Likewise, in Christianity there are 12 tribes and 12 disciples, 12 pearly gates, and 12 floors in Revelation. Some people on this forum argue that Christianity began as a hybrid of Jewish and Egyptian cults, and passages of John’s writings contain the number 12 to woo Egyptians with the familiar, so they would convert to the new religion. I would like to learn more about Egyptian religion so I could confirm all of this beyond a doubt, but what I’ve read so far makes it highly plausible.
(Syncretism is when a religion borrows from another religion or culture. There are signs that Christianity has mixed with other religions is everywhere through history. Depictions of Angels are based on pagan goddesses with wings for example. December 25th was chosen to replace pagan holidays, and so was Easter Sunday. The saints Catholics believe in replaced the beliefs in local gods, goddesses, and spirits.)
Many religions evolve by absorbing local beliefs. Buddhism inherited the gods of Hindusim and Shintoism. Islam inherited from Christianity and Judaism. The Romans adopted the Persian God Mithra and changed his characteristics.
I also saw this interview between a Vatican high priest and an Atheist comedian Bill Maher today. It’s notable because the priest accepts his questions and plays a skeptic instead of making up excuses. He also alludes to how Catholics are trying to reinterpret the bible so that hell will not result in people burning forever and ever, which has become an unpopular doctrine lately. The church has reinterpreted key doctrines throughout history to remain relevant to people. He says the saints Catholics pray to are a lot like mini-gods. He also claims that in Italy, Jesus is the sixth man Catholics pray to after Mary and various other saints.