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Eko's stick, one of many Christian references in Lost
Throughout the show, Christianity is referred to the most among other religions. Christianity is the belief that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he came to Earth, died on the cross and rose from the dead in order to save humanity from their sins. Christians believe that sincere repentance of sins, and faith in Jesus Christ is the path to salvation. Some explicit references are made through the characters' own practices, and other implicit references are found in the storyline, mostly to reflect the general concept of "faith" more than the specific religion.
Characters in Charlie's dream assumed the pose of figures in Verrocchio's Baptism of Christ reflected in Charlie's dream
As revealed in his flashbacks, Charlie Pace was raised a devout Catholic, and was an altar boy. Charlie detached from his religious roots for a while, when introduced to the world of drugs and fame in his music career. However, in the events of Claire's kidnap and influenced by Rose's strong faith, the traumatized Charlie found remedy in turning to his faith and asking God for help, although he regressed again shortly when he comes to the heroin-filled Virgin Mary statues. Claire temporarily, interpreted the statues as a sign of Charlie's religious tendencies before the truth unfolded. After his arrival at the survivors' camp, Eko also played a critical role in influencing Charlie's faith attachment. Charlie approached and befriended Eko and helped him in building the first known church on the Island. Later, Charlie was visited by vivid dreams with his mother and Claire as angels and Hurley as John the Baptist in asking him to "save" Aaron. Eko guidesdhim to the possible relation of saving Aaron and baptism. Influenced by Charlie's urges, Claire approached Eko who baptized her and Aaron upon her request, making them both, accordingly, Catholic. As a final testament to his faith, Charlie did the sign of the Cross right before he died.
Eko baptizing Aaron and Claire
Catholicism is further referenced through Eko's own Flashbacks, which introduced his Catholic priest brother, Yemi. Both Eko and Yemi were raised Catholic before Eko strayed to the life of crime to save his brother. After Yemi was kidnapped by Eko's accomplices in the Beechcraft, Eko took his place in church posing as a priest. He later embraced his new role through an overseas position for which Yemi had applied. Later, the reluctant Eko was sent to Australia by the Monsignor to investigate the claim of Joyce Malkin that her daughter Charlotte miraculously rose from the dead. In spite of his disbelief, Eko was stopped by Charlotte at the airport to deliver him a message from the dead Yemi to strengthen his faith. After killing two of the Others in self defense, Eko took a redeeming vow for 40 days of silence, reminiscent of Lent tradition or Jesus' 40 days in the wilderness. Honoring Yemi was the motivation for Eko's attempt in building the Church, which also served as his means of Redemption, before Yemi visited him in a dream, after which he accepted pushing the button as his new redeeming task. In his final moments, the monster confronted Eko with several images of characters from his past, including Yemi, who repeatedly asked him to "confess". Eko refused this traditional Catholic step toward redemption, earning the monster's wrath and leading to his death.
Desmond Hume was a Novice in a monastery in Eddington, Scotland under Brother Campbell. The monastery's source of income was producing wine under the Moriah Vineyard label. He was once engaged to Ruth, whom he left when he felt a higher calling after meeting Brother Campbell. Ruth wore a Rosary and has a prominent Crucifix on her wall. ("Catch-22")
Other Island survivors with a Catholic background include Hurley, who was raised by a Catholic mother. Carmen strongly denounced the idea of curses when a series of unfortunare events struck Hurley. Hurley later bought her a gold statue of Jesus, he prayed when trying to fix the DHARMA Van. Catholicism is mentioned very briefly in one of Kate's flashbacks as well. Kate went to Sunday School as a girl and that her alias, "Lucy" was inspired by St. Lucy. Edward Mars revealed that their short call occurred on the Catholic Feast of the Assumption, celebrated on August 15th (8/15)). ("Left Behind")
Among the significant references, there is the notation, "Sursum corda", found on the blast door map, meaning "Lift up your hearts", which holds a notable explicit reference, since it is the phrase often used in addressing the Catholic mass in the beginning of the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
Locke's anger management meeting was in the meeting room of a Christian church, as stained glass is visible. This church may be Catholic, as identified by the church exterior which includes a white statue of the Virgin Mary.
Boone wore a cross pendant.
The memorial service for Christian Shepherd was held in a Catholic church.
Ms. Hawking and Ben Linus meet in what appears, from the candles and statues, to be a Catholic church or chapel. ("The Lie"). Later after appearing to pray and lighting a votive candle Benn tells Jack the story of St. Thomas.
Richard Alpert confesses to a priest, Father Suarez, in Tenerife. Suarez tells him that he will go to Hell because he does not have time to perform absolution for such a considerable sin as murder, because he will be hanged soon. However, this is not an accurate understanding of Christian doctrine.
The Brothers Karamazov
Orthodox Christianity was only referenced in the storyline through mentioning Fyodor Dostoevsky, whom Locke and Ben speak of while debating his famous book, The Brothers Karamazov. Dostoevsky was in fact an intensely faithful member of the Russian Orthodox Church, which reflected in most of his work and in particular The Brothers Karamazov. In their debate, Ben picks a line from the book, "Men reject their prophets and slay them, but they love their martyrs and honor those whom they have slain," to use in exploring Locke's own motivations and his position on Faith.
Dostoevsky also wrote a book called The Demons or The Devils which was a critique in fiction of the atheist and anarchist represented by Russian philosophers like Bakunin, the namesake of Lost's Mikhail Bakunin.
A single explicit reference to Protestantism was made by revealing Francis Heatherton's earlier involvement in a rock band called "The Protestant Reformation."Protestantism was implicitly referenced twice in the storyline, both through apparently Protestant weddings. The first was the wedding of Jack and Sarah, and the second was that of Kate and Kevin Callis. The funeral of Sawyer's parents takes place at a church that could be of any denomination but given that it's in the South and the architecture is more indicative of Protestant churches than Catholic ones the odds favor that it was Protestant.("The Incident, Part 2") The title of a Kate-centric episode is the same as that of a series (and its first book) by a pair of Evangelicals that is centered on a fundamentalist interpretation of the Book of Revelation. ("Left Behind")
The show often references and alludes to the Bible. These references vary from physical appearances of the Bible and explicit biblical discussion to characters and plots that the Bible may have inspired.
Sacraments and rituals
Several instances have occurred in Lost of characters being submerged under water at pivotal points. Charlie in season 2 feels the need to baptize Aaron, and Eko later baptizes Aaron and Claire. Charlie's dream in that episode is based on Andrea del Verrocchio's 1475 painting "The Baptism of Christ." ("Fire + Water") After returning to the Island, Jack plunges into a pond in the middle of the jungle. The Others' submerging Sayid the Temple spring brings to mind the Christian baptism. ("LA X, Part 1") Jacob's dunking Richard in the ocean also resembles a baptism. ("Ab Aeterno")
Ben prays in a church, and Desmond prays on the beach. ("316") ("Catch-22") Rose prays with Charlie, and Eko later does the same. ("The Moth") ("The 23rd Psalm") Locke leads his commune in what appears to be Christian prayer. ("Further Instructions")
The Sign of the Cross in particular has appeared in multiple episodes. Charlie crossed himself right before he dies. ("Through the Looking Glass, Part 2") Similarly, Desmond crossed himself before turning the key. ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 2") Some fans claim the Monster made the sign of the cross with Eko's body when it killed him. ("The Cost of Living")
Eko smuggles heroin in Virgin Mary statues, which later find their way to the island, and Hurley orders a solid gold Jesus statue for his mother. ("Tricia Tanaka Is Dead") Eko finds Yemi's cross on the island, loses it during the Hatch implosion and later receives it again from Locke. ("The 23rd Psalm") ("The Cost of Living")
Hell is the place of judgment or punishment in Christianity. Anthony Cooper tells Sawyer that the Island must be Hell, and Richard later reveals he feels the same way. ("The Brig") ("Ab Aeterno") Pierre Chang warns that drilling into the pocket of energy at the Swan site would "open the gates of hell". ("The Incident, Part 1") Richard was tricked into believing that the Island was Hell. During the storm, the prisoners could see the Statue of Taweret in the dark, and thought it was the devil. Later on, The Man in Black uses this in order to persuade and manipulate him into thinking that Jacob was the devil, and the only way to escape from Hell is to kill him. ("Ab Aeterno")
There have been several literary works featured and referenced on Lost relating to Christianity.
- Left Behind, by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins: shares the title of Season 3, Episode 15 "Left Behind." This book is about the Rapture and the End Times in Christianity, as described in the Bible.
- Fear and Trembling, by Søren Kierkegaard: this book was found with Montand inside of the Temple Wall in "LA X, Part 1." This book is about faith and discusses the faith of Abraham. The book talks about the concepts of the "Knight of Faith" and a "Leap of Faith."
- Bible Gateway - online Bible with numerous translations and all 66 books
- Get Christian Answers - Includes many articles and community answers that answer questions about Christianity.