|Church of the Jintu|
|Title of leader|
|Planet of founding|
|Date of collapse(s)|
The Church of the Jintu was the religious order of the Alsakan Union. While the ranks of the church and the government were dissimilar, the matriarch of the church, the Alsakan Vicar, was also the unofficial leader of the Alsakan Union. The church was comprised of a number of individuals including the Vicar, as well as the Council of Elders.
According to the religious beliefs of the Alsakan Union, the goddess Shalharra was a female. Once the Church of the Jintu and the Alsakan government structure was established, this religious belief dictated that the leader of the church and government, the Alsakan Vicar, always be a female. This tradition continued until at least the reign of Vicar Halla Aneem, who was selected to be the matriarch of the church following the assassination of her Lharra during the Alsakan Crisis in 13,000 BBY. The only known interruption of this tradition came when Van Tien became the interim leader of the Alsakan Union, though his rule ended shortly thereafter following his suicide.
There were a number of ranks within the Church of the Jintu. Although the religion and the government were closely tied together, with the Alsakan Vicar being the unofficial head of government, the ranks of government and the ranks of the church were dissimilar.
In addition to the church’s ranks, the church also oversaw the Knights of Shalharra, a group of holy warriors that operated outside the realm of Alsakan law. This was due to the fact that they had the direct authority of the Vicar herself, and they answered only to the Church of the Jintu, despite being a separate organization.
Leadership and diplomacyEdit
The matriarch of the church, Alsakan cultural leader, and unofficial leader of government was the Vicar, a female chosen at a young age. She led the church until death and, according to the Alsakan religion, was the only person in the galaxy who had a direct connection to the goddess Shalharra. The Vicar typically took on the name Lharra, the name of the first Vicar of Alsakan, though it became more of a ceremonial rite in the later years of the church’s existence. As the cultural leader of the Alsakan people, she had near absolute power over the Alsakan Union.
Responsible for selecting a Vicar was the Council of Elders, a group of priests deemed by the church to be the wisest in the Union. There was not a set number of members, though church law required it to be above three at all times, as ordained by the first Vicar. The church’s focus was to seek out and appoint new Vicars, to carry out the wishers of the Vicar, and to assign tasks to other members of the Church of the Jintu.
In the earlier days of the council’s existence, the Elders were also tasked with keeping the Vicar in check. To do this, they would test the prophecies and visions she received, looking for discrepancies that could result in the damaging of their leader’s credibility. In certain rare instances, the Council of Elders could strip the Vicar of her rank and hand it to another, though this was difficult due to the near absolute power of the Vicar. This could only be accomplished if she was found guilty of making a false prophecy or misguiding her people, such as if she was paid to make a false prophecy in order to convince the Alsakan people to do something she knew would doom them.
One of the jobs the Union deemed most important was that of the Adon of Shalharra. The job of an Adon was to act as an ambassador to other planets and governments in an attempt to persuade them to join the Union. Adons could also be tasked as an overseer. In this job, they would watch over priests and congregations of a specific sector or area of the city-ring Xenvaer.
Jintu Priests were in the intermediate stages of the church’s hierarchy and were assigned a number of tasks of their own choosing. Priests could choose to become the leader of an entire church in a sector of Xenvaer, an aide to an Adon of Shalarra, or an emissary tasked with spreading the word of Shalharra across the galaxy.
Beneath the Alsakan priests were Jintu Scholars, whose main task was to help new Jintu Acolytes in their studies by training and guiding them in the ways of the religion. These Acolytes were new initiates in the church, whose time was spent furthering their studies of the church and expanding their views on life and knowledge of the religion. They were also taught basic Alsakan negotiation and peace keeping skills.
- Alsakan Crisis (First appearance)