The Two Religions Policy, officially the Edict on Nischali Religious Practice, is an edict issued by the Imperial Throne of the Gwenithen Empire, outlining religious policy for Maschenya and the Lanecyu Dominion. It is the the first and most important edict on religious policy ever issued by the Throne, and is generally considered to have been fundamental to preventing Maschenen secession during the Nischali Controversy during the reign of Emperor Aneth.
Emperor Aneth was born in 121 CC, the third son of the Emperor Lanith. He was not expected to ever rise to the Imperial Throne, so he was sent to study at the Imperial Sanctum in Ahnren, learning about religious affairs in the hopes that he would become a Versatian priest, or, at the least, be able to provide religious advice to his elder brother. This all changed when both of Aneth's older brothers were killed during a Savakhin raid in the countryside of Arenion, where they had been on tour. Aneth was quickly brought back from the Sanctum, and was educated in the skills required of an Emperor, but his education at the Sanctum stayed with him his entire life.
When Aneth rose to the throne, he quickly concerned himself with issues of religious and imperial purity. To defend the Empire better from the ever-hostile Savakh, he settled the Anethine Isles with Gwenithen colonists, establishing a military base as well that would become the District of the Isles. Also, seeing the King of Arenion both as a religious scam, and a traitor who had led both of his brothers to their deaths, he began to undermine both Arenion's status as a Special Autonomous Province and Arenian Versatianism's unique traditions. Beyond Arenion, Aneth worked to subvert unique religious traditions in other parts of the Empire, including the wandering Versatian preachers, the near-dead ancestor worship of Enlyll, the Dushanlev practice of the Elav people, and most notably, Nischali practice in the Lanecyu Dominion.
These issues would come to a head with the issuing of the Edict on Religious Unity, which forbade the practice of any religion within the Empire other than Orthodox Versatianism and banned the publishing of any religious texts other than those which had been actively approved by the Imperial Synod. It also politically disbanded the Special Autonomous Province of Arenion and the Special Province of Maschenya, replacing both with normal provinces, also removing authority over the Lanecyu Dominion from the Grand Council of Maschenya. To facilitate these transitions, the Imperial Inquisition was established.
Arenion quickly seceded from the Empire, leading to the Arenian Civil War, which pitted the Imperial-backed Province of Arenion against the Independent Kingdom of Arenion. Maschenya likely would have followed, and had already entered into a cold war, the Nischali Controversy, if Aneth was not almost immediately assassinated by government officials. His son and successor, the Emperor Enerin, at the time a child, immediately declared three edicts upon ascension. The first repealed the Edict on Religious Unity, the second, the Edict on the Rights of the Arenian Monarchy, outlined a number of concessions to Arenion to bring them back into the fold, and the third, the Edict on Nischali Religious Practice did the same for Maschenya, ending the Nischali Controversy.
The Edict on Nischali Religious Practice, or the Two Religions Policy, declared the following:
- Nischalism was declared proper and legal within the territory of the Lanecyu Dominion
- Nischalism was granted any privileges extended to Versatianism, within the territory of the Lanecyu Dominion, including the ability to proselytize.
- Within the Maschenen Territories and the Province of Cathenau, from the Southern Border to the river Savehn, Versatian priests were forbidden from proselytizing.
- Those of Versatian background were freely allowed to practice their religion anywhere within the Lanecyu Dominion
- Those of Nischali background were freely allowed to practice their religion anywhere within the Gwenithen Empire