The Carthaginian Empire was one of the greatest empires in history. After crushing the silly Roman savages in the Punic Wars, they went on to establish territory and conquer the western world. The gods, generous and benevolent in their gifts, demand fealty from their people for their numerous blessings. Therefore, Carthaginians must make the ultimate sacrifice through blood.
The religion of Carthage demand child sacrifice of infants that are in perfect health. These are tossed into a fire pit as an offering after a lengthy ritual. All true Carthaginian families are called to make this sacrifice and participate in the tradition to sustain the eternal hunger of their deities. These offerings must be made frequently at temples around the city, as the gods' hunger is ravenous. Families must sacrifice their own children, as it is a personal offering of something precious and valuable to you. None would dare decieve the gods with such an atrocious trick. Unlike the uncouth, Roman barbarians, true carthiginans know their duty.
However, this presents a problem. With most children dying young in the ancient world, a family would be hard-pressed to kill a healthy child and sacrifice their future legacy. Medical knowledge was also lacking, meaning many women would die in childbirth and put a further strain on society.
With these conditions, how could a city sustain a steady population growth whilst maintaining an empire?