Does the average human in the 41st millennium know that the Emperor is "dead"? Alternatively at what point in the chain of government/military/religious institutions does this knowledge end?

For example, at the near summit of the government, the High Lords of Terra know of the Emperor's state.

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    There has never been anything officially released directed towards this. When it comes to the Emperor,GW has always been exceptionally scarce with both info and updates.With the latest updates I would hope that a Primarch will have "more access" and some more "revelation" details to both past and present will be released...I would guess however that for those in power/living large, they don't ask/care. For the poor I'm sure the Ecclesiarchy deflects any questions by saying either he is busy fighting the evils of Chaos or that he will make his return when his people have proved their faith... – Odin1806 Mar 30 '17 at 17:06

The Emperor is not "Dead" in the true sense of the word, while his body has withered away his psychic being, powered as it is by the death of thousands of Psykers, is as strong, if not stronger, then it always was.

Not only is he able to power the Astronomican across the milky way, as has been seen in various stories and source materials he can also communicate directly with individuals if he chooses to, for instance the Inquisitor Draco, Gulliman, Alicia Dominica post resurrection etc.

In addition the general populace generally worship the Emperor as a god, therefore as far as they are aware after Horis he ascended in some form and now sits over them all watching them. It is just as likely that if they knew his body is dead they would see that as a sign of his divinity and him having ascended.

Now the second part of your question, the high lords of Terra know the Emperor is alive and kept alive by the golden throne. however beyond that it would strictly be need to know, however as explained above that isn't an issue. As long as people believe the emperor is a god who watches over Mankind and accept the Astronomican as proof of that then it is easy for the High Lords of Terra to claim there position has been decreed by god.

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