinese emperor. This spawned the 14-year-long Taiping Rebellion, with the commonly estimated death toll being 30 million.note 
  • From a review of Cursed Britain: 
A History of Witchcraft and Black Magic in Modern Times by Thomas Waters:
    Since Waters is covering the whole period from 1800 to the present, he has to include the story of Wicca, a religion constructed in the Fifties by a retired civil servant, Gerald Gardner, out of “freemasonry, high Victorian occultism, eastern spirituality, nudism, Malayan knife-work and domestic folklore”. (Unfortunately the role of those Malayan knives is not explained.)
  • In a similar vein, Aleister Crowley 's Thelema religion was intended to be a unification of all mystical knowledge. To that end, a number of its beliefs and practices are incorporated from various Abrahamic ceremonial magic traditions (most notably Hermeticism, Gnosticism, Sufism and Kabbalah), various polytheistic sects (especially the one of ancient Egypt), Hinduism and Taoism.
  • Military Chaplains can fall into this due to a lack of available options. Usually they just administer to different sects of the same religion, but in a pinch, will provide their best attempts for military personnel outside of their faith. The good ones tend to plan for such an occasion. There are chaplains on university campuses as well, especially for those in small towns where there are unlikely to be holy places for minority religions.

Alternative Title(s): Religion Chop Suey, Syncretism, Syncretic Religion, Syncretic Faith, Mix And Match Religion