United Holy Church of the Thirteen Apostles

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United Holy Church of the Thirteen Apostles
Flag of the United Holy Church of the Thirteen Apostles.pngEmblem of the United Holy Church of the Thirteen Apostles.png

Official language(s) Latin, English, Italian, Dutch, Turkish, Russian
Official religion(s) Apostolicism
Short name Holy Ministry
Demonym Apostolic
Government Theocracy
- Supreme Apostolic Protector Alexander
Legislature Board of Bishops
Established December 9, 2013
Population 7 (as of January 2014)
Time zone (UTC)

The Apostolic Observer


The United Holy Church of the Thirteen Apostles, sometimes referred to as Holy Ministry is a parody Restorationist Christian denomination embracing the elements of Islam and Masonry, as well as sovereign state-like entity governed as a representative theocracy.

History

Supreme Apostolic Protector Alexander in official regalia.
The United Holy Church of the Thirteen Apostles was founded on December 9, 2013 by a group of micronationalists, including a prominent St.Charlian politician Alexander Eastwood who on the same day was elected Supreme Apostolic Protector of the Church. On January 3, 2014 the Church obtained[1] the status of "official religion" in the Federal Republic of Snežanopol.

Doctrine

Largely based on the ideas of traditional Christian theology[citation needed], the United Holy Church of the Thirteen Apostles considers her doctrine as part of an independent denomination self-described as Apostolicism. Crucial differences between Apostolicism and traditional Christian denominations are explained in the Creed adopted by the Board of Bishops on the first day of the Church’s existence:

We bear witness that there is no god but the Great Architect of the Universe, the Almighty Father, maker of all things visible and invisible who reigns over heavens and earth, who created them with the might of his word.

And that there is one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of Great Architect, begotten of the Almighty Father before all worlds, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was incarnate and was made man; who suffered, and the third day rose again, ascended into heaven; from thence he shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end. And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father, who spreadeth through the Son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, who spake by the prophets. And that the Thirteen Apostles – Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James, Judas, Simon, Matthias and Muhammad – are the messengers of the Great Architect of the Universe, to whom he entrusted to spread the word of verity among all the peoples.

In one Holy and Apostolic Church we believe, led by the Great Architect of the Universe, the Thirteen Apostles and the Supreme Apostolic Protector, their Vicar on Earth; we acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins, we look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.

That said, in addition to the traditional Twelve Apostles the Holy Ministry recognizes Prophet Muhammad as one of Christ’s disciples and embraces the Masonic perception of God as the Great Architect of the Universe.

View on baptism

Differently from the majority of Christian denominations, the United Holy Church of the Thirteen Apostles recognizes all people as already members of the Universal Church, even if they, because of local customs, upbringing and education profess other religions or don’t profess any. That said, for the United Holy Church of the Thirteen Apostles baptism is, as described in the Creed, an act of remising sins, and not of converting to another religion which is impossible according to the Church’s doctrine. While the procedure of baptism because of that is not a requirement for being a member of the Church, it is still advisable to pass through it because of baptism’s redemptive character. Nonetheless, the Church recognizes that as many people, due to how they were grown up, will never feel ready for baptism, they cannot be totally deprived from heavenly bliss just because of that, even though will enjoy it in a limited amount comparing to baptized Apostolics, unless by the time of death they had unconfessed mortal sins which resulted in their names being erased from the Book of Faithful. However, the Church rejects the doctrine of universal salvation and just like lack of baptism itself does not result in eternal infernal flour, baptism is no guarantee of salvation which always depends on each individual’s personal qualities.

Role of the Supreme Apostolic Protector

Recognizing the Supreme Apostolic Protector as the Vicar of the Great Architect of the Universe on Earth, the United Holy Church of the Thirteen Apostles considers him as having all and full authority over the Church, in both spiritual and secular matters. However, the Supreme Apostolic Protector is considered infallible only when speaking ‘’ex catedra’’ about the matters of faith, and not as an individual, as outside his rank he enjoys only the rank of Brother, just like any other member of the Church, cleric or secular.

Governance

Recognizing the Great Architect of the Universe as the Church's leader, the Holy Ministry considers the Supreme Apostolic Protector as his Vicar on earth and the visible head of the Church. Elected by the Board of Bishops for life, the Supreme Apostolic Protector is the highest carrier of Executive, Legislative and Judicial powers within the Church. However, for the purposes of optimization the Supreme Apostolic Protector can partially hand out his power to auxilary curial institutions, such as the Board of Bishops which is the Church's legislature or the Supreme Tribunal responsible for justice. Both these institutions (just like all other ecclesiasticals subdivisions) are obedient to the Supreme Apostolic Protector who exercises full authority over them but in turn is obedient only to the Great Architect of the Universe.

Law and order

The United Holy Church of the Thirteen Apostles is currently governed with the principles of theocracy and custom, with the Supreme Apostolic Protector, as the Vicar of the Great Architect of the Universe on earth, exercising full authority over the Church and her subdivisons in accordance with divine will in each specific case. However, there are plans to draft the Code of Canon Law in order to facilitate the ministry of His Apostolic Eminence and make management of the Church more efficient.

Legal status

Recognizing the Supreme Apostolic Protector as the only (after the Great Architect of the Universe) authority over the Church in all matters, the United Holy Church of the Thirteen Apostles doesn't consider herself subordinate to any secular authorities, and as such, acts as a sovereign entity. The Church indeed enjoys a certain degree of sovereignty, in the sense of not being subject to any third-party regulation, but fails to meet one of the four criteria for statehood mentioned in the Montevideo Convention — possessing territory.

Orthodoxy

The theological orthodoxy of the Church was called into question in an editorial submitted to the Apostolic Observer in December 2013[2].

If you are Christian, may I plead with you in the spirit of brotherhood?

This United Holy Church of the Thirteen Apostles – are you part of it? Will anyone in Christ bow the knee to the false prophet Muhammad? A wicked man who rejected the divinity of the true Messiah and his substitutionary atonement! A man who brought nothing new that could be of any worth to the gospel, who executed a repentant adulteress – a new mother – a man who merely sought to conquer for his own glory and forced Christians to follow Islam.

—Apostolic Observer Editorial

In addition, the New Israeli Church rejects inclusion of Islam into the Christian faith, and also opposes naming Mohammed a "13th Apostle".

However, the Church has also enjoyed the support of several nations. In Snežanopol, Apostolicism was named the official religion[3]; in addition, an Apostolic Inquisition was created[4] to combat heresies. An "Illustrious Order of the Apostle Mohammed" was also created and supported by the Apostolic Protector[5], Alexander, in a papal Bull[6].

The Church has also been closely allied with the Empire of Constantidium[7]. Bishop Alfonso blessed the Emperor of Constantdium on May 1, 2014.[8]

Foreign relations

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Media

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See also

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External links

The Apostolic Observer (Official Herald of the Church)


References

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