This article is considered accurate for the current version of the game.
- For information on individual religions, see religions and denominations. For religious events, see religious historical events.
The religion that a country follows and how tolerant it is of other faiths is of paramount importance. Religion will have an effect on diplomatic actions and countries of mutually accepted religions have a better chance of reaching agreements with each other. Tolerance is also connected to the risk of revolt inside a country. Provinces of non-tolerated religions are more likely to revolt. As the empire builder, you have some control over things by having the option to change your state religion. You need to make religious decisions that may impact your internal and external religious relations, and, of course, you can send missionaries to convert infidel or heretic provinces to your country’s state religion.
- 1 Religion map
- 2 Religious unity
- 3 Tolerance
- 4 Defender of the Faith
- 5 Conversion
- 6 Province conversion
- 7 National conversion
- 8 Strategy
Religious unity is the percentage of a country's tax base provided by provinces that follow the state religion or a positively tolerated heretic or heathen religion.
- Provinces of the state religion always contribute 100% unity regardless of tolerance.
- Provinces of a heretic or heathen religion contribute a percentage determined by how tolerated they are.
The effects of tolerance on religious unity per province are as follows:
Religious unity directly affects revolt risk and stability cost, scaling linearly up to +2% revolt risk and +100% stability cost for 0% religious unity. Catholic nations get a benefit to Papal influence if they have high religious unity, up to +5 per year. Reformed nations get up to 1 Fervor per month from high religious unity.
Ideas and policies which increase religious unity:
Countries have three tolerance values. These tolerance values are national, but have provincial effects depending on the province's religion, relative to the state religion.
Each point of positive tolerance gives:
Each point of negative tolerance gives:
Tolerance of the True Faith
This refers to the state religion. For example, if the state religion is Catholic, Catholic provinces will use this tolerance value. The base value of Tolerance of the True Faith is +3, and there is no maximum value.
Tolerance of heretics
This refers to religions in the same religious group. For example, if the state religion is Catholic, the religion group is Christian, and provinces that are Protestant, Reformed, Coptic, or Orthodox will use this tolerance value. The base value of Tolerance of heretics is –2. The possible maximum value is +3.
Ideas and policies that affect Tolerance of heretics:
Heretic conversion events
Tolerance of heretics of 2+ means provinces may randomly convert to those heretic religions. The median time to happen is 5000 months, lowered by Innovative Ideas and having a neighboring province with the new religion. The Theocracy government type increases the median time.
A province is more likely to convert via event to a particular religion if a neighboring province has that religion. Adjacency is not required for most conversions. However, the following conversions only occur if a neighboring province has the new religion:
- Orthodox <-> other Christian
- Buddhism, Shinto -> Confucianism, Hinduism
- Confucianism <-> Hinduism
In addition, only Japanese-culture provinces can convert to Shinto.
Tolerance of heathens
This refers to religions of other religious groups. For example, if the state religion group is Christian, provinces that are of Muslim, Eastern, or Pagan religious groups will use this tolerance value. The base value of Tolerance of heathens is –3. The possible maximum value is +3.
Ideas and policies that affect Tolerance of heathens:
Defender of the Faith
Each Christian or Muslim denomination can have one Defender of the Faith. It costs 500 gold for a country to claim the title of Defender of the Faith. Being Defender of the Faith gives the following modifiers:
- +5%Land and naval morale
- +5%Technology cost
- -0.03 monthlyWar exhaustion
- +2Yearly Papal influence
- +1 yearlyPrestige
Countries automatically call the Defender of the Faith of their religion to arms if attacked by a nation of another religion. The Defender of the Faith loses the title, but no prestige, if they refuse or lose the war.
The most common way to convert provinces is the use of missionaries, but there are also several other methods.
Missionaries are envoys that can convert a province to the state sponsored religion. Missionaries slowly convert provinces over a period of time. Each month, the effective missionary strength in that province is added as ongoing progress, and when it reaches 100%, the province is converted. If strength is insufficient, the province will never convert (although the missionary will not lose progress). There is a 0.4 gold/month cost per active missionary, and while a province is being converted it has +6% revolt risk.
Each country has 1 Missionary by default. The following give more missionaries:
|Religious Ideas 2: Missionary Schools
Najdi Ideas 2: Hanbali School
|Najdi Ambitions||Religious-Expansion: State Missionary Act|
- +1 missionary from being Defender of the Faith (Christian or Muslim only)
- The following triggered modifiers award more missionaries:
- +1 missionary from being Christian and owning Mecca.
- +1 missionary from being Christian or Muslim and owning Judea/Jerusalem.
- +1 missionary from being non-Catholic and owning Rome.
- +1 missionary from being Orthodox and owning and converting Rome, Constantinople, Aleppo, Judea/Jerusalem, and Alexandria.
- +2 missionary from joining the Counter-Reformation
The base strength is 2% at full missionary funding, scaling down to 0% at no funding. Things that increase strength include:
- Advisors: +2% from an Inquisitor advisor
- Stability: +0.5% for each point of positive stability
- Piety: up to +3% for Muslim states that are pious
- Patriarch Authority: up to +2% for Orthodox states that have Patriarch Authority.
- Fortress level: +0.1% for each fort level in a province
- Decisions: A number of national decisions increase (or decrease) missionary strength.
- Events: Many events give a temporary bonus (or penalty) to missionary strength.
- Province's current religion: +2% in pagan provinces.
- Converting religions through the Religion tab gives s +10% "Religious Zeal" bonus for ten years, but only to converting heretics, not heathens.
- Several ideas also affect missionary strength:
In addition, a few ideas specifically affect missionary strength when converting heretics, but have no effect when converting heathens.
|—||Religious Ideas 7: Inquisition||—||Religious-Offensive: The Anti-Heresy Act|
|—||—||—||Humanist-Religious: The Redemption Act|
Things that decrease this speed include:
- Province's current religion: -2% in Coptic, Muslim and Shinto provinces.
- Province's current religion: -1% in Orthodox provinces.
- Culture: -2% for non-accepted cultures.
- Provincial tax income: -0.5% for each point of a province's base tax.
- Rome, Mecca and the initial Sikh province (historically Punjab, but in-game potentially any Indian province) get a special -5% Religious Center modifier.
There are several different ways a country may change religion.
Catholic, Protestant and Reformed Christians can convert among these denominations by decision once the Reformation starts. Hindu and Sikhs may similarly interconvert once Sikhism is unlocked. With the Sword and Crescent DLC, Sunni and Shiite (but not Ibadi) Muslims may convert to the other denomination if both their capital and the majority of their provinces follow the other denomination. Japanese daimyos - but not Japan itself - may convert to Catholicism by decision if the majority of their territories are Catholic; this can happen following certain events in the 16th century.
Countries of other religions cannot convert peacefully, but can change religion due to warfare or rebels.
A nation can force a heretic country to change their state religion by requesting it in a demand at the peace menu. Doing so will require as much war score as annexing the nation outright unless using the religious conformance CB (unique to the Holy Roman Emperor against HRE members), which halves the cost.
Until 1650, the Holy Roman Emperor can request a prince to change their state religion depending on their opinion of the Emperor. Similarly to when forcing a religion of an enemy country, the prince has its capital converted while the rest of the provinces remained unaffected.
Nations can support religious zealots in enemy countries. These rebels convert a province's religion to the one they represent when occupation is achieved.
Supporting religious zealots is only possible if the desired religion is present in the target nation and is the likely rebel type in a province with a revolt risk above 0. If there are no such provinces in the target nation, one way to achieve it is to sell the target a province of the correct religion.
Generally the nation will be able to overpower the rebels if left to its own devices, so it is critical to support them militarily. By starting a war against the nation once the rebels spawn one can ensure that they get to convert the target's capital and break the country, converting the country itself.
A nation that is broken by religious rebels from the same religious group, or that accepts their demands, will convert to the rebels' religion. Religious rebels of a different religious group can only convert a nation if the rebels' religion is the majority religion. For most countries, giving in to religious rebels is the only way to change religious group.
- Base missionary strength is very small compared to modifiers, both positive and negative. This means that conversion will usually either be very fast or impossible. Religious Ideas is often essential for any serious conversion work.
- Provinces that do not have the state religion suffer from (typically) lower tolerance, and also lower the country's Religious Unity at the same time. Even Religious Ideas does little to address these other than via conversion. Therefore for most countries, conversion is the best religious strategy.