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Jan Christian Merk

President, Uralican Mennonite Brotherhood
In office
1 April 2008 – 1 January 2010
Succeeded by Nathan Goetz

Chair of the Department of Biblical Studies, Uralikan Yliopisto
Assumed office
1 May 2010

Member of the Uralican Tribal Council
Assumed office
18 March 2010

Born 27 November 1953
Canada Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada
Spouse Jennifer Merk
Children Mattias, Rebecca, Paul, Lydia, and Mary Merk
Alma mater Trinity Western College
Religion Uralican Mennonite

Dr. Jan Merk (b. 27 November 1953 in Abbotsford, British Columbia) is a Uralican pastor, teacher, author, and politician. He is best known for being the only Mennonite to sign the Uralican Constitution, and for being a professor of Biblical exegesis and other Biblical studies at Uralikan Yliopisto, but he is also very active politically, having been elected to every term of the Uralican Tribal Council thus far.

Biography Edit

Merk was born to a Canadian Mennonite pastor, Jonah Merk, and a school teacher, Leah Merk, and his childhood was no different than any other Mennonite boy's - he went to school, played sports, went to church every Sunday, and spent much quality time with his family. Even in his teenage years, he was a true ambassador for Christ in everything he did, upholding the Mennonite virtues of pacifism, dedication to Biblical theology, and devotion to prayer. He was never lacking in Christian zeal, seeing Jesus in everyone he dealt with in daily life, Christian or non-Christian.

This zeal caught the attention of Jennifer Wieler, another member of the Mennonite community in the Abbotsford area. She found Merk to be charming in person and everything she desired in a man. He was "almost too perfect." They began dating when she was sixteen and he was seventeen, and after four years of being an item, they married in a simple church service in nearby Yarrow.

Instead of having children right away, though, they both decided to further their education. He went to Trinity Western College starting in 1974, spending eight years there studying to be a pastor. By the time he finished his studies he had done work equivalent to that of a combination of Bachelor's and Master's Degree studies, so he was awarded an MDiv after bei asked to write a thesis. His wife completed studies in counselling, and would later return to "officially" complete an MC.

Their first child, Mattias, was born in 1979, their second, Rebecca, in 1982, and their third, Paul, in 1984. Lydia and Mary, who are twins, were born in 1986.

When Jonah Merk began leaning towards retirement from official pastoral duties in the early 1990s, Jan seemed to be an obvious choice to replace him, and in 1994, he did precisely that, while starting work on a PhD. In spite of being in a general part of North America becoming increasingly hostile towards Christianity, he was well-regarded in the community simply on account of all the thankless work he did in tending to the poor in the area. He would go where others would dread to in the area - places like East Vancouver, First Nations lands, and other areas where the marginalised and downtrodden would congregate.

By the time Cataclysm came around, his family were all old enough to have moved out, with his twin daughters having just turned 19. However, the family stuck together through the global catastrophe, which included military attacks on Vancouver. Once the dust settled, the Robertian alliance system began, bringing with it constraints on religious freedom in the Abbotsford area, so they moved to the closest haven they could find, which was Vancouver Island.

After Great War III, they were able to return, as the CCC had established a degree of control over a small area including Abbotsford and Chilliwack. Returning home, among the first things he heard about was a small movement in Russia who was vocally standing up for the rights of an entire phylum of ethnicities against oppression from extremist Russians, and decided to devote funding to this cause. He asked the CCC authorities about a "Uralicist Movement" and wondered if it was alright to fund them, being how they could be militant. According to then-chancellor Santiago, they had a military but only for defensive purposes, and there were no reports of them even having used it. So he erred on the side of caution and sent them two hundred dollars instead of the five hundred he was initially going to send. Imagine his surprise when he got a letter back from a pastor of all people.

He and Matti Koppinen would start a correspondence as a result, and the talk of persecution made him think of the hardships the Mennonites had to face in the olden days, and were facing anew in the Robertian Era. Eventually he would talk to the second and last leaders of the Movement, Ovdey Shlomov and Jarkko Salomäki respectively, about becoming a part of the movement, even though they were not Uralic.

He began gathering Mennonites from around the world to make a mass exodus of sorts into the area that would become Uralica, saying that while life would be difficult, it would be rewarding as part of a state where they could openly practice their beliefs. They were almost turned off this by the Syktyvkar Riots of 2 March 2008, however they went ahead with it anyway. Roughly two hundred forty thousand Mennonites, lead by Merk, immigrated to the southern Komi Republic. They ended up not regretting it, as they came right in the midst of the Three-Day Revolution. Prayer was second nature to these Mennonites. He immediately set to setting up a Mennonite Brotherhood for the area, which would eventually be named the Uralican Mennonite Brotherhood.

Negotiations to add the Mennonites to the dominantly Uralic tribal system would proceed for a week afterward, but it was more to do with formalism and less to do with actually accepting the Mennonites, which was wrapped up on the first day thanks to Merk and Koppinen. On 15 March 2008, the Mennonite Tribe was officially added, becoming the third-newest of the Uralic Tribes (the Hungarians and Chuvashes were added later), and three days later, the Constitution was signed.

He immediately set to work in setting up churches in the area that would eventually become Mennoland County, but he had to balance this with working on the Tribal Council, a position he has held since the beginning of Uralica. Because of his PhD he would soon be asked to teach at Uralikan Yliopisto, first out of the old Syktyvkar State University building.

He has been active in military affairs as well even though he is pacifist. As a matter of fact it was he that pushed for the creation of a branch of the military devoted strictly to non-combat affairs like emergency relief work and development projects, which culminated in the creation of the ERHDC.

He lives in Pazhga with his wife now, and continues to commute to UY every day to teach at the Uralican Transdenominational Seminary. He didn't stand for re-election for the presidency of the Uralican Mennonite Brotherhood, instead opting to focus on teaching and leave administration and preaching to someone else (who ended up being Nathan Goetz).

Trivia Edit

  • Like most Mennonites, he supports Telekom Pazhga in football (soccer).
  • He speaks seven languages fluently - English, Plautdietsch, German, Finnish, Russian, Komi, and Permyak.
  • He listens exclusively to Christian music, and has a particular soft spot for Rutger Guussen and Digital Exorcism.
  • His twin daughters now run a bakery in Ubb, Mennoland.
  • His eldest daughter, Rebecca, is one of a few women romantically linked to Jarkko Salomäki.
  • He is a proficient acoustic guitar player.
  • One of few UY faculty who got his entire set of degree credentials at a single university.Template:Persondata
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