Religion represents the belief systems of the ancient world, usually polytheistic and encompassing a wide range of gods, and important to everything, from daily life to the highest political echelons. In the game, every state, character, and pop belongs to a particular religion, with their interactions playing a significant role in loyalty and pop happiness. The choice of pantheon gods and omens in the state religion forms an important part of the modifiers and bonuses that a country has, and is the one of the main interactions that a player will have with religion, with the systems of holy sites and sacred treasures providing more auxiliary goals and flavour. Most religion interactions can be managed through the Religion tab.
Every country starts with a predefined state religion, which can be viewed just above the pantheon deities in the Religion tab. Every religion has bonuses that are applied to the entire country, and also determines the base deities that are always available regardless of the population or holy sites of the country. State religion also has a small effect on diplomacy—countries of the same religion get a +10 opinion bonus with each other. There is no malus for having a different state religion.
There is no default happiness bonus or penalty for pop religion, but pops will receive a +4% happiness bonus for each deity in the state pantheon that matches their religion, making it useful for polytheistic states to take on pantheon gods of religions that are widespread inside their country - though spreading out the deity happiness bonus between deities of different religions means a smaller happiness modifier for each individual religion. The happiness of state religion pops specifically is also be increased with the state religion happiness modifier, which is given by various omens and deities, inventions, laws, heritages, and more.
- Main article: Decisions#Religious Conversion decisions
The state religion can be changed by decision if there is at least 1 character of the new religion in the country, and either 50% of the non-slave pops in the capital, or at least 20% of all the pops of the country and at least one pantheon deity, follow the new religion the country intends to convert to. Switching religions can only be done once every 10 years and costs 200 political influence and 30 stability, also giving a temporary drop of −15 Loyalty for all characters that are followers of the old faith.
Each character also has their own character religion, usually but not always the same as that of the state. Characters that do not follow the state religion have a −10 maximum loyalty modifier, and pops have a -6% happiness penalty if the governor of their region is not of their religion - notably, this includes even state religion pops, if their governor is not of the state religion.
Characters can be forced to convert if their loyalty is at least 60, at the cost of +5.00 Tyranny and a temporary drop of −30 loyalty for 5 years. There are also a few events by which a character's religion can otherwise be changed — governors may switch to the religion of the regional capital if the Religious Conversion policy is not being used, office holders may take on the religion of the state that employs them, the heir of a monarchy may switch to the religion of the Royal Tutor, and rulers may get an event to switch to the state religion if they do not follow it.
Every territory has a dominant religion, which is the religion with the highest number of pops in the territory. This is the religion as displayed for the territory in the religion map mode and is generally considered the religion of the territory for most purposes, particularly for colonization, moving the capital, and many event and mission task checks.
Most importantly, there are also territory modifiers applied if the dominant religion is not the state religion, which makes them harder to convert and assimilate. Such a territory where the Dominant Religion is not State Religion gets the following modifiers:
State religion happiness
State Religion Happiness modifiers are applied to all pops of the state religion, regardless of what religions the pantheon deities are of. Unlike with integrated cultures, there is no base state religion happiness modifier, though modifiers from other sources can still add up to a significant amount that makes conquering provinces with the same religion significantly easier.
|Type||Modifier||State Religion Happiness|
|Government||Theocratic Monarchy government form||+10%|
|Theocratic Republic government form||+10%|
|Inventions||Zero ( Religious Invention)||+6%|
|Shorthand Writing ( Religious Invention)||+4%|
|Proscribed Canon ( Religious Invention)||+3%|
|Stoicism ( Religious Invention)||+2%|
|Buildings||Great Temple (city)||+10%|
|Trade goods||Incense (Capital bonus)||+5%|
|Laws||Traditional Observance (Republic)||+4%|
|Avoid Religious Mandates ( Roman Republic)||+4%|
|Deities||Belinus (Druidic deity)|
|Zeus Naios ( Epirote Hellenic deity)|
|Demeter Potnia ( Athenian Hellenic deity)|
|Helios (Hellenic deity)|
|Apollo Didymaios ( Syracusan Hellenic deity)|
|Sol (Italic Hellenic deity)|
|Ataecina (Iberic deity)|
|Horus (Kemetic deity)|
|Ameretat (Zoroastrian deity)|
|Mithra (Zoroastrian deity)|
|Omens||Sila Parami (Buddhist deity)|
|Marduk (Chaldean deity)|
|Eki (Aquitani Druidic deity)|
|Zeus Ammon (Serapis Cult Hellenic deity)|
|Apollo Aktiakos ( Epirote Hellenic deity)|
|Telephos (Aeolian Hellenic deity)|
|Rhea (Cretan Hellenic deity)|
|Cels (Etruscan Hellenic deity)|
|Vishwanath (Hindu deity)|
|Endouellicus (Iberic deity)|
|Arghya Ritual (Jain deity)|
|Samuel (Jewish deity)|
|Khaldi (Khaldic deity)|
|Saulia (Matrist deity)|
|Guidance of the Sun (Ritualistic deity)|
|Heritages||Heritage of Ptolemaios (Egypt)||+10%|
|Cyrenaican Heritage (Cyrenaica)||+10%|
|Religious State heritage (Mission created)||+10%|
|Iberian Heritage (Iberia)||+5%|
|Delphic Heritage (Delphi)||+5%|
In every territory, a single pop can undergo conversion to the state religion at a time, as long as there are any pops in that territory that can convert and are not otherwise busy (e.g. assimilating or promoting). Outside of events, pops will always convert to the state religion. Conversion progress builds each month, with the exact progress determined by the sum of all Pop Conversion Speed modifiers. Once progress reaches 100%, the pop will be converted to the state religion and another pop will begin to convert, if there are any other pops that can be converted. The speed of conversion is influenced by many factors, particularly the Religious Conversion governor policy and the dominant province culture and religion being different from the state culture and religion. Note that it is possible for conversion to be completely stalled.
All else being equal, it is generally preferable to convert pops to the state religion, though the differences in happiness are much less than with unintegrated culture or culture group pops and can be ameliorated by adopting deities of the pop's religion in the pantheon (though this will necessarily come at the expense of the happiness of pops of other religions), which generally makes conversion less important than assimilation. Under some circumstances it may also be beneficial to retain pops of other religions in order to have continued access to their deities, though the strong effects of religious unity on omen power means that it is still generally undesirable to have too many other pops of a non-state religion.
|Type||Modifier||Pop Conversion Speed|
|Non Integrated Culture||-20%|
|Inventions||Formulaic Worship ( Religious Invention)||+0.5
|Religious Assimilation ( Civic Invention)||+10.00%|
|Ban Witchcraft ( Religious Invention)||+5.00%|
|Major Syncretism ( Religious Invention)||-90.00%|
|Road Network in Territory||+2.5% for each outgoing road|
|Dominant Culture is not Integrated Culture||-10%|
|Dominant Religion is not State Religion||-25%|
|Buildings||Great Temple (city)||+2.00|
|Great wonders||Expanding Culture effect||+10% per Tier|
|Governor policies||Religious Conversion||+3.00 per 10 finesse of the governor, plus a base of +0.30|
|Laws||Religious Conversion (Monarchy)||+0.25
|Deny Priests in Senate (Republic)||+20%|
|Lex Aeila et Fufia ( Roman Republic)||+20%|
|Deities||Zeus Ammon (Serapis Cult Hellenic deity)|
|Esther (Jewish deity)|
|Saulia (Matrist deity)|
|Deified Ruler in Pantheon||+15% per Deified Ruler|
|Mismatching Pantheon Deity Religion||-20% per Mismatching Deity|
|Omens||Trapusa and Bahalika (Buddhist deity)|
|Intarabus (Treverian Druidic deity)|
|Eacus (Iberic deity)|
|Zoroaster (Zoroastrian deity)|
|National ideas||Institutional Proselytism||+20%|
|Heritages||Nabatean Heritage (Nabatea)||-5%|
|Judean Heritage (Judea)||-25%|
Every nation has a state pantheon consisting of four deities (also called prophets, yazatas, or paradigms, depending on the religion), one for each category: War, Culture, Economy, and Fertility. Every nation can select from a fixed list of their religion's deities to fill the slots, with some deities available to all countries of that religion and some with stricter requirements such as culture, tag, or finishing a certain mission task. In addition, polytheistic nations can also select deities from other polytheistic religions if they own that deity's holy site, or a high enough percentage of their pops follows a given religion. The percentage required depends on the deity's rarity: Very Common deities require 5% of the nation's total pops to follow the deity's religion, Common deities require 10%, Rare deities require 20%, and Very Rare deities require 40%.
Every deity that is not part of the state religion gives a stacking −20% conversion speed malus for all pops in the nation (regardless of whether or not their gods are currently represented in the pantheon).
Each deity has a fixed passive modifier which is in effect as long as that deity is part of the pantheon. Additionally, every 5 years (adjusted by the Omen Duration modifier) one can invoke an omen from one of the pantheon's deities, which confers an additional, usually more powerful, bonus. The current omen's effects are multiplied by the nation's current Omen Power, with the base effects being reached at 100% Omen Power - note that omen power is uncapped and often will rise above 100% as the game progresses. Owning the deity's holy site increases the effect of both its passive and omen modifiers (if enabled) by 25%.
Switching a deity in the pantheon costs a base of −15 stability and prevents that deity's omen from being invoked for 3 years. The stability penalty is temporarily reduced by -75% for 10 years after converting to another religion, through the Cost to Change Pantheon Deity modifier. Deities whose omens are currently being invoked cannot be replaced.
Each deity and its requirements and bonuses are listed on the page of the religion it belongs to.
|Government||Theocratic Monarchy government form||+15%|
|Imperial Cult government form||+15%|
|Theocratic Republic government form||+15%|
|Traditionalists Faction in power (Republic)||+10%|
|Religion||Religious Unity||+1% per point|
|Military Traditions||Pietas (Italic Tribe Traditions)||+15%|
|Offices||High Priest (Monarchy)||+3% per Statesmanship-adjusted Zeal|
|Augur (Republic)||+3% per Statesmanship-adjusted Zeal|
|High Priest (Tribal)||+3% per Statesmanship-adjusted Zeal|
|Laws||Priestly Status (Republic)||+15%|
|Lex Ogulnia (Roman)||+15%|
|Adopt Human Sacrifices (Tribal)||+10%|
|Great wonders||Omen Observations effect||+5% per Tier|
|Technology level||Religious Advances||+1% per level|
|Inventions||Major Syncretism ( Religious Invention)||+15%|
|Proscribed Canon ( Religious Invention)||+10%|
|War Dedication ( Religious Invention)||+5%|
|Hierarchical Haruspication ( Religious Invention)||+2.5%|
|Reinterpreted Prodigies ( Religious Invention)||+2.5%|
|Militant Epicureanism ( Religious Invention)||-90%|
|Religious State Heritage||+5%|
- See also: Treasure
A holy site is a temple, sanctuary, or other sacred site that is particularly important to the worship of a specific deity. Each deity can have one holy site anywhere in the world, and owning a deity's holy site while worshiping the deity in your pantheon increases the strength of both their passive and omen effects by +25%. There are many number of holy sites present at the start of the game, and a new one can be consecrated for a pantheon deity in an owned territory at a cost of −300 Gold and −50 Political Influence, adjusted by the Enact Holy Site Cost modifier.
Holy sites confer the following modifiers to the territory they are located in, regardless of its size, status, and whether it is dedicated to a deity in the state religion/ pantheon or not:
Holy sites can hold sacred treasures, which confer bonuses to the entire province the holy site is located in - it is therefore typically useful to bring as many sacred treasures as possible to the capital province in order to maximize the effects of their bonuses. Any treasure can be placed in any holy site regardless of its religion, but each holy site has a limited number of altars where sacred treasures can be placed, depending on the rank of its territory: one for settlements, two for cities, and three for metropolises. There is a fixed amount of sacred treasures in the world, with new ones only being created as a result of certain missions and events. Sacred treasures can be removed from an owned holy site at any time at the cost of +1.00 Aggressive Expansion.
Unplaced sacred treasures are held in the nation's reliquary and confer no benefits, but cannot be taken through desecration. Upon annexation by conquest, the conqueror is guaranteed to seize at least 2 treasures from the reliquary, if there exist that many; above that, up to 2 treasures in the nation's reliquary will be spirited away to another country within diplomatic range if any exist, with all the rest taken by the conqueror. Diplomatic annexation, will transfer all reliquary treasures to the overlord.
Desecrating a holy site can be done at any time through the Religion menu if it is owned, or by using the Desecrate Holy Sites army ability with an army located on a controlled holy site's territory - note that a holy site does not necessarily need to be owned for an army to desecrate it, which means that an army can desecrate a holy site belonging to another nations if it is occupied. Desecrating a holy site destroys it and deposits all of its sacred treasures in the desecrating nation's reliquary, while the territory gets a -10% Local Population Happiness modifier to the territory for 12 months. Using the army interaction also costs +2.00 Aggressive Expansion, and if the army is a they may gain either the Pia or Impia distinctions depending on whether or not the holy site's deity belongs to the state religion. Every nation that follows the religion of the holy site's deity will also receive a notification event and might lose opinion of the desecrating country.
In the holy sites tab in the religion menu, all holy sites in owned territories as well as those for deities currently being worshiped in the pantheon, even if currently unowned, are shown and can be selected in the list. Owned holy sites - even those of deities currently in the pantheon - can be desecrated at any time, with their treasures being returned to the reliquary, at the cost of -10% Local Population Happiness in the territory for 1 year (as well as the loss of the holy site itself). Treasures in holy sites of deities not in the pantheon can be removed here.
Apotheosis, or deification, is the process of deifying a past or present ruler of the country. A deified ruler inherits the effects of an existing pantheon deity, which they must be based on, but give an additional apotheosis effect bonus each time their omen is invoked. The strength of the apotheosis effect is often affected by the attributes of the deified ruler, and can include gaining gold, manpower, province food, research progress, military experience, pops, assimilation, conversion, or even province investments.
Monotheistic religions, in particular Judaism, have pantheons consisting entirely of "deified" characters (sometimes known as prophets), and are unable to deify more. As a counterbalance to the early access to apotheosis bonuses, they can only invoke omens once every 7.5 years (as Judaism has a +50% Omen Duration modifier). All republics except for Theocratic Republics and Athenian Republics are also unable to deify rulers.
A number of deified characters exist in the game at the start: the Jewish prophets, Hellenic Alexander the Great, Zoroastrian Zoroaster, Buddhist Siddhartha, and Jain Mahavira. Certain characters can also be deified through special mission tasks, in particular Antigonus Monopthalmus through one of the Antigonid Kingdom's unique mission trees. Deifying a ruler requires the Magna Graecia content pack and costs a base of −200 Political Influence, modified by the Cost to Deify Ruler modifier (decreased by several inventions and increases based on the number of deified rulers currently in the pantheon, making each successive deified ruler more expensive). Deification also also requires the current ruler to have at least 90 Popularity, and the current ruler's family to have at least 800 Prestige.
Every defied ruler in a nation's pantheon gives the following modifiers, stackable up to the four possible deities in the pantheon:
- +0.01 Monthly Tyranny
- +0.02 Monthly Ruler Popularity Gain
- +15% Pop Conversion Speed
- +25% Cost to Deify Ruler
Generally speaking, the most important modifier is generally the pop conversion speed, as the full +60% Pop Conversion Speed modifier if all four deities are deified rulers is very significant. Note that this modifier applies only for rulers deified during the game, and not for existing deified characters available at the beginning of the game; in particular, this means that it is generally not possible for Jewish countries to get access to the deified ruler modifiers, even if they start with access to the other apotheosis bonuses.
As a separate god, deified rulers are not affected by the holy sites of their parent deity and may have their own holy sites created in a territory - this does mean that if a deified ruler is created out of a deity whose holy site is currently owned, the new deity will not get the +25% bonus from owning the holy site until a new holy site is created for the new deity. If a deified ruler is not part of any country's pantheon for more than 20 years, their cult will be forgotten, and the deity, including any holy sites, will no longer be available.
Each deity Apotheosis effect and holy site starting location are listed on the page of the religion it belongs to (links for each religion at the end of this page).
A Divine Sacrifice can be made to appease the people and reassure them that the country will continue to receive the favour and bounty of the gods and higher powers, and is the most reliable way to increase the stability of the realm. A sacrifice has a base cost of 50 political influence and gives the following effects for 5 years:
It is possible to stack the effects of a sacrifice by making another one while the effects of the previous one(s) is ongoing, which has the additional effect of extending the length of the stacked effect by another 5 years. However, as the cost increase of each additional sacrifice stacks quickly if the effects of previous sacrifices are still active, trying to save political influence this way is generally of limited effectiveness unless the country already has a highly reduced sacrifice cost modifier.
The cost of making a sacrifice is modified by the Divine Sacrifice Cost modifier, which can be decreased through various inventions, laws, deities, and other modifiers. All static sources are listed below.
|Type||Modifier||Divine Sacrifice Cost|
|Base||Divine Sacrifices||+100% per concurrent sacrifice|
|Aggressive Expansion||+1.5% per point above 50|
|Offices||High Priest (Republic)||-2% per statesmanship-adjusted zeal|
|Laws||Senatorial Veto (Republic)||-33%|
|Lex Domitia de Sacerdotiis ( Roman Republic)||-33%|
|Electoral Model (Republic)||-5%|
|Leges Genuciae ( Roman Republic)||-5%|
|Inventions||State Burials ( Religious Invention)||-5%|
|Household Priests ( Religious Invention)||-5%|
|Contractual Obligation ( Religious Invention)||-2.5%|
|Tolerated Cults ( Religious Invention)||-2.5%|
|Deities||Bagaios (Cybelene deity)|
|Berobreo (Celtiberian Druidic deity)|
|Bhrigu (Hindu deity)|
|Heritages||Boeotian Heritage (Boeotia)||+10%|
If a war is going badly and war exhaustion is high, the country's ruler can Invoke Devotio to offer himself as a sacrifice in exchange for victory and strengthen the resolve of the population to fight on. Invoking devotio has a base cost of 2 tyranny and gives the following effects for 5 years:
Like with making divine sacrifices, it is possible to stack the effects of invoking devotio by making another invokation while the effects of the previous one(s) is ongoing, which has the additional effect of extending the length of the stacked effect by another 5 years. However, as the amount of tyranny gained is not particularly high and war exhaustion is generally not too problematic unless it is very high, this is generally not as important as with making divine sacrifices.
List of religions
|Hellenic||+8% National citizen happiness||Having spread from the Greek heartland, the Olympian pantheon is venerated by many. The names, aspects and hierarchy of many of the gods can vary widely from region to region, however, Zeus, or Jupiter as he is known to the Romans, is regarded as the figurehead of the Olympian pantheon.||roman_pantheon|
|Kemetic||+0.10 Monthly ruler popularity gain||The history of the indigenous Egyptian religion stretches back many thousands of years. Manifesting as a polytheistic faith, the worship of Ra, Atum, Sekhmet and others, displays a deep reverence for the fundamental aspects of the natural world.||egyptian_pantheon|
|Canaanite||−10% Navy maintenance cost||The Canaanite religion venerates a number of Gods and their aspects, in a polytheistic manner. Baal is regarded as the chief deity in a complex hierarchy of lesser gods, which were often worshiped at shrines found on mountains or hilltops. At the start of the game the Canaanite religion is primarily found in Phoenicia and Phoenician colonies, such as Carthage.||carthaginian_pantheon|
|Zalmoxian||+3% National tribesman output||Whether Zalmoxis was originally a prophet or a god, is unknown. The Dacians and Getae however, revere Zalmoxis as a divine being, ascribing many miraculous acts to him.||shamanism|
|Armazic||+10% Fort defense||Possibly connected to the nearby Anatolian religions, the pantheon of the Caucasian-Iberia region was ruled over by the god Armaz.||caucasian_religion|
|Chaldean||+0.01% Monthly civilization value||The history of the Chaldean pantheon stretches back many thousands of years. Worshiping gods such as Anu, Enki and Nanna, the devotees of the Chaldean religion construct imposing temples in honor of their chosen God.||mesopotamian_religion|
|Khaldic||+6% National freeman output||The Khaldic pantheon represents a religion which grew out of the Urartian culture, many centuries before. A principally polytheistic faith, the chief god was known as Khaldi, and was worshiped as a warrior god.||armenian_religion|
|Cybelene||+5% Unintegrated culture happiness||The Phrygian cult of Cybele is linked to prehistoric Mother-Goddess worship. Evolving over thousands of years, the cult of Cybele often claimed relationship to mythical figures and heroes, and practiced their religion with the veneration of idols.||anatolian_religion|
|Druidic||+5% State religion happiness||Druids acted for the Celts, as a distinct social class. Often acting as magistrates and lawmakers, they also dictated local religious customs and beliefs. Druidic faiths are primarily found in Iberia, Gaul and the British Isles at the start of the game.||druidism|
|Iberic||+10% Import value||Essentially a hybrid polytheistic religion, Iberian religious practices involve the veneration of animal spirits, as well as ancestor worship. Various Hellenic and Phoenician gods were worshiped by the Iberians, as well as local deities such as Betatun or Ataecina.||animism|
|Jewish||Unusually amongst contemporary faiths, Judaism is a monotheistic religion. Following a series of prophets and teachers, the Jewish holy book, the Torah, contains the details of a covenant created between God and the children of Israel.||judaism|
|Zoroastrian||−5% Legion maintenance cost||The prophet Zoroaster taught of a faith in the Creator-God Ahuramazda. Evolving out of early Indo-Iranian polytheism, great reverence is shown for the 'eternal law', or, Daena, which espouses good and righteous conduct.||zoroaster|
|Megalithic||+5% State religion happiness||The ancient culture and religion was a melting pot of traditional egyptian beliefs, star-worship, and ancestor veneration. Many megaliths - stone constructs raised in honor of the gods - still exist, dotted about the African landscape.||berber_religion|
|Tuistic||−10% Migration cost||The ancient Germanic god for Tius, Teiws, or Tuisto, was worshiped by the early migratory tribes from modern-day Scandinavia. Many accounts suggest that the Germanic people practiced a largely animist religion, venerating the earth and sky, and the life force of all living things.||germanic_religion|
|Heptadic||+5% Monthly military experience||Originating in Scythian lands, this pantheistic faith worshiped seven principal gods, often equated to those of the Greek pantheon. Elements of the earlier polytheistic folk religion of the scythians still remains, as does the practice of horse sacrifice and chariot burials, similar to those of the Celts.||indo_iranian_religion|
|Arabic||+8% National tribesman happiness||Religion in Arabia was a polytheistic mixture of deities, aspects and demons, practiced in localities and enclaves around the region. Allah, the Creator-God, may have been worshiped as the head of the pantheon during this period, in some locations.||arabian_pantheon|
|Buddhist||+30% Pop conversion speed||A relatively young religion, Buddhism arose in Northern India, following the life of Siddhartha Gautama, or simply, Buddha. The Buddha was an ascetic teacher, who spoke of the Middle Way, throughout India.||buddhism|
|Hindu||+1 Diplomatic reputation||Hinduism evolved out of the Vedic period, shepherded by the creation of the Upanishads, and was widely followed throughout India during early antiquity.||hindu|
|Ritualistic||+1 Diplomatic relations||Representing a variety of localized faiths and folk religions, Ritualism espouses ancestor-worship, animism, and votive offerings.||eastern_animism|
|Bon||−10% Build cost||Bon represents a collection of folk religions originally practiced on the Tibetan plateau. Aspects of ancestor worship and animism appear frequently, as well as nascent polytheism.||bon_religion|
|Matrist||+5% Manpower recovery speed||Little is known of the Baltic tribes and their religion. Nonetheless, records survive, telling of cults worshiping a mother goddess, along the Baltic coast.||matrist_religion|
|Jain||+25% Pop promotion speed||Jainism is an Indian faith that spans back many years, to the early teachers of the religion. The Jains strongly believe in asceticism and non-violence, and have friendly relations with the other Indian traditions.||jainism|