The player creates and evolves a cult/religion in an effort to expand and become the only major religion in a country. The game, set in the 1950s, generates a population with randomized traits and the player tries to expand their fledgling cult/religion through missionaries, radio/poster campaigns while evolving their theology to enhance their appeal and create orthodoxy.
Note: The game will have no supernatural element. We're not presuming whether God exists or not, that's not something we're exploring. However, religion is a human construction and this idea predicates our game.
What we are doing is essentially a spiritual take on Plague Inc. The way ideas spread is not much different from how germs spread. This thought was beautifully illuminated in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rE3j_RHkqJc.
Exploration of Ideological State Apparatus
Function of religion is never, ever to only provide spiritual guidance. In fact, spiritual guidance might merely be a by product. The primary function of religion is always ideological. In our game, we want to portray this aspect. Note that you can see this ideological side in its most naked form in materialistic "religions" like Amway and Landmark Forum. Yes, these are religions (or cults) as they fulfill the same ideological function as other more recognizable religions.
Religious belief and it's translation into real life is inherently political, and we hope to capture that. By the simple act of following one religion over another, there is a divergence that can lead to very different kind of futures for both the religions and their adherents.