Author Topic: The Holy Kingdom of Samantra  (Read 162 times)

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Offline Markus

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The Holy Kingdom of Samantra
« on: November 28, 2021, 06:08:54 PM »
Reserved for future index,

NOTE: The factbook is currently barebones and very much a work in progress.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2021, 06:44:46 PM by Markus »

Offline Markus

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General details, short history and main facts
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2021, 06:11:11 PM »
Background


The holy kingdom of Samantra or Samantra for short is a nation of 100 million people in East Aranye. The government is a Christian theocracy with the de jure head of state Jesus Christ and with Patriarch Alexy as the de facto Head of state. The current system of government is in place since 1954 when the people of Samantra voted overwhelmingly in a referendum to make Jesus Christ king of the country. That referendum was used as justification for the establishment of the theocracy. Samantra 's institutions have seen gradual reform since the 1950s with the reestablishment of the Duma( the nation’s unicameral legislature), the transfer of many of the executive powers to the President of the Duma who is both a member of the legislature but also heard of the secular government. In Samantran society, the country's form of government is often contested and is a political issue with many in the country claiming that Samantra is in fact a Christian Republic.

Short history and present day status

Historically, the country traces its roots to the Rus Empire that was a powerful and influential nation in eastern Cotf Aranye for centuries. However, the heartland of the Rus Empire was Rodina while Samantra was the eastern extremity of the Empire. Once the Rus Empire fell during the Communist uprising of 1760 and following a subsequent revolution was reborn as the United Soviet Rodina, Samantra declared independence. From the 1760s onwards relations between USR and Samantra worsen and Samantra slowly started to gravitate towards the Ardian Empire. The persecution of Christians in the USR (following the banning of religion in the country) not only torpedo relations between the two countries but led to Samantra developing the narrative that it is the true spiritual successor to the Rus Empire. While the claim did not have historic basis nor could Samantra ever compete with the USR diplomatic and cultural might over the next two centuries, the claim has nevertheless persisted and remains part of Samantra’s national ethos. 

During the Great War era (1914-1945) the kingdom of Samantra entered the war alongside the Ardian Empire hoping that a victory would give it the clout it needs to be able to compete in the Rodianian Sea area with the USR. However, Samantra was defeated alongside the Ardian Empire and it was plunged into a terrible civil war between the communist and fascist factions. While there never has been any proof that the communist faction was supported by Rodina the claim is widespread and seen as a fact in Samantra. Because the Samantran civil war started almost immediately after the Great War Era, the whole period of 1914-1954 is described in Samantra as the Sacred War.
 
The civil war ended with the legionnaires, a paramilitary force, loyal to Patriarch Bartholomew coming on top. Patriarch Bartholomew established Samantra as a Christian Theocracy using the a referendum where the population agreed that Jesus Christ should be made king of the country to legally change the government of Samantra from monarchy to theocracy and established state institutions under thhe control of the Samantran Orthodox Church.

The period between 1954-2021 has seen Samantra economically recover from the devastation of the Sacred War, rebuilding its infrastructure and its military. As far as Samantra society is concerned it is now extremely religious with the Samantran Orthodox Church playing a very important role in society functioning not only as a spiritual institution but also having some of the responsibilities typically found among government institutions : education, healthcare, head of state, family law and courts, court of last resort etc. The secular government of Samantra has seen a gradual increase in power in recent decades and there is a debate in society whether it should have even more power and gradually transform  Samantra into a Christian republic or maintain and even reverse some the transfer of powers back to the Samantran Orthodox Church.


Samantra at a glance

  Flag: Russian flag with the Russian emblem

Name: Samantra
Official name: Holy Kingdom of Samantra
Motto: "Nothing without God"
Political system: Christian theocracy with a parliamentary system for the secular government
Anthem: TBD
Population: 100 million
Ethinicity: 95% Slavic (ooc: Russian)
Demonym: Samantran
Largest city and secular capital: Petrograd
Spiritual capital: Novyy Rim
Languages: Slavonic (ooc: Russian)
Alphabet: Cyrillic
Religion: about 90% of the population adhere to Christian Orthodoxy and are members of the Samantran Orthodox Church also called Church of Samantra.
GDP per capita (nomina): $35,000
GDP (nominal): $3.5 trillion
Currency: Ruble
Exchange rate: 1 ruble = 1 USD

« Last Edit: December 01, 2021, 04:58:33 PM by Markus »

Offline Markus

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System of government
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2021, 06:16:03 PM »
reserved
« Last Edit: December 01, 2021, 04:58:50 PM by Markus »

Offline Markus

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Re: The Holy Kingdom of Samantra
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2021, 04:50:26 PM »
System of government

Samantra’s system of government is split between the spiritual government and the secular government.


The spiritual government

The head of the spiritual government is Patriarch of Rus and all the Slavs. The current Patriarch is his holiness Alexy

The spiritual government is led by the Patriarch (ooc: leader) of the Samantran Orthodox Church who is the de facto head of state (de jure is Jesus Christ), the executive power of the Patriarch is limited and is mostly delegated to the secular government. The spiritual government has exclusive jurisdiction over education system, healthcare system and family law (where it runs its own system of courts). The Holy Synod of the Samantran Orthodox Church also acts as a court of last resort (somewhat similar to a constitutional court) with the ability to overturn secular laws which are in direct contradiction with the holy Bible, Samantran Orthodox Church tradition or teachings. Another area where the spiritual government has extensive power is intelligence gathering, through the Office for the Protection of the Church and its State(OPCS). Under the Samantra’s institutional framework all domestic intelligence activities are the exclusive prerogative of the OPCS. This is a legacy of the aftermath of the Samantran civil war when both rebel factions (communist and fascist) operated extensive and oppressive intelligence services agencies so the leader of post-civil war Samantra, Patriarch Bartholomew, assimilated the security agencies of the former rebel faction and integrated them in the newly created OPCS under the direct and sole control of the Patriarch. To this day the secular government is barred from operating a domestic security agency.

The secular government

The head of the legislative and executive branches of the secular government is the President of the Duma. The current President is Yeva Litvin

The secular government has three branches: executive, legislative and judicial. Under the Samantran institutional framework the executive branch is subordinated to the legislative branch. The President of the Duma (the unicameral legislature of Samantra) is elected in a nationwide vote and appoints a cabinet that needs a vote of confidence in the Duma. The juridical branch of the secular government has jurisdiction over all areas of the law except for family courts. All branches of the secular government have to abide by the decisions of the holy synod of the Samantran Orthodox Church.
The Executive branch operates a security agency Foreign Intelligence Service but it has no jurisdiction over internal affairs and is under the supervision (though not control) of the Office for the Protection of the Church and its State (the spiritual government’s security agency).

« Last Edit: Today at 06:50:13 PM by Markus »

Offline Markus

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Re: The Holy Kingdom of Samantra
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2021, 05:01:11 PM »
Political parties of Samantra

The political landscape is dominated by two parties: the Legion of Archangel Michael and the Republican Party. While dozens of smaller parties exist, their impact is at best local and none have ever reached the state Duma or national prominence. Since the end of the civil war in Samantra, the Communist and Fascist parties have been banned with the original parties having been erased from the register of political parties in Samantra. The ban however extends only to parties using the words “communist” and “fascist” in their name and not to their ideologies. Minuscule parties with similar ideologies but different names are registered and active in Samantra.

Order 99 issued by Patriarch Bartholomew in 1954 banning the Communist and Fascist parties from Samantra “for all eternity”. The order is cosigned by the former leaders of the Communist and Fascist parties which were pardoned by Patriarch Bartholomew a few weeks prior to issuing the order. The original paper is put on display in the main hall of the Office for Registration of Political Parties.

Legionnaire vs Republican

Since Samantra’s political landscape is dominated by two parties, Samantrans often identify as either Legionnaire/Legion or Republican. In the case of the Legion that could mean anything from voting with the Legion, to being a member of the Legion, being very religious (Christian Orthodox), supporting the theocratic status of Samantra or any combination of them. In the case of the Republican that could mean any of the following (or combination): voting with the Republican Party (rarely referring to the status of member of the party), not being very religious, being cosmopolite, in favor of Samantra becoming a Republic (or being of the opinion that Samantra is a republic). This makes it tough for foreign to understand exactly what Samantrans mean when they state their political affiliation.   


Legion of Archangel Michael
The Legion does not have a regular party logo and instead uses various iconography of the Archangel Michael. Featured here is the painting on display in the Legion HQ.

The party traces its roots to 1953-1954 as a paramilitary force loyal to Patriarch Bartholomew during the later stages of the Samantran civil war. They were instrumental in ending the civil war and bringing victory for the Patriarch. In 1956, two years after the end of the civil war, at the request of the Patriarch, they disarmed and turned in their weapons. The Patriarch reorganized the Legion into a civilian organization attached to the church with the goal of providing humanitarian help, spiritual comfort and as well a purpose to the youth of wore torn Samantra. The organization evolved through the decades and has also assumed political role acting as the laity arm of the Samantran Orthodox Church. The close connection to the Samantran Orthodox Church has not waned over the decades and its leaders are in fact appointed by the Patriarch to this day.

Ideology: conservative (as in reluctant to accept change), theocratic, agrarianism, social conservatorism, isolationism (though increasingly less so in recent years)

Main supporters/powerbase: the Legion enjoys strong support among the very religious segment of the population, rural areas, towns and small cities, recent converts to Christian Orthodox, Christian refugees. It also has support from the Samantran Orthodox Church and trade unions.

Membership: 2 million

The Republican Party

Republican Party logo

The Republican Party was formally established in the late 1970s by a coalition of small parties of different ideologies united only by the opinion that Samantra’s government must be reformed to a more secular form of government and in an effort to mount a successful opposition to the overwhelming success of the Legion. The first point of the Republican Party platform is the claim that Samantra is a Republic and hence its name.
Today, the party is a big tent comprising of big business, secular leaning forces, religious minorities and many others. The president of the party is elected by a popular vote of its membership.

Ideology: reformist, secular leaning, nationalist, social convervatorism, pro big business

Main supporters/powerbase: the Republican party enjoys strong support the large urban centers, employees working at the large corporations, religious minorities.

Membership: 700 thousand.

« Last Edit: Today at 06:52:32 PM by Markus »

Offline Markus

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Re: The Holy Kingdom of Samantra
« Reply #5 on: Today at 06:50:42 PM »
Nobility in Samantra


Nobility in Samantra dates back to the founding of the Rus Empire. Today noble titles differ in privileges immensely. While some are only symbolic carrying no benefits other than the prestige associated with the history of the title, others include (local) tax benefits and even position of leadership of local government similar to that of a mayor but such cases are relatively rare and only in rural areas. There are hundreds of noble houses in Samantra each with its own small or large history but three houses have reached national prominence not just through popularity but also influence.



House Rokov


In Samantra it is customary to kiss the hand of members of House Rokov


No House in Samantra enjoys the level of reverence house Rokov manages to instill in Samantrans. The house's history and present day influence is linked to the Samantran Orthodox Church with a sizeable number of its members being clergymen. So huge was the impact of the House that it has given over 10 saints to the Church, seven of them martyrs in the Sacred War. In the present day holy synod of bishops around 10 percent of the members belong to house Rokov. During the Civil War(which is part of the Sacred War), house Rokov arguably suffered the most of the three great houses with many of its members being imprisoned, tortured or executed. Some of them have reached the status of national heroes because of their heroic resistance during those times.


Trivia:

•   The Journal of Happiness, a book written by Saint Evgeny (Rokov), about the horrors endured in the communist prisons of West Samantra is mandatory reading in Samantran schools.
•   Around 30 percent of its members perished in the Samantran Civil War.
•   It is the poorest house of the three national houses.
•   Major supporters of the Legion.
•   Many Samantrans have the habit of kissing the hand ( instead of shaking it) of members of the Rokov house.



House Umarov


Mihail Umarov, the head of the house, is worth 25 billion roubles (usd) alone


The house traces its roots to XVIth century when one merchant by the name of Boris Umarov had amassed an incredible wealth at that time through money lending. He used some of his amassed wealth to buy minor noble titles and join the ranks of the nobility.

Today, House Umarov is by far the most wealthy house in Samantra and through their wealth they have amassed considerable political influence mainly through the Republican Party.

Despite the fact that in Samantra wealth is seen as a blessing from God and thus rich people are held in high regard, House Umarov members generally do not enjoy a high level of trust or respect among the Samantran public. That is because most members of the house fled the country with a large part of their wealth before or just as the Civil War in Samantra was about to begin and only returned when it ended. That allowed house members to buy numerous assets in the country for very little money which has created resentment which lasts to this day.


Trivia:

- Word on the street is that their wealth surpasses even that of the Samantran Orthodox Church but there has been no reliable study to confirm such a statement.
- They are the main sponsor of the Republican Party and yield considerable influence in the party.
- They are major supporters of Samantra moving towards a secular or Christian Republic and abolishing the theocratic institutions of present day Samantra.
- Their wealth is mostly invested in financial services and real estate.
« Last Edit: Today at 07:02:40 PM by Markus »

Offline Markus

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Re: The Holy Kingdom of Samantra
« Reply #6 on: Today at 06:52:52 PM »
Foreign policy

Samantra’s foreign policy has the following characteristics and goals:


-   Focus on the Rodinian Sea and the countries that have access to it.
-   De-Sovietization of USR and Kaitaine but cares more about USR than Kaitaine because of cultural links.
-   Developing relations with Christian nations, especially Christian Orthodox nations.
-   Promoting Slavic culture, language and Orthodox Christianity aboard. Seeks to be recognized as the heartland of Rus (ooc: Russian culture) and claims the status of “Third Rome” (the Ardian Empire being the first, the Ecclesiastical State the second) and seeks to be recognized as such.
-   Securing its supply of oil and gas (seeks stable partners to supply them with oil and gas).
-   Has interest in events/affairs relating to the Karifan Ocean.
-   Antipathy towards Achkaerin because of its use of the nuclear bomb and Samantra losing the Great War.
-   Reluctance to engage in international organizations as it perceives them to be a breach of its sovereignty, ill adapted to its form of government and tributary to the winning powers in the Great War Era.

Offline Markus

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Re: The Holy Kingdom of Samantra
« Reply #7 on: Today at 07:03:39 PM »
Slowly moving towards something resembling a factbook.