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Solar Church of the Unconquered Sun

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The Solar Church of the Unconquered Sun is the traditional religion of the Horseheads and the official faith of the Horsehead Empire. It originated on the planet Horoko over 7000 years ago, around 4125 B.R., though the official Solar Church was not formally launched until 2999 B.R. As the Horseheads entered into space, the Solar Church divided into various sects. The Orthodox sect promoted the belief that only Horoko's sun was the physical manifestation of the Unconquered Sun, the monotheistic god worshipped by most Horseheads. The Orthodoxy also proclaimed that only Horseheads could be true followers of the Unconquered Sun. The Greater Vehicle sect of the Solar Church, on the other hand, proclaimed that all the stars of the Known Universe were the physical manifestations of the Unconquered Sun, and that non-Horseheads should be converted to the faith of the Solar Church. A variant subsect of the Greater Vehicle, though independent of the religious leadership in the Horsehead Empire, has made headway in the United Republic of Earth. There are also local, independent offshoots of the Solar Church's Greater Vehicle sect in space controlled by the Golems, the Mantis Lords, and House Lionheart, though worship of the Unconquered Sun is banned by the Mantis Lords. Orthodox and moderate Greater Vehicle advocates deny that robots and computers can be true followers of the Unconquered Sun, even if they have A.I. Radical Greater Vehicle members, on the other hand, believe that artificially intelligent machines can be sincere worshippers of the Unconquered Sun. Members of all sects of the Solar Church believe in good angels who serve the Unconquered Sun and evil devils or demons who oppose their god. The Orthodox sect believes the jumpgates were created by the Unconquered Sun and his angels (despite historical evidence that they were actually created by the Progenitors), and some of the more radical Orthodox view aliens and A.I. robots and computers as the physical manifestations of demons and devils. Greater Vehicle and moderate Orthodox dispute the notion that aliens and A.I.s are necessarily demons and devils. Some of the more radical Greater Vehicle advocates contend that the Progenitors and their robotic creations the Golems are actually physical manifestations of angels serving the Unconquered Sun. All Unconquered Sun worshippers in the Horsehead Empire theoretically belong to one official Solar Church led by high priests living on Horoko and supported by the First Citizen and aristocrats of said Empire, but in practice on some worlds in the Empire the local Solar Church priesthood often ignores the ecclesiastical dictates hailing from Horoko. The official Solar Church high priests on Horoko belong to the Orthodoxy, and sometimes even to the more radical Orthodox elements, but the more independent-minded local clergy are often from the moderate wing of the Orthodoxy or the Church's Greater Vehicle sect.

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