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Apart from Catholicism (and, in the past, Anglo-Saxon Christianity), are there any other confessions that allow or encourage the cult of Saints? Can it be considered as a sort of paganism?

Edit: I explicitly mentioned the Roman Catholic church. I thought you are aware that in Italy, the nation of Catholicism, the vast majority of people are devoted to, lay their faith in and address their prayers not to the Lord and to HEAVEN, but to ordinary men like San Gennaro , San Nicola, whose blood and shins they venerate and trust. This is the cult of Saints, which has substituted the faith in The Lord

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    What do you mean by "the cult of Saints"?
    – curiousdannii
    Jul 6 at 11:16
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    @curiousdannii I think the OP means the same in scholarly history of Christianity: various veneration & devotional practices around saints and their relics starting in the late antique period up to the Reformation (see here for various aspects of the "cult"). Peter Brown, a historian who coined "late antique period", possibly also coined the term "cult of saints" if not popularized it through his well cited book The Cult of the Saints: Its Rise and Function in Latin Christianity. Jul 6 at 13:26
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    So you're just asking about praying to saints/the intercession of saints? It's not common to call that "the cult of saints"!
    – curiousdannii
    Jul 7 at 10:00
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    You will have to edit your question, as it states falsehoods concerning Catholicism such as "This is the cult of Saints, which has substituted the faith in The Lord" and " the vast majority of people are devoted to, lay their faith in and address their prayers not to the Lord and to HEAVEN, but to ordinary men" Jul 8 at 15:43
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    @curiousdannii It comes from the word cultus, and means the [religious] attitudes, habits, [prayers, rites] etc. concerning a particular [religion-related] thing. It has the root sense of a traditional or habitual order of doing things. Hence 'how we treat Mary' is a 'cultus.' It made its way into more theological works by Catholics in English because of the heavy reliance on Latin in the West. It should not be confused with the other definition of cult, namely, some whacky religious outfit. They are spelled the same but are two different words essentially. Jul 8 at 15:48

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I believe this may answer your first question with regard to non-Christian religions:

The Jewish hasid or tsaddiq, the Islamic qidees, the Zoroastrian fravashi, the Hindu rsi or guru, the Buddhist arahant or bodhisattva, the Daoist shengren, the Shinto kami, and others have all been referred to as saints. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint#Other_religions

However, we need to define what is meant (in Christian terms) by “saint.” The word “saint” comes from the Greek word hagios, which means “consecrated to God, holy, sacred, pious." The words “sanctified” and “holy” come from the same Greek root as the word that is commonly translated “saints.” Christians are called to be saints, (1 Corinthians 1:2) to increasingly allow their daily life to more closely match their position in Christ.

To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy…

The Protestant perspective is that all born-again Christians are saints, the body of Christ. The Church is made up of saints, followers of Christ Jesus who are still alive. The Bible also speaks of dead saints, those who have been killed because of their faith and their witness to Christ Jesus (Revelation 6:9-11). They wait until God says the time has come to avenge them.

How does the Roman Catholic understanding of “saints” compare with the biblical teaching?

In Roman Catholic theology, the saints are in heaven. In the Bible, the saints are on earth. In Roman Catholic teaching, a person does not become a saint unless he/she is “beatified” or “canonized” by the Pope or prominent bishop... In Roman Catholic practice, the saints are revered, prayed to, and in some instances, worshiped. In the Bible, saints are called to revere, worship, and pray to God alone. https://www.gotquestions.org/saints-Christian.html

From another source:

In Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, Oriental Orthodox, and Lutheran doctrine, all of their faithful deceased in Heaven are considered to be saints, but some are considered worthy of greater honor or emulation. Official ecclesiastical recognition, and consequently a public cult of veneration, is conferred on some denominational saints through the process of canonization in the Catholic Church or glorification in the Eastern Orthodox Church after their approval. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint

In many Protestant churches, the word saint is used more generally to refer to anyone who is a Christian. This is similar in usage to Paul's numerous references in the New Testament of the Bible. In this sense, anyone who is within the Body of Christ (i.e., a professing Christian) is a saint because of their relationship with Christ Jesus. Many Protestants consider intercessory prayers to the saints to be idolatry, since what they perceive to be an application of divine worship that should be given only to God himself is being given to other believers, dead or alive. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint#Other_Protestantism

The problem with your question lies in the suggestion that having “saints” in a Christian religion is somehow cultish. If saints were worshipped, adored, prayed to or venerated, perhaps. But because the Protestant view of saints is that all born-again Christians who obey Christ and follow him are saints, that they make up the body of his church (a body of believers, and not any building or denomination), then there is no basis I can see for thinking there is anything cultish in acknowledging the existence of saints.

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  • I think OP has defined "cult of saints" in the edit as those having substituted the faith in The Lord not simply acknowledging the existence of saints. Perhaps the edit came after you posted your answer. Jul 7 at 11:18
  • I think the point of OP is whether there is worship for/ prayers to the saints, not just usage of the word "saint". This answer is not an answer at all. It's good regarding usage of the word saint but not regarding the intention of OP "cult of saints".
    – kutschkem
    Jul 7 at 11:53
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    The word cultus means the [religious] attitudes, habits, [prayers, rites] etc. concerning a particular [religion-related] thing. It has the root sense of a traditional or habitual order of doing things. Hence 'how we treat Mary' is a 'cultus.' It made its way into more theological works by Catholics in English because of the heavy reliance on Latin in the West. It should NOT be confused (will be anyway..) with the other definition of cult in ENGLISH, namely, some whacky religious outfit. They are spelled the same but are two different words essentially. Jul 8 at 15:50
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    As I said, it refers to the habits or traditions surrounding a thing. So in the case of the saints, it refers to the kinds of acceptable, traditional, or habitual things surrounding or concerning them. It is that loose of a concept. For example, a common feature of the cultus of Mary is the holy Rosary. An item of the cultus of St. Michael is the St. Michael Prayer after Low Mass. Jul 8 at 16:54
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    @Lesley In essence, the phrase "the cult of X" refers to people who belong to a broader religion, but worship one of the deities of that religion in particular- all Norse pagans might have believed in Odin, but the berserkers were a cult of Odin - they worshipped him, specifically. All Hindus might believe in Kali, but the Thuggees were a cult of Kali, since they specifically worshipped her. So "the cult of saints" would refer to people within the greater Christian religion that have special religious practices specifically devoted to the saints.
    – nick012000
    Jul 9 at 6:47

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