The Church

Organized religion serves as a major source of authority figures. Fiction can build on this by attributing to The Church an absurd amount of power, official or not, and organization, or go the other direction and portray its members as harmless old men sipping tea.

Subtropes include Saintly Church, Corrupt Church, Scam Religion, Path of Inspiration, and Religion of Evil.

Examples:

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  • Dice Funk: The religious center of Stoneroot is powerful enough to challenge the lord and important enough that the populace simply refers to it as "The Church."

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  • The Chantry of Andraste in the Dragon Age series. Also, the Imperial Chantry.
  • The Holy Church from Nasuverse.
  • The Church of Granas from Grandia II.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • Throughout the series, the Aedra-worshiping Temple of the Nine Divines is the primary religious sect of most of Tamriel and is the official religion of each incarnation of the Cyrodiilic Empire. It is treated as a Saintly Church in every facet, with it being uniformly benevolent in every series' appearance to date.
    • As primarily seen in Morrowind, the Dunmeri (Dark Elf) Tribunal Temple is another. They worship ALMSIVI, or simply "the Tribunal," a trio of formerly mortal Physical Gods. Though thought of by most non-Dunmer as a Scam Religion, in ages past, when the Tribunal deities themselves lived and worked among their people, the Temple was an undeniable force of good. However, when the Tribunal were cut off from the source of their divine power, they were forced to withdraw from the day-to-day affairs of the Dunmer in order to conserve power. When mortal leaders took over the Temple, it quickly became a Corrupt Church (though individual worshipers could still fall anywhere on the scale). As a result of the events of the game and its Tribunal expansion, the Tribunal are permanently cut off from the source of their power and two wind up dead. As revealed in Skyrim's Dragonborn expansion, the "New Temple" has been formed in the two centuries since Morrowind took place, and it is quite a bit less corrupt. The "Good Daedra" Anticipations of the Tribunal (Azura, Boethiah, and Mephala) are slotted back in as the Temple's chief deities known as "Reclamations", while the Tribunal themselves have been demoted to Saints.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheChurch