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The Collapse of the United States
The Church was founded in 1930, following the collapse of the world economy.
Believing that the economic collapse was a sign of the coming apocalypse, the followers of the Church, led by the Prophet John McNiel, began to stockpile weapons and foodstuffs in their bunker complex in North Dakota, near the town of Minot.
When FDR was assassinated in 1935, the Church controlled one of the largest weapons depots in North Dakota. The collapse of the US gave the Church great support among the locals in several nearby towns, most importantly Minot. Within six months, the Church controlled most of the towns surrounding it, and had an army larger than the National Guard under the provisional government of North Dakota, although it had almost no training.
The Church began a period of rapid expansion, taking much of the territory around Minot, until it controlled a swath of land around Minot extending from Stanley and New Town in the west, along the banks of the Missouri and Lake Sakakawea to Garrison, then south to McClusky, and west out to Rugby, by late 1936. The Canadian border defined the Church's northern border. Around 30% of the population of the occupied areas converted to the new faith willingly, seeing the increasing lawlessness and disorder as evidence of the Church's claims. Of the remaining 70%, around 30% were killed when they refused to give up their faith, and the remaining 40% were sent to "re-education camps" around Minot, which were essentially slave labor camps.
The children under the age of 12 whose parents refused to give up their faith were taken to the House of Children, where they were indoctrinated with Church rhetoric.
The Bismarck War
Throughout the next few years, the borders in North Dakota solidified. The Church expanded west into Montana, while stabilizing the eastern border. In the southeast, the Republic of Fargo controlled a small but wealthy area extending to the Sheyenne River. In the south, the Provisional Government of North Dakota controlled the Badlands and central North Dakota. but the Church of Universal Truth was restless.
Prophet McNiel dreamed of a theocratic power that extended across the former United States. in 1938, the Church launched an invasion of both Fargo and the PGND. although National Guard forces were able to slow them for a time, the Church's use of dragoons on horseback to cut off supplies, and the fanatical devotion of their soldiers, gave the Church the power they needed to defeat both Fargo and the PGND. Upon the capture of Bismarck and the end of the Bismarck War in 1945, Prophet McNiel renamed North Dakota's capital "the City of Light", and it became the capital of the Church. The former state government building became the Cathedral of Triumph, and became the official residence of the Prophet himself.
The armed forces of Fargo managed to make a fighting retreat into Minnesota. the refugees from Fargo eventually arrived in the upper portion of Michigan, where they, along with the locals, founded the Republic of Superior.
The Great Expansion
The period from 1946 to 1955 is known within Church lands as the First Crusade, and to everyone else as the Great Expansion.
In 1946 the Church launched an expedition into Montana, and spent the next several years converting and stabilizing the region. While a large part of the population of Utah is willing to convert to the new faith, the remaining Christians are sent off to re-education camps, where they spend their time growing food for much of North Dakota. North Dakota's industrial capacity expands during this period, mostly in the production of agricultural implements and the weapons industry.
The first Holy Air Corp of the CUT is founded in 1948, to support the quickly professionalizing Holy Armies.
In 1950, the Church invaded the weak South Dakota Provisional Government. Quickly thrashing the South Dakotan Forces, the Holy Armies also secure the oil deposits in central Nebraska, and much of its agricultural land. during this period, much of the Church's lands begin to be linked by roads, and the agricultural capacity rises to near the pre-depression levels.