I had this idea for an alternate history mod where Martin Luther ends up being exiled into Scandinavia while Germany remained predominately Catholic. At the same time, the Catholic Church purges itself clean of any and all forms of indulgences and decides to translate the Bible all while promoting a metaphorical interpretation of it. In response, the Orthodox Church, while struggling against the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans, seeks out new followers among the Poles, who quickly adopt it as their new religion. The Czechs, on the other hand, due to Habsburg pressure and the lack of a large Protestant base in Germany, remains strongly Catholic. On the 26th of July, 1581, the Dutch become an independent kingdom under the leadership of the Lynden family as opposed to the Oranje-Nassau in the OTL and the Dutch Republic doesn't exist. Willem van Oranje's family went into the Netherlands to escape being forcibly exiled to Scandinavia and set up a new life there. Calvinism still happens, but it is less prevalent outside of parts of Switzerland and the Dutch Kingdom. By 1618 towards 1648, the Thirty Years' War still occurs, only instead of it being between Protestants and Catholics, it is fought between the government of the incestous Habsburgs (backed by the Spanish and Polish) and the Hohenzollern-led rebellion (backed by the French, the Pope, and the predominately-Protestant Swedes) over who has the right to rule the Holy Roman Empire. The war ends in a tie. In 1776, the United States gains independence from England thanks to the aid of its colonial rivals, Spain and France. The Napoleonic Wars and the Belgian Independence war still occur with Belgium fighting for its freedom from the predominately Calvinist Dutch kingdom. The timeline remains the same excluding certain events: the Confederates winning the Civil War in America, though the Ku Klux Klan still appears out of fear of Black uprisings, and then begin industrializing the slave system rapidly by 1877, Alaska becomes a British colony in 1867 via invasion because America is too broke to pay for it from Russia, Liberia being a Confederate Protectorate by 1892, the Scramble for Africa happens, the House of Hohenzollern still rising to power to compete with the Habsburgs, only they're Catholic instead of Protestant, Charles Darwin converting to Catholicism on his death bed and being venerated as a patron saint of evolutionary biology by the Catholic Church, a Catholic Prussia unified Germany instead of a Lutheran one, Tunisia being under Italian rule instead of French rule, The Crown exiled Charles Darwin and his research to Germany in 1873 as England becomes more staunch in its defense for creationism, though supporters of Darwin still remain in the country, the Brazilian Empire still existing and having slavery while being two times more industrialized than in the OTL without cutting down the rainforest, Cambodia being a Belgian colony while France keeps the rest of Indochina, Austria-Hungary controls Gabon, Scotland remains independent and colonizes Nigeria in the 19th century, and the eastern half of South Africa being under Dutch Rule instead of English.
Then a major movement in the 20th century occurs in 1914, when Germany, France, Brazil, the United States, England, and Italy join forces against Austria-Hungary, Russia, the Ottomans, the Confederate States, and Spain. Churchill dies in the Battle of Tannenburg while fighting alongside General Von Ludendorff against Tsarist forces. Germany and Austria fight each other instead of being allies because in this timeline, the Habsburg and Hohenzollern families are fighting over who should rule over and unite the German people under a pan-Germanic empire. By 1917, the Russian Empire falls and is soon replaced by the Soviet Union under Leon Trotsky. In 1919, the war ends in a Anglo-French-German victory, giving rise to the new countries of Poland, Czechoslovakia, Finland, Florida, and Texas. In 1921, just as in our timeline, Ireland gains independence from English, but in this alternate universe, they get to have Northern Ireland as a treat, thus unifying the whole island.
But despite their victory, a great economic depression occurs and Italy and Germany soon turn their backs on their former allies. The two end up being fascist countries in the process. In the case of Germany, an anti-semitic, anti-Protestant, anti-Slavic, theistic-evolutionist, eugenicist, pro-Catholic, homophobic group of fascists called the Nationalist Darwinist Workers' Party led by war veteran, devout Catholic, evolutionary biologist, and philosopher named Heinrich Kranz seized power on March 12th, 1933 and formed a totalitarian regime hellbent on world domination. They were infuriated with their former English and French allies not allowing them to fulfill their incorporation of Austria into the empire due to the Treaty of Brussels that prevents the possibility of a pan-Germanic union and limits on the military sizes of all world nations (except Britain, the United States, and France), hence their dissatisfaction with the "mutilated victory" they had to go through. The German regime allows women's rights, though. Adolf Hitler, in this same alternate universe, is shot dead along with Horst Wessel at the hands of Communist sympathizers on November 13th, 1931, about two years before Heinrich Kranz becomes dictator. Once in power, he and his inner party members passed in the Enabling Act to grant him emergency powers in response to a failed Communist uprising on November 11th, 1933, ending democracy in Germany and stripping the Jews, homosexuals, Slavs, and Protestants of their rights as citizens. Heinrich Himmler, being an ex-Catholic turned neopagan, flees to Danish-controlled Iceland along with a few like-minded occultist fellows while plotting to one day return to Germany and overthrow Kranz's pro-Catholic evolutionist regime. Joseph Goebbels, despite being staunchly anti-Catholic, serves as the Nationalist Darwinist state's Minister of Propaganda while the Austrian-born Ernst Kaltenbrunner ends up becoming head of a secret police organization known as the Teutonic Knights Templar. Albert Einstein doesn't exist in this universe and is instead replaced by a German Catholic scientist and physicist named Karl Schmidt, who is in league with the Nationalist-Darwinist movement, discovers the same scientific breakthroughs as his Jewish counterpart (ex. General Relativity) and is put in charge of the AUROCHS Project, which is a program established in order to commence the development of the atomic bomb. Of course, there should be an option for the British, the French, the United States, the Brazilians, and the Soviets to help at least a few scientists flee from Germany so they can start their own nuclear program. The Nationalist-Darwinist Paleontological Society was later formed in late 1933 as part of an effort to combine Catholic theology and Darwinian evolution with scientific racism and extreme forms of Pan-Germanic nationalism.
Images of Fuhrer Kranz, Charles Darwin, Otto von Bismarck, Charlemagne, Sigfried (who they view as the ancestor of Jesus Christ), and Otto the Great are common within them households of the everyday German citizen and the leadership, since they are all declared by the state to be the "patron saints of the restored fatherland" all while claiming that Jesus descended from purely Germanic immigrants who ended living in Israel (even though he was actually Jewish, so its propaganda they're preaching). They even claim that the Christian God views the Germanic "master race" as his new chosen people and that the Jews are cursed because they tainted themselves with so much sin that they lost the good Lord's favor (again, its propaganda). The leadership strongly promotes both a technocratic and stratocratic approach to the improvement of society, believing that through a combination of faith, science, and nationalistic fervor are essential to the nation's preservation. The current Kaiser of Germany, Wilhelm III, who ascended to the throne after the death of his stubborn father, Wilhelm II, has now become a powerless prisoner in his country who is being used by Kranz's regime to legitimize its control over German society. Most of the women in the German Reich prefer to work in the factories alongside men as well as bare children for the state, though they allowed to join the military, which they see as mostly a "guy thing."
Meanwhile, a bankrupt, divided Austria, once a major power in Europe, is now on the brink of complete economic collapse and is forced to either integrate in the German nation or become engulfed in a civil war between the nostalgic, traditionalist, pro-Habsburg monarchists and the Austrian Communist Party. The Habsburg family lived in exile and poverty within English-ruled Canada, but there are rumors that the English and French are making plans to bring about the return of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and install Otto von Habsburg as the new Kaiser. The Austrian government is a Neo-Nepotist oligarchy that cares little for their plight of the masses, often fending for themselves rather than lose all their enormous wealth. However, Kurt Schuschnigg, leader of the Fatherland Front, is determined to seize power, by force if necessary, in order to save the country and restore it to its former glory with the aid his own brand of fascism, though not the Nationalist-Darwinist brand. To make matters worst, the Vatican continues to excommunicate the Habsburg family for its inbred taint and are viewed as the "black sheep of the Fatherland" by the rest of the Germans, including even most of their fellow Austrians. This brings about a superstition among the lower classes that the Habsburg family descended from a demonic marriage between a medieval prostitute and Satan, although there is absolutely no evidence about it. Nevertheless, the German government plans to influence the Austrians into embracing their annexation into the fatherland in order to fulfill their Pan-German agenda.
As for the Lutherans, they are prevented from even entering the German nation since the Diet of Worms in 1521 within this alternate timeline, where Prince Frederick III, Elector of Saxony, died a year earlier and Martin Luther is arrested by the pro-Catholic after he completed his German translation of the Bible and was then punished with forced exile into Scandinavia to never again return to Germany under penalty of death. They then give credit for the German translation of the Bible to the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, further damning Luther and his dream of creating a separate church of his own. Since then, Germany has little to no love for Protestantism in this alternate timeline and had led to centuries of discrimination against its followers, who are a small minority. However, there is rumor that a fundamentalist Christian group of creationist fanatics known as the Sons of Luther plot a conspiracy to return to Germany with arms and start a Second Protestant Reformation with the goal to destroy Catholicism, ban modern science, and persecute anyone who dares to collaborate with the people they believed had wronged them for four hundred years. Some more left-leaning lutherans even proposed a Christianized version of Marxist Communism, believing that the Holy Bible is not truly incompatible with the idea of a workers' paradise, an belief that Trotsky would not be pleased with.
Elsewhere, the Confederates feel cheated by their defeat by the Union and suffer from the economic depression the most all while being forced by the Treaty of Brussels to pay most of the war reparations and abolish slavery, giving rise to a far-right, Nationalist-Darwinist movement in the American South that blames Evangelical Protestants, Blacks, Jews, and the Mormons for their plight, bringing about their rise to power. Under the new regime, the African Americans living in the country are now labeled as "Children of Ham" due to both the regime's religious overtones and its hijacking of Darwinian evolution, which are used as tools to justify the racist ideology that it advocates. Their leader, Fred Riverstone, a war veteran and disgraced painter turned ruthless tyrant, has insidious plans for the future of America and plans a terrible fate for the Jews, homosexuals, and racial minorities in the country. Under his cruel regime, slavery has serenely been re-instituted, forcing many blacks and Hispanics into working in the factories for the coming Confederate war machine. However, deep within the shadows of Confederate society, a secret resistance movement made mostly of black communists and socialists fight for both the survival of their African American way of life and for the promise of a workers' utopia based on racial equality.
Sweden, in this alternate universe, became a safe refuge for the Lutherans, who ended up becoming the majority of the country's population. Since this alternate universe has no Thirty Years War, due to Martin Luther's banishment from Germany, Gustavus Adolphus focused his attention of rebuilding the Kalmar Union of old in the form of the Swedish Empire, waging wars in Scandinavia, Pomerania, Karelia, and Schleswig-Holstein. Yet just as they were enjoying their rule over Northern Europe, the Great Northern War brought about an end to the Swedish golden age and gave rise to Tsarist Russia, which would see its own demise in 1917. Despite being neutral from the First Great War, Sweden ends up being more involved in world politics and is engulfed by a paranoid fear that the Sami, Slavs, and Finns would one day over populate them, leading towards the rise of a pro-Lutheran Nationalist Darwinist Party of Sweden into office with its leader, Sven Olov Lindholm, as the new dictator, chanting the worlds "till Valhalla." Once in power, the Party begins to implement racist laws against the the three groups they hate against and has them rounded up into internment camps all while promoting and increase birthrate among those within the Swedish population who are members of the Nordic "master race." They have even gone so far as to adopt Norse runes as part of their "cultural renewal" programs. There are a few within the government however, who secretly wish to return the Scandinavian people to their Norse pagan roots, get rid of Lindholm, and ban all other religions completely.
Bordering west of Sweden, the country of Norway is soon taken over by the fascist government of the Nationalist-Fideist Party of Norway led by Stein Barth-Heyerdahl, whose desires to return the country to its pagan roots and his hatred towards Christianity have soured relations between it and the predominately Catholic Germans. Much to Mussolini, Lindholm, and Fuhrer Kranz's disgust, human sacrifice is condoned within the newly formed Norse Federation and yet, despite its best efforts, it has a relatively weak military force due to the country being isolated from the rest of the world. Nevertheless, the Norwegian dictator has secret plans to help the exiled Italian Julius Evola and Heinrich Himmler seized power within their respective countries. Such a feat, however, would not be easy, especially since Fuhrer Kranz and Mussolini have both of their secret police organizations on alert for any and all dissent and/or conspiracy against them. The Norse secret police organization known as the Hands of Tyr, led by Commander Jonas Lie, is rather infamous for its sinister use of physical and psychological torture upon political opponents of the government. Those who survived and fled outside of the country's borders report that the secretive organization would even go so far as to conduct the ritualistic execution method of the Blood Eagle upon a chosen, unlucky few, and then eat their corpses, thought this rumor is disregarded as "rubbish" by the outside world. By 1933, Stein Barth-Heyerdahl died from assassination at the hands of a French agent, resulting in Jonas Lie seizing power and worsening the situation for the allied forces of the west.
Classical Fascism (as in the same kind as the Fascism from our OTL) become popular in Spain, Greece and Italy, only they're more tolerant of Jewish and Slavic peoples, despite their friendly relations with Nationalist-Darwinist Germany. Then again, the Spanish Fascists do hold anti-Basque and Anti-Arabic views. Furthermore, in this alternate universe, Francisco Franco takes over Spain by getting elected to power rather than fighting for power like he did in the OTL during the Spanish Civil War. Furthermore, the Spanish Fascists are are ultra-Catholic in this timeline and they embrace theistic evolution, though not in the same manner as the Nationalist-Darwinists. Of course, the members of the shady organization called Opus Dei, although claiming itself as Catholic, is accused by the Jesuits of being a "freemason" organization run by pagans disguised as Christians with the intent to create a fundamentalist state in Spain.
In this timeline, Benito Mussolini, a former socialist turned ruthless fascist dictator, rules Italy with an iron fist and commands a slightly more competent military force and a vast navy dwarfed only by those commanded by England, Japan, and Germany. There, the brilliant Italian scientist Enrico Galgivonni had discovered DNA in 1933, two decades earlier than James Watson and Francis Crick in our OTL. Because of this, molecular science is discovered at an earlier time and the Germans quickly adopt and learn from the scientific breakthroughs made by their Italian allies. Australia, by 1930, declares itself an independent Republic as they no longer wish to live under England's shadow and fight in another series of carnage.
The Soviet Union under Trotsky is just like the one under Stalin, only much worst, especially since in this universe, the former is more expansionist and aggressive than the latter due to his ideas of "permanent revolution." As opposed to the OTL, Stalin is the one who gets exile and ends up living in a fortified house in Argentina, plotting his return to Russia. The Eastern Orthodox Church, driven out of Russia, is now sandwiched between the militant-atheist armies of Trotsky's Red Army in the East and the growingly anti-Slavic fascists of Germany in the West, which brings panic among the Poles. Kornilov and Kolchak, unlike in the OTL, manage to escape from the Communists and now secretly plan a comeback to overthrow the Bolshevik regime.
Romania, another Orthodox country, ends up having sour relations with the Hungarians as its leader, Miklós Horthy, becomes more sympathetic to Nationalist-Darwinist Germany and plans to reclaim Transylvania, along with other lost territories that had been taken from them under the Treaty of Trianon. Due to the weakness that the Habsburg family had shown during WWI, most Hungarian monarchists now turn to the Esterházy family as potential candidates for the throne, especially Prince Paul, who now takes up the royal name of Vladislaus III.
Israel gains its independence in 1920 in this alternate universe thanks to fundamentalist, creationist, anti-imperialist, Zionist take over of the country that now puts British influence in the Middle East into question, especially with Israeli forces now holding possession of some of the powerful technology they have taken from their colonial masters. The Free Democratic Republic of Sonora, which is run by a socialist authoritarian society, ends up seceding from Mexico in 1921 and is now secretly serving as a refuge for escaping blacks who are fleeing from the Confederate States' secret police force known as the Stonewall Guard, named after the Confederate general named Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson.