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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, [[TheTheocracy official]] or [[NGOSuperpower not]], and organization, or go the other direction and portray its members as [[TheVicar harmless old men sipping tea]].

Subtropes include SaintlyChurch, CorruptChurch, ScamReligion, PathOfInspiration, and ReligionOfEvil.
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!!Examples:

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[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
%%* The Saint Church in the ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'' franchise.
* The futuristic "Catholic" Church in ''LightNovel/TrinityBlood'' is basically a military with a different kind of dress uniform.
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[[folder:Literature]]
%%* The Faith of the Seven in ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire''.
%%* The Churches of the Redeemer and of the Sister in ''Literature/SeekersOfTheSky''.
%%* The Sole and Unified Church of the [[{{God}} Triune]] in the ''Literature/ArciaChronicles''.
%%* The Esperatian and Ollarian Churches in ''Literature/ReflectionsOfEterna''.
%%* The Church of the Creators in ''Literature/TheDinosaurLords''.
* In the ''Literature/DreambloodDuology'', the priesthood of Hananja essentially rules the city-state of Gujaareh, with most of the city's power centered in the Hetawa, where the priests live, rather than with the palace and the Prince. Hananja's priests also serve as the gatekeepers of Hananja's magic.
* ''Literature/ReleaseThatWitch'' has "The Church", the main religious institution within the setting which supports the elimination of monsters, witches and all other magical things. [[spoiler:They're eventually revealed to be the remnants of an ancient witch organization devoted to fighting the Demons out in the WildWilderness, who created anti-witch propaganda to help in the capture and sacrifice of witches, whose blood was necessary for their SuperSoldier program.]]

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[[folder:Podcasts]]
* Podcast/DiceFunk: 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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[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The Ecclesiarchy in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' is the center of theology in the Imperium of Man. It tells the populace how to properly worship the GodEmperor. After ten thousand years, it has been entirely forgotten that Emps [[StopWorshippingMe really didn't like being worshipped]].
%%* The Holy Church of Abel in ''TabletopGame/AnimaBeyondFantasy''.
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[[folder:Video Games]]
%%* The Chantry of Andraste in the ''Franchise/DragonAge'' series. Also, the Imperial Chantry.
%%* The Holy Church from {{Franchise/Nasuverse}}.
%%* The Church of Granas from ''GrandiaII''.
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls''
** 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 SaintlyChurch in every facet, with it being uniformly benevolent in every series' appearance to date.
** However, in the backstory, the Alessian Order was a [[FantasticRacism rabidly anti-Elven]] religious sect which established a [[TheTheocracy Theocracy]] in the 1st Era that wielded nearly as much power as the Emperor at its height. It was a very solemn, strict, severe, spartan, and sometimes outright ''cruel'' Order. In addition to their pogrom against the remaining [[OurElvesAreBetter Ayleids]] in Cyrodiil (many of whom sided ''[[TokenHeroicOrc with]]'' St. Alessia during the Alessian Revolt and were allowed to keep their lands as vassals) which included the [[BookBurning destruction of Ayleid artifacts and writings]], the Order attempted to purge ''the gods themselves'' of their Elven basis. Wielding ill-begotten divine power, the Order caused what is known as the "Middle Dawn", the first and longest [[TimeCrash Dragon Break]] on record with a heaping dose of RealityBreakingParadox and RealityIsOutToLunch. The excesses of the Order would eventually become too much to accept and the Order would be destroyed in the War of Righteousness by an alliance of Tamriellic nations. However, their influence on Imperial law and religion can still be felt in the Empires that have come since their fall.
** As primarily seen in ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'', the [[OurElvesAreBetter Dunmeri (Dark Elf)]] Tribunal Temple is another. They worship ALMSIVI, or simply "the Tribunal," a trio of [[DeityOfHumanOrigin formerly mortal]] {{Physical God}}s. Though thought of by most non-Dunmer as a ScamReligion, in ages past, when the Tribunal deities themselves lived and worked among their people, the Temple was an undeniable force of good. However, [[spoiler: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 CorruptChurch (though individual worshipers could still fall anywhere on the scale). As a result of the events of the game and its ''Tribunal'' expansion, [[spoiler:the Tribunal are permanently cut off from the source of their power and two wind up dead]]. As revealed in ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim 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 [[OurGodsAreDifferent "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.
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