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"The Friends of Yakiyah" is a religious minority as well as a philosophical and political organization of members known as "Friends." Based on the planet Yakiyah in the Tsatsos system, they have deep roots in the agricultural planet. The Friends seek to protect their ancestral home by counseling and guiding the new revolutionary movement that has taken control of Yakiyah.

Origins

The Friends lived on Yakiyah in peace for many years. Pacifist farmers, they created a close knit community within which they could lead lives free from inequality and without the need to swear oaths of fealty to the Emperor or Church. However, seeking official ecclesiastical independence from the overbearing Imperial Church, the Friends banded together and sought out the UPC to be able to ethically lead their lives among the truly free. After joining the UPC the friends have taken on a more outward outlook rather than being secluded like in the past. To this day, they seek to advise and council the UPC to support the rights of all life and to stop any blood from being spilled, for it would surely be returned on rural Yakiyah tenfold.

Hierarchy

The Friends of Yakiyah have no formal leadership, as per the egalitarian doctrines of the Friends.

Within the structure of the Friends of Yakiyah, there is one rank known as "Friend". Unlike other faiths, the Friends have no ecclesiastical structure. Instead of the episcopal government by religious leaders, the Friends organize their faithful around a set of informal meetings that are regularly held at local community centers. At these meeting house, individual prayer as well as active conversation and debate on theological/philosophical matters are held between members. On the more rural sections of the planet there are friend communes which are communities run in a directly democratic way.

The Friends of Yakiyah has two main sects of ideology

Beliefs of the Friends

  • All people are equal. People includes synths and aliens
  • Every individual has a sense of Good and Evil
  • People have the ability to choose between Good and Evil, for we have capacity to do both
  • The Good of people will always be fostered when everyone has a voice and people can operate in a directly democratic way striving for consensus
  • A hierarchical system always ends up producing violence and harms both the oppressor and the oppressed
  • The Friends have an obligation to help and side with the oppressed
  • The use of violence always creates more problems than it solves; we should endeavor to avoid its use
  • Rely upon the better nature within every person
  • Most wrongs can be solved through a process mediation, compensation, and restorative justice
  • Create a better world, for yourself and other

Education

The Friends are strong advocates of education and believe that education is one of the main ways to counteract hierarchical structures in society. If someone wants to learn how to do something a Friend has an obligation to teach it to them. This spreads knowledge to whoever wants it breaking down the gap between who has knowledge and who doesn't.

Views on Violence, Synths, and Aliens

Violence

Friends are pacifists and may not commit acts of violence. Friends believe in nonviolent direct action rather than violence should be the way of achieving the revolution. The Friends do work with groups that do not share these commitments to nonviolence and although the Friends disprove of these violent actions the Friends don't outright condemn them. The Friends are generally okay with small amounts of property damage during nonviolent protest as long as people don't get hurt.

Synths

Friends see Synths as people therefore they should be equal to all other people. The Friends support and will help synth rights and synth liberation in whatever form that takes. The ultimate liberation of Synths and what that liberation looks like should come from Synths themselves.

Aliens

Friends have not had much contact with Aliens. The Friends are inclined to support alien rights, but don't focus on it much due to there not being aliens on Yakiyah as far as there aware of.

Current Goals of the Friends

  1. Find peaceable solutions to the conflicts brewing in the sector, protecting the home planet of Yakiyah from possible attack
  2. Convince the masses of the Empire to revolt and force the creation of a constitution for the rights of ALL within the sector, where everyone has an equal vote under a Direct Democracy on each system
  3. Sway the opinion of the people of the sector for the need to the right of religious freedom
  4. Convince the people of the need to remove the High Imperial Church as the ecclesiastical head of the Empire due to bouts of corruption, moral laxity, and inequality
  5. Spread the Friends of Yakiyah to other planets, expanding the network of staunchly egalitarian, pacifist interstellar activists
  6. Seek independence for Yakiyah from ACRE, becoming its own agricultural producer

Relationship to the Churches of the Empire

The High Church of Messiah-as-Emperor

Both factions of the Friends see their ideology as incompatible with the Imperial Church because of perceived corruption and moral laxity. They are equally dismayed by the fact that the High Church of Messiah-as-Emperor is enmeshed in the maintenance of the hierarchy supporting the Imperial seat and noble houses over the people of the Empire, as exemplified in oppressive, hollow virtues such as Faith or Propriety.

Thus, the Friends of Yakiyah seek to gain ecclesiastical independence from the High Church to create a truly equal society, as well as the rights to preach or philosophize all over the Empire free from harm and claims of "insurrectionist" heresy.

The Church of Humanity, Repentant

As supporters of the rights of all people, the Friends believe that The Church of Humanity, Repentant are moral and upstanding people. While most are not sworn pacifists, it is well known that they seek peace within and in the wider sector without, for which many Friends consider them comrades-in-arms. However, the Friends are actively encouraging the Repentant to give up the ecclesiastical, hierarchical baggage of their split and become truly egalitarian.

While some non-theists find the use of theology distasteful when morality and logic will do, at large the Friends see The Church of Humanity, Repentant, as potential allies in the theological conflict to come especially considering the potential damage that a defaulting of Imperial Prime to the High Church could cause.

Friends of the Sector