The Resplendent Dawn
|Flag of The Resplendent Dawn|
|Motto: King of Kings, Ruling Over Those Who Rule.|
|Official Language(s)||Arabic, Greek|
|NS Sunset XML|
The Resplendent Dawn is an Orthodox Christian Empire in the region Middle East, which encompasses large portions of Syria, along with Lebanon, Jordan, Sinai, and Cyprus. Its neighbors are Paradise to the south, Al Araam to the east, Turkmekistan to the northeast, Kiwanistan and Catholic Europe to the north, and the United State of Isreal, Jordan and Wadj to the west.
UN Category: Inoffensive Centrist Democracy
Civil Rights: Good
Political Freedoms: Some
Overview: The Orthodox Christian Empire of The Resplendent Dawn is a massive, devout nation, remarkable for its punitive income tax rates. Its compassionate population of 5.014 billion have some civil rights, but not too many, enjoy the freedom to spend their money however they like, to a point, and take part in free and open elections, although not too often.
It is difficult to tell where the omnipresent government stops and the rest of society begins, but it juggles the competing demands of Education, Religion & Spirituality, and Commerce. The average income tax rate is 100%. A large private sector is dominated by the Automobile Manufacturing industry.
In the Shadows of Empires
World War I, the Great War, the War to End All Wars. One modern commentator [] has described it as "the murder-suicide of the Christian West." Another [] writes that "In 1914, the West put a gun to its collective head and blew its brains out." This was the war that shocked Europe out of any sense of complacency, the war that toppled empires, the war that led Western Civilization to question its own worth. But, all destruction is followed by creation, and as the Christian West tore itself apart, a new hope was dawning for the long submerged Christian East.
The death of the old empires paved the way for a new one. The Bolsheviks seized power in Russia, and pursued peace with the Kaiser's Germany. Third Rome had been overthrown. For the first time since Constantine, there was no Orthodox Christian Emperor, annointed as God's Chosen. The Turkish Empire was dismantled after the Central Powers surrendered, and many of its territories were left to be administered by the victorious British and French governments. For the first time in more than a millenium, these lands were not ruled by an Islamic power.
In Turkey, Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians found themselves in an increasingly dangerous position. Many Armenians had already been killed, all these groups were targets of continued extermination efforts, especially when Greece and Turkey went to war. Many of these groups fled south into the French mandate, and when the Greco-Turkish population exchange occured, many Greeks chose to go South into Syria and Lebanon instead of being forced into Greece.
Many of these Christian arrivals were passionate about their faith, and because the French government allowed conversions to Christianity, they converted many of the local Muslims to Christianity, as well as bolstering the faith of the long down-trodden Arab Christian minority. In addition, many of the Greeks were enamoured with the Megali Idea, and attempted to establish an Imperial structure in southern Syria and Lebanon. The French government, impoverished by the war, and struggling to rebuild, made little attempt to reign in their visions of glory. The most powerful of these newly established nobles, was the Duke of Damascus.
World War II was a brutally violent exercise that once more shocked the world. The Christian population, due to immigration from other parts of the Middle East, conversions, and refugees from the Soviet Union, had become the majority in a large portion of the French Mandate. This population strongly supported the Free French government. After the war, three states were formed out of the French Mandates: Lebanon, which was a Christian majority state, Northern Syria, a Muslim state, and Southern Syria, a Christian state.
Realizing how dangerous the region could be after the 1948 war between the Arab Muslim states and Isreal, the two Christian states merged. The Duke of Damascus, a descendant of the Paleologos and Romanov families, was declared an Emperor of the joined country, an event which was supposed to fortell a resplendent new dawn for Christianity in the Middle East, and this popular phrase lent the Empire its most enduring monicker.
The New Dawn of Eastern Christianity
The new Orthodox Christian Empire, under its first leader, Emperor Nicholas I, attempted to maintain a peaceful course. While being unabashadly on the side of France and the First World in the Cold War, she stayed out of the Arab-Israeli Wars, and spent her time on internal affairs, such as building a strong economy. The Empire leaned toward the welfare state model based on the European nations, but the state did what it could to help the Church without persecuting other religions.
The Orthodox Christians of what would become the Orthodox Christian Empire were generally very traditional in their leaning. They refused to accept the New Calender after the Pan-Orthodox Conference of the '20s, and managed to lend strength to the Old Calender movement in other areas. The Church of Antioch had been based in Damascus since the Crusades, and was thus the main Church of the new empire. Emperor Nicholas I built a new city called Antioch near Damascus for the Church, though the two cities would eventually be merged due to expanding populations.
The Church of Antioch briefly joined the World Council of Churches when it was founded, but it left soon, disillusioned by that body's behavior. Other Orthodox Churches followed this and left that group, except for the Communist-controlled ones. The Empire was a consistent supporter of the First World against the Second World during the Cold War primarilly because of the many Orthodox Christians who had been enslaved by Communism.
Nicholas was succeeded as Emperor by his son, who became Emperor Nicholas II. Nicholas II focused more on religious issues than his father. While disenchanted with regard to the World Council of Churches and the ecumenical movement, he believed strongly in the mission of Christian reconciliation. His great work was fostering talks with different Christian groups. The Assyrian Church of the East, the Syrian Jacobite Church of Antioch, and the Armenian Churches in the Empire all were reconciled with the Orthodox Christian Church of Antioch. While some Monophysites and Nestorian in other parts of the world held out against union, many of those groups did come into communion with the Orthodox as a result of Nicholas' efforts.
Sadly, one major Christian group in the Empire could not be reunited with the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. That was the Roman Catholic Church. There were some Latins in the Empire, but most were members of the Maronite, Melkite, and Syrian Catholic Churches. Most of the Maronite Church came into union with the Orthodox, and the Melkites and Syrians merged into one Melkite Catholic Church. This would be the main Roman Catholic Church in the Empire. While Nicholas II was very successful in the cause of Christian unity, the Roman Catholic Church was radicalizing drastically as a result of the Vatican II Council in the 1960s, and the resulting tension between the Catholics and the Orthodox would tear apart the nation.
The Great War of Succession
(Main Article: The First War of Succession)
The peace and prosperity brought by these first two Emperors was expected to continue under Nicholas II's son, Emperor Petros, but sadly, this was not to be. Emperor Petros is known by other names, including Emmanuel, the name he took after his Papal patron, as well as Petros the Catholic, for his Roman Catholic faith. Less flattering names are also used: Petros the Heretic, Petros the Apostate, and even Petros the Damned.
Emperor Petros' reign began with him following his father's policies. The turning point was the event of elections in Patrua. Inspired by Catholic European attempts to influence those elections, and to spread the Pope's power in the world, Emperor Petros revealed his Catholicism, marrying his daughter Maryam to a powerful Catholic European noble and attempting to force the Orthodox Church of Antioch into union with Rome. While much of the world criticized his actions, he was supported by Roman Catholic powers such as Catholic Europe and New Harumf. While certain Roman Catholic nobles in the northern part of the Empire supported him, the majority of the people were against this action. Patriarch Ignatios of Antioch declared the Emperor deposed, due to his heterodoxy, and the commander of the Imperial Army, General Yonaton Salem, enforced the deposition, capturing the capital and placing Emperor Petros and his family under house arrest.
It was then left to determine who would be the new Emperor. The nation, and its international supporters, favored Duke Melchior, the son of one of Emperor Nicholas II's younger brothers. However, Catholic Europe insisted that Imperial Princes Maryam's son Amadeo be placed on the throne as a Roman Catholic Emperor. Further complicating these events was the fact that the General occupied the island of Cyprus, following the collapse of the local government. Catholic Europe claimed Cyprus as a historical territory. General Salem attempted to appease Catholic Europe by surrendering Cyprus, hoping that Amadeo's claim would not be pursued.
Tensions continued to rise when the General was assassinated. It was not clear who was responsible, but the Roman Catholic Church was blamed. Duke Melchior was crowned Emperor, as was Prince Amadeo, and the War of Succession commenced.
The war was a long and brutal one. The Empire's allies in the war included Patrua, Wadj, Al Araam, Scythirus, and Egyria. On the opposing side were primarally Catholic Europe and New Harumf, though later Catholic nations in Europe would send aid. At first, Amadeo's supporters made quick progress, but the coalition was able to push them back. An attempt by former Emperor Petros to invade from Cyprus was repulsed, and coalition forces began pushing toward Genesis City and launching invasions in other parts of Catholic Europe, including an Egyrian invasion of Rome.
This came to an end when the Scythirian Emperor, Krildahd Voramix, authorized the use of two nuclear warheads, one against Rome and one against Genesis City. This caused deep rifts in the coalition, and in the end, Patrua and Egyria signed seperate peace treaties with Catholic Europe, refusing to be a part of any negotiations in which Scythirus was involved. The other allies attempted to censure Scythirus, but met with little luck, and ultimately the remaining tensions would play out in the War of the Wadji Succession, also known as the Second War of Succession, with the Empire's being the First.
The war left Catholic Europe severely weakened, with enforced demilitirization. Cyprus was returned to the Empire, and would remain an Imperial Province in the future. However, the Empire was also left in ruins due to the heavy fighting througout the nation in the first phase of the war. This led to the formation of the Kingdom of Gallia. As the Empire had long had ties to France, and the French government, like many European governments, had recently collapsed, it was natural that the Empire would look toward that area in this time. Refugees from the Empire joined with native Frenchmen to establish a new government in a portion of France. This government was headed by Emperor Melchior's second son, Alexander, who became King Alexander of Gallia. The new kingdom would maintain ties with the Empire which would fluctuate in closeness. In both East and West, in the Empire and in the Kingdom, the people prayed for a return to peace and prosperity.
((To be continued))