Helian theology centers around the worship of a single god, the sun. It is the belief of the Helian people that the sun is an all-powerful immortal being who rules all of existence from his realm at the top of the world. It is for this reason that the name Heaven is regularly used to describe the perpetually sunlit hemisphere of Solus. Helian scripture teaches the theory of the World Dome in order to explain the nature of the universe. In short, this theory explains that all of Solus exists on the underside of a great domed structure, with the light of God (the Sun) resting at its apex and the cold wastes of Oblivion stretching below to infinity. Some scientific observations are critical of this theory, but within the borders of the Helian Empire, they are largely suppressed by the state.
The theology of the Helian people is incredibly important in their culture. In fact, the church and the government are essentially the same entity. The Helian Emperor, or Caliph, rules the empire in all civic, religious, and military matters, working in close contact with ministers from both the church and other governmental institutions. The Caliph rules by Divine Right, but is not himself (or herself) to be worshipped, only duly respected as a humble servant of God. The Caliph is a virgin, in accordance with his or her duties as a religious leader, so upon the death of the Caliph, a new leader is chosen by a council vote. Generally, this council considers qualities such as piety, humility, leadership, and wisdom. The current Caliph of the Helian Empire is Caliph Bashaar II.
It is the duty of every Helian citizen to live their life in service of the glorification of God. Incidences of heresy are generally rather low. Except for the most severe of cases, heretics are usually brought to the church for reeducation before any punishment is handed out. If an individual is deemed beyond the power of the church to heal, he or she may be sentenced to undertake a forced “pilgrimage” to purify his or her soul. Such individuals are taken to the wastes of Heaven and left in the desert, unconscious, and with minimal supplies. They are then expected to commune with God and find forgiveness and guidance to shelter, or to meet their doom on the burning sands. If, however, a heretic is deemed to be be hopelessly lost in the eyes of God, he is instead taken to the wastes of Oblivion and left to die alone and naked on the frozen tundra. This is a symbolically significant fate as well, for the heretic is considered to be beyond the saving light of God and their soul is condemned to wander in Oblivion for eternity, never finding its way to Heaven.
The treatment of heretics is then very indicative of the beliefs the Helian people hold about the afterlife. It is believed that when a person dies, the soul will try to find its way to Heaven, following the light of God toward His domain at the top of the world. To assist in this journey, Helians generally cremate their dead. It is also believed, and quite likely nearly true, that no mortal being can ever enter God’s realm before being immolated by His divine light. As temperatures on the sunward pole of Solus can reach around 150ºC, no living humanoid can survive anywhere close to this region. Because of this belief, Helians revere fire elementals and other such blazing creatures, believing them to be the spirits of the dead who have found their way to heaven.