I would like to discuss the possibility of adding Religion as a social/cultural matter to be taken into consideration for the game.
The inclusion of religion might be important in calculating happiness (like the Cathedrals in Civ), or unhappiness. The player might be able to choose a 'State Church' and it could make an impact on the course of national development. Further, if you have a state religion, it might have a very negative effect on assimilating a world into your empire/federation. Then again, the results might be positive if your religion and their religion, though different, are compatible. Or you might not have a state religion and total freedom of religion and one of your colonies has theocratic tendencies ... they might want to secede as a result.
Perhaps a state might have several religious factions of its own.
Proposed Game Values for Religion
Religion Name: open field of 'x' # characters, examples Christianity, Islam, Jainism, etc.
Religion Type: Supernatural (belief in gods, demons, spirits, etc.), Natural (holding nature in reverence), Philosophical (one's approach to life, society, etc.)
Supernatural Beliefs (if any): Monotheism (belief in one, all-powerful god), Polytheism (belief in many gods), Deism (belief in one god, but an unknown god that is not involved with the affairs of the mortal realm), Polydeism (beliefs in unknown gods not involved with the affaris of the mortal realm), Animism (belief in spirits)
Scripture, Liturgy, Rites: Closed Canon & Rites, Open Canon & Rites, Informal Scripture & Rites, Oral Tradition
Tolerance (of other religions): Very Tolerant, Tolerant, Intolerant, Very Intolerant
Philosophical Tendency (if non-supernatural): Atheism/Secular Morality, Agnosticism/Secular Morality, Individual Introspection, Social Activity (perhaps more than one here might be chosen)