The Imperial Church

Which came first?

Poaching customs isn't exclusively Christian; scrambling for converts proves that you have to break an egg to make an omelette. Co-option can last over a century, in the meantime, you sometimes fry the reluctant to boil the process along. Still, no need to scotch it.
Let me introduce a little mischief here. What if some priest for instance laid on hands and healed somebody? How would the Imperial Church react to that? What if he goes around and does it again and again and builds up a following. There are a few possible explanations for this, for example, I believe there is a psionic power that allows one to heal oneself, but what if this priest goes around healing others? Those in the Church hierarchy might find this rather threatening. What if the priest himself does not know where his healing power comes from? What if he prays, touches somebody and that person is healed, what happens then? Now imagine an Interstellar Joan of Arc, where might she fit into this picture. Imagine a teenage girl who hears voices that suggest a course of action which seems to be sound military advice, imagine this girl first starts out defeating a band of pirates overcoming impossible odds, and then does it again and again, and she says that an angel was talking to her giving her military advice or that she got it from God himself. All evidence seems to suggest that she is just delusional, but her advice is sound, and the people she advises have victory after victory. This woman demands to speak to the Emperor, she says she has a message for him. What might the reaction to this be?
The Zhodani have the Healing ability and Empathetic Healing. Pg 27 of the Zhodani book. Maybe Jesus is a Zhodani spy!

The Zhodani even use the Toliak, a psionic artifact, as a guide. Your Joan of arc scenario is not that far off the mark.
mancerbear said:
Interestingly enough, I would say that the Imperial Church would be highly opposed to psionics :)
There is a bit of ambiguity here, the healing ability might be psionics or it might be an actual miracle. The Joan of Arc character might be an idiot savant that is a military genius, but appears to hear voices, those voices are actually he subconscious which taps into a part of her brain where resides the military genius suggesting strategy which I highly successful if followed, that may have been what the actual Joan of Arc was, or maybe she was just lucky, had a few good guesses, and her success boosted moral and that was enough to drive he French to victory, or it could be that Joan was actually talking to angels that only she could see. It is good to keep the players guessing. What would be considered a miracle in the OTU? What if the priest actually one time resurrected a recently deceased person, some would say that person was never dead in the first place, the Church would send over people to try and expose this charlatan, and what if they can't? Panic might set in, the Church leaders might feel threatened, either the priest is who he says he is, or he is a trickster, trying to lead the flock astray, either possibility might be true, the PCs will have to decide who they believe, unless one of the PC's is the actual priest with the healing powers. The healing powers might come from a wild Psionic talent that suddenly manifested in the character, or maybe from an outside power, whether god or something else. Most people would suspect something else, before a divine explanation is entertained.
For that matter, it need not necessarily be psionic.
Signs & Portents had a 'miracle engineer' career - basically someone who specialised in designing 'fake miracles' and 'magic items' that were the result of using science many, many TLs above the audience.

On a buttock-end-of-nowhere world that's pre-orbit, that works well. The problem with an educated(ish) imperial audience is that they know psionics and ancient technology are a thing.

We don't need them.
The Pastafarian conception of Heaven includes a beer volcano and a stripper (or sometimes prostitute) factory.[38] The Pastafarian Hell is similar, except that the beer is stale and the strippers have sexually transmitted diseases.[40]