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Pious Monster

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Predator and pray.
"I fear no demon, for the greatest monster lies inside!"
The Abomination, Darkest Dungeon

Be it demons, vampires, werewolves, or what have you, some species of creatures have been viewed as malevolent, particularly by those belonging to an Abrahamic religion (e.g. Christianity). However, some members of these species are actively going against said stereotype: they have a healthy respect for God, and they may even follow His teachings more than the humans around them, even those who share their goals in some way, shape or form. Even if they're villains, they can still believe in and worship God.

Super-trope of Religious Vampire. Might overlap with Religious Robot, when a product of science is a person of faith, and Heaven's Devils, for literally demonic beings who serve God's cause in some way. Not to be confused with Sinister Minister and Churchgoing Villain, for more figurative monsters who venerate God. Compare Fantastic Religious Weirdness. Sub-trope of Religion Tropes (in general), and Otherness Tropes.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Blue Devil is a devout Catholic who also happens to be possessed by a demon. Unfortunately he tends to singe in churches due to his demonic traits.
  • Hellboy: The titular character is a demon who follows the teachings of some ambiguous religion (stated to be Roman Catholic in the film adaptation). It's telling that unlike with other demons, Holy Ground has no effect on him.
  • In Runaways, Victor Mancha is a robotic killing machine who is also a genuinely devout Catholic
  • X-Men:
    • Nightcrawler is a blue-skinned mutant who resembles a demon and happens to be a Roman Catholic.
    • Wolfsbane is a devout Scottish Presbyterian despite her mutation giving her a werewolf-like transformation.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: Some trolls, one of the usually evil races of the setting, has converted to worshiping the Light Gods, mainly out of pragmatism, meaning that they have the ability to use the Light Gods' given power to grow crops in a wasteland and to kill ghosts and vampires.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Dark Angel: The Ascent: Demons are portrayed not as completely malevolent monsters, but essentially the jailers of Hell. They're a religious sort who worship God and pray before dinner.
  • One of the only moments where Plan 9 from Outer Space briefly edges into actual, thought-provoking science fiction is when the alien Eros upbraids the human characters for not using "the mind God gave you".
    Jeff: You talk of God!?
    Eros: Do you think it impossible that we, too, might also think of God?

  • An old joke has a man being chased and cornered by a bear. About to be devoured, he gets in a last prayer asking God to make the bear a Christian (either like him or, in a variant where the man is an atheist, as a compromise after God asks why, exactly, He would be required to intervene in favor of someone who denied His existence all his life). The bear suddenly sits up, puts its hands together, and says "Lord, I thank you for this meal you have provided."

  • In Alien in a Small Town, First Contact with the Jan, a race of Starfish Aliens, was remarkably peaceful, and there have been converts both of Earthlings to Jannite religions, and of Jan to Earth religions. The main character is a Jan who has become an Old Order Mennonite, of all things. Even more paradoxically, be becomes friends with Barney Estragon, an Old Order Mennonite robot.
  • Baudolino: Not only are all the various monsters in Deacon John's kingdom all Christians, each species has its own interpretation of the nature of the Holy Trinity and refuses to consider the others as anything but heretics.
  • Known Space has the Kzinti, a mainly antagonistic alien Cat Folk who chiefly worship their own Fanged God; one Kzinti religious sect, the Kdaptists, however believes that God made man (i.e. humans) in His own image (and that's why humans regularly win every war the Kzinti wage against them).
  • In "Nine Yards of Other Cloth", one of the Silver John stories, John explores Hosea's Hollow, a valley that's reputed to be haunted by a terrifying man-eating monster. A local legend tells of a man named Hosea Palmer who went into the hollow to deal with the monster; after that, the monster never raided beyond the hollow, but Hosea Palmer was never seen again. In the hollow, John finds an old grave, with a wooden marker inscribed by an unknown hand with Hosea Palmer's name, and eventually learns that Hosea befriended the monster and gave it religion, and the monster buried him when he died.
  • The short story "The Only Good Orc" by Liz Holiday, published in Dragon magazine, is about an orc who has become a devout member of a Lawful Good religion, and an elf who pretends to believe this in order to use him, but assumes it's actually some kind of trick. The elf learns to his cost that the orc is entirely genuine, but Good Is Not Nice.
  • Mr Nutt in Unseen Academicals is an orc and born-again Omnian, since an Omnian Badass Preacher was one of the first people who made him feel like a person, not a monster.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Andromeda: Wayism, a Buddhist-like cult of pacifism and universal harmony, is followed by some of the Magog race, which are otherwise Always Chaotic Evil. One of the original main characters is a Magog Wayist named Rev Bem.
  • The angel in Midnight Mass (2021) is strongly implied to be a Christian, since it spares monsignor Pruitt after hearing him pray and helps him on his quest to convert the people of the island into devout Christian vampires. It even wears a priest robe and participates in Easter Vigil at one point.
  • In Supernatural, some demons are Christian, or at least implied to be, because, you know, their war with angels is quite a big proof of the fact that Christians were right in at least a few things. There's also a Christian group of werewolves in one episode.

  • This trope pretty much describes the whole shtick of German Power Metal band Powerwolf, whose songs riff on Catholic imagery and vampire and werewolf legends in equal measure. The monsters are routinely described as praising God while doing what monsters stereotypically do, and the album art generally depicts werewolves dressed as monks or priests.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons: In the adventure Knight of the Living Dead, the protagonist is a human worshiper of the Forgotten Realms deity Torm. He dies and is brought back as an undead, which are normally Evil. He still has the capacity for Good inside him and, if he succeeds in his mission to stop an evil plot, Torm may bring him back to life.
  • GURPS: The GURPS Banestorm setting has humans from medieval Earth and many other races from other worlds all being brought together in a magical world. This has lead to things like Orc tribes adopting the religion of their human neighbors, usually Islam or Christianity.
  • In Nightlife, the leader of the pro-Human faction of monsters, Golgothanote , is a Christian and wears a cross (usually kept hidden to avoid hurting his fellow monsters).
  • Pathfinder:
    • In one of the comics, Kyra, the iconic Cleric character, gets the party out of a fight against an otyugh, a giant, tentacled, sewer-dwelling filth-eating monster, by talking it down once she realizes it's an intelligent being and converting it to the worship of her goddess, Sarenrae.
    • Dragons are generally fairly irreligious — the majority mainly ignore the setting's deities, while most of the remainder simply respect them in the manner one respects a sovereign. Sky dragons are a notable exception, as they maintain a strong religious tradition and a sincere reverence for the gods. Another notable exception is the red dragon great wyrm Aashaq, a draconic cleric... who in this case happens to be a devout worshipper of Dahak, the Chaotic Evil dragon god of wrath and destruction.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Unfleshed are grotesque, skinless mutants that are the rejects of a project to manufacture Chaos Space marines more quickly though a very disgusting process. Despite being a product of Chaos, they are aligned with the Emperor of Mankind instead.
    • In early editions, both Ogryn and Beastmen could serve in the Imperial Guard, with the Ogryns having unshakeable childlike faith in the Emperor while the Beastmen saw their service to Him as penance for being mutants. In recent editions, only Ogryns are still used, still as devout as ever (when Ogryn end up serving Chaos, it's usually a matter of telling them the other side has made the Emperor angry).
  • Warhammer Fantasy: The Elf god Khaine is worshiped as a War God by the High Elves as a paragon of martial honor and valor. The Dark Elves worship Khaine as well, but as a vicious god of murder and cruelty.

    Video Games 
  • Darkest Dungeon: For a given value of "monster", the Abomination hero, who is a sort of demon-werewolf-Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde kind of thing, has the ability to pray to God for healing. Despite this, all the heroes with the Religious Bruiser subtype refuse to partner with him (at least until the Color of Madness DLC when they realize they're being jerks).
  • Darkstalkers:
    • Felicia is a Cat Girl that was raised in a convent and actually becomes a Roman Catholic nun in the third game's ending.
    • Donovan Baine doesn't look like a monster at first, but he is actually a half-vampire who holds back a terrible dark side. This is why he became a Buddhist monk to control himself.
  • Deltarune has the minor NPC Father Alvin, a winged griffin-turtle kind of creature who is the pastor at the town's church
  • In Shin Megami Tensei, all the Law demons are this. When YHWH came to power, he demanded all demons serve him. Those who agreed became angels (Law). Those that refused or were neutral remained demons.
  • In Sword of the Stars, the Tarka apparently have a psychological need to believe in a higher power, and once they met Mankind, they converted to Catholicism.


    Web Original 
  • SCP Foundation, SCP-166 ("Teenage Gaea"). SCP-166 is the daughter of a nature goddess and Dr Clef, a man who possibly is the devil. She was given to a Catholic convent as a baby and was raised as (and is currently) a Catholic. In the original version of the article, she had the abilities of a succubus, but with no control of her abilities. The rewritten version of the article instead has her take after her mother instead, having the abilities of a pagan goddess.

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons: In one of the Treehouse of Terror episodes, the aliens Kang and Kodos reveal that they're Young Earth Creationists.
    Kang: We have been monitoring your species ever since your planet was created, 6000 years ago, by God.
  • South Park has alien Roman Catholic priests.