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The religion that a nation follows and how tolerant it is of other faiths is an important aspect of gameplay in EUIV. The religion of a nation will confer specific benefits, enable different mechanics, and affect diplomatic actions as nations of mutually accepted religions have a better chance of reaching agreements with one another. Religion is also connected to unrest and provinces of non-tolerated religions are more rebellious. The player has some control over religion by having the option to change the state religion, send missionaries to convert heathen or heretic provinces to the state religion, and carry out religious decisions.

Religions and denominations[edit]

Religion by province in 1444. For more details use the navigation box (legend) above.

Since EU4 first came out many of its featured religions have been further developed and fleshed out with unique mechanics.

The following table details which religions are expanded by which DLC (in order of appearance).

DLC Expanded mechanics
Wealth of Nations.png Wealth of Nations
  • Reformed.png Reformed
  • Hinduism Hindu
  • Norse.png Norse
El Dorado.png El Dorado
  • Inti.png Inti
  • Mayan.png Mayan
  • Nahuatl.png Nahuatl
Common Sense.png Common Sense
  • Protestantism Protestant
  • Mahayana.png Mahayana
  • Theravada.png Theravada
  • Vajrayana.png Vajrayana
The Cossacks.png The Cossacks
  • Tengri Tengri
Rights of Man.png Rights of Man
  • Coptic.png Coptic
  • Fetishist Fetishist
Mandate of Heaven.png Mandate of Heaven
  • Confucianism Confucian
  • Shintoism Shinto
Third Rome.png Third Rome
  • Orthodoxy Orthodox
Cradle of Civilization.png Cradle of Civilization
  • Sunni Islam Sunni
  • Shiite Islam Shia
  • Ibadi Islam Ibadi
Rule Britannia.png Rule Britannia
  • Anglican.png Anglican
Emperor Emperor
  • Hussite Hussite
  • Catholicism Catholic

Religious unity[edit]

Religious unity.png Religious unity is the percentage of a country's development provided by provinces that follow the state religion or a positively tolerated heretic or heathen religion, excluding any assigned to trade companies.

  • 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:

Tolerance Contribution
< 0 +0%
0 +25%
1 +50%
2 +75%
3 +100%

For example, suppose a Catholic country has a 10 development Catholic province, a 4 development Protestant province, and a 16 development Sunni province. If heretic tolerance is +1 and heathen tolerance is -2, the country's religious unity will be (100% * 10 + 50% * 4 + 0% * 16) / (10 + 4 + 16) = 40%

Ideas and policies which increase religious unity:

Religious unity.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Bengali idea 1: Bengali Hindu-Sufi Syncretism
  • Gujarat Sultanate idea 1: Garba!
  • Indian Sultanate idea 1: Tolerate the Idol Worshipers
  • Jaunpuri idea 3: Sants and Sufis
  • South Indian traditions
  • Sami traditions
  • Bosnian traditions
  • Granadan traditions
  • Papal traditions
  • Punjabi traditions
  • Humanist idea 1: Tolerance
  • Bahmani idea 2: Legacy of Gisu Daraz
  • Ferraran idea 1: Papal Recognition
  • Hessian idea 3: Welcome the Reformers
  • Kazani idea 1: Steppe Tolerance
  • Malvi idea 2: Malvi Art & Architecture
  • Permian idea 6: Komi Tolerance
  • Urbinate idea 4: A Humanist Court
  • Zaporozhian idea 6: Steppe Tolerance
  • Ayutthayan traditions
  • Bamberger idea 1: Bishop of Bamberg
  • East Frisian idea 3: Center of Religious Thought
  • Javan idea 1: Candi Shrines
  • Karamanid idea 6: Home of the Whirling Dervishes
  • Burmese idea 3: Nat Worship
  • West African idea 4: Ancestors and Crescent
  • Humanist-Aristocratic: Enlightened Aristocracy
  • Religious-Diplomatic: Policy of Calculated Delay
  • Religious-Offensive: The Anti-Heresy Act
  • Luccan idea 1: Mending the Papal Schisms
  • Smolenskian idea 1: Smolenskian Resolve
  • Ansbach idea 3: Franconian Reformers
  • Bayreuther idea 4: Franconian Reformers
  • Gond idea 2: Tribal Religion
  • Highlander idea 4: Episcopalianism
  • Pueblo idea 6: Clown Societies

Religious unity directly affects the following:

  • for each percentage point of religious unity:[1]
Monthly fervor increase.png +0.01 Monthly fervor
Maximum absolutism +0.05 Maximum absolutism
Clergy loyalty equilibrium.png +5% Clergy loyalty equilibrium
Brahmins loyalty equilibrium.png +5% Brahmins loyalty equilibrium
  • for each percentage point of religious unity below 100%:[2]
Stability cost modifier.png +1.0% Stability cost modifier
National unrest.png +0.03 National unrest
Church power.png −1.0% Church power
Devotion.png −0.01 Yearly devotion
Yearly corruption +0.001 Yearly corruption


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:[3]

Local unrest.png −1 Local unrest

Each point of negative tolerance gives:[4]

Local unrest.png +1.25 Local unrest
Local tax modifier.png −10% Local tax modifier
Local goods produced modifier −10% Local goods produced modifier

Additionally, positive tolerance of heretics and heathens allows those provinces to contribute to Religious unity.png religious unity (see above).

Note that there are some national ideas which remove all penalties for having negative tolerance.

Negative religious Tolerance no longer gives any penalties. Heretic and Heathen provinces do not give us any penalty to religious unity. Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Colonial traditions
  • Texan traditions
  • Vermont traditions
  • Hungarian idea 7: Create the Estates General
  • Kiwi idea 1: Maori Seats
  • Piratical idea 1: Religious Apathy
  • Rothenburg idea 1: Zarfat Registry

Tolerance of the true faith[edit]

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.

Ideas and policies that affect Tolerance own.png tolerance of the true faith:

Tolerance own.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Byzantine traditions
  • Ladakh traditions
  • Lan Xang traditions
  • Laotian traditions
  • Leonese traditions
  • Lusatian traditions
  • Québécois traditions
  • Romanian traditions
  • Sukhothai traditions
  • Tapuian traditions
  • Tirhuti traditions
  • Trierian traditions
  • Religious idea 4: Devoutness

*Ainu idea 6: Yukar

  • Al-Haasa idea 2: Lord of the Bedouin of the East
  • Anhalt idea 3: Incorporation of the Bishopric
  • Amago idea 6: Kizuki
  • Antemoro idea 5: Religious Control
  • Ardabili idea 3: Leader of all Shiites
  • Asakura idea 6: Control of Buddhist Sects
  • Asturian idea 2: Camino de Santiago
  • Bamberger idea 6: Vierzehnheiligen
  • Berg idea 7: Respecting the Autonomy of the Clergy
  • Bharathi idea 5: Ganga
  • Bremish idea 2: Memories of Verden
  • Cham idea 1: Memory of the My Son Temples
  • Chernihiv idea 6: Renovate the Transfiguration Cathedral
  • Chosokabe idea 7: Support of the Temples
  • Cornish idea 3: Prayer Book Traditionalism
  • Dithmarscher idea 2: Kirchspiele
  • Farsi idea 1: Land of the Persians
  • French ducal idea 4: Religious Conviction
  • Fulani Jihad idea 5: Islamic Scholarship
  • Garhwali idea 6: Protecting the Land of the Gods
  • Garjati idea 6: Jagannath Cult
  • Georgian idea 3: Legacy of Saint Nino
  • Greek idea 1: Greek Orthodox Faith
  • Hejazi idea 1: Custodian of the Two Holy Cities
  • Herzegovinian idea 1: Eparchy
  • Interlacustrine idea 4: Holy Lineages
  • Khorasani idea 6: Great Sheiks of Khorasan
  • Kitabatake idea 2: Blessing of Amaterasu
  • Lan Na idea 4: The White Elephant
  • Lorraine idea 6: Trois-Évêchés
  • Manipur idea 4: Mayek
  • Medri Bahri idea 2: Christian Legacy
  • Miao idea 1: Sacrificing to the Spirits
  • Moravian idea 2: Religious Sanctuary
  • Mossi idea 6: Honoring the Masks
  • Münster idea 1: Great Procession
  • Najdi idea 7: Enforce Tawhid
  • Northumbrian idea 3: Cradle of British Christianity
  • Offaly idea 4: The Fear of God
  • Ogasawara idea 7: Zenko-ji
  • Orleanaise idea 3: Faith and Devotion
  • Papal idea 1: Ecclesiastical Primacy
  • Pegu idea 3: Dhammazedi
  • Perugian idea 3: Meeting of the Five Conclaves
  • Pueblo idea 6: Clown Societies
  • Rajputana idea 5: Protectors of the Dharma
  • Rostov idea 3: Ecclesiastical Center
  • Sami idea 5: Defend the Noaidi Traditions
  • Samtskhe idea 7: A Sacred Land
  • Songhai idea 6: Sharia
  • Tokugawa idea 6: Toshogu
  • Transylvanian idea 6: Unitarian Zeal
  • Trent idea 1: Prince-Bishop
  • Tumbuka idea 4: Office of the Mulwa
  • Tyrconnell idea 3: Religious Patrons
  • Ulmer idea 7: Finish the Ulm Minster
  • Württemberger idea 5: Grosse Kirchenordnung
  • Yarkandi idea 4: Empower the Khojas
  • Yi idea 5: Promote the Bimoism
  • Mushasha ambition
  • Clanricarde traditions
  • Thomondian traditions
  • Croatian idea 4: Antemurale Christianitatis
  • Dhundhari idea 3: Restore Hindu Ceremonies
  • Genevan idea 4: Spiritual Leader of Geneva
  • Gujarati Princedom idea 5: Protect the Dwarkadhish Temple
  • Hatakeyama idea 3: Mount Koya
  • Kanem Bornuan idea 4: House of Kanem
  • Khmer idea 2: Theravada Buddhism
  • Kievan idea 5: Center Of Orthodox Church
  • Montenegrin idea 2: Metropolitanate of Montenegro
  • Muscovite idea 3: Seat of Metropolitan Bishop
  • Nepalese Princedom idea 3: Institute New Festivals
  • Prussian idea 1: Legacy of the Teutonic Knight
  • Ruthenian idea 7: Birth of Russian Orthodoxy
  • Saluzzo idea 6: Chiesa San Giovanni
  • Sardinian idea 2: Papal Restoration
  • Sindhi idea 4: Expand the Makli Necropolis
  • Swahili idea 3: Great Mosque of Kilwa
  • Teutonic idea 7: One State, One Religion
  • Theodorian idea 7: Cave Monasteries
  • Three Leagues idea 2: The League of God's House
  • Tunisian idea 7: Tunisian Caliphate
  • Utrecht idea 1: Devotio Moderna
  • Vindhyan idea 3: A Sacred Land
  • Welsh idea 7: Welsh Church

Additional modifiers:

  • +0.5 for ‘Trading inIncense.png incense
  • –2 for ruler with Sinner.png ‘Sinner’ personality

Tolerance heretic.pngTolerance of heretics[edit]

This refers to different religions within the same religious group. For example, if the state religion is Catholic, the religion group is Christian, and provinces that are Protestant, Reformed, Coptic, Orthodox, or Anglican 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:

Tolerance heretic.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • American idea 1: Freedom of Religion
  • Athenian traditions
  • Bosnian traditions
  • Cypriot traditions
  • Epirote traditions
  • Naxian traditions
  • Dali traditions
  • Lithuanian traditions
  • Ajami idea 2: In Honor of Ali
  • Bohemian idea 1: Compacta of Prague
  • Dutch idea 5: Embrace Humanism
  • Lusatian idea 6: Rights for all Religions
  • Qara Qoyunlu 3: In Honor of Ali
  • Saxon idea 4: Wittenberg University
  • Transylvanian idea 5: Patent of Toleration
  • Polish ambition
  • Al-Haasa traditions
  • Humanist idea 3: Ecumenism
  • Alaskan idea 5: Alaskan Religious Diversity
  • Baden idea 4: Cuius Regio, Eius Religio
  • Burgundian idea 6: Allow Freedom of Worship
  • Canadian idea 5: The Quebec Act
  • Dortmund idea 7: Reinoldikirche
  • East Frisian idea 5: Refuge of the Mennonites
  • French idea 7: Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité
  • Ilkhanid idea 2: Favor Sufism
  • Kurdish idea 2: Li Gora Gawirî Kurd Misilman e
  • Luccan idea 1: Mending the Papal Schisms
  • Lur idea 4: Popular Religion
  • Pomeranian idea 4: Religious Freedom
  • Ruthenian idea 2: Foreign Influences
  • Swiss idea 2: Swiss Tolerance
  • Thüringian idea 3: Protector of Reformers
  • Utsunomiya idea 7: Mount Nikko
  • Gelre ambition
  • Religious-Plutocratic: The Tolerance Act
  • Albanian idea 6: Albanian Tolerance
  • Arawak idea 4: Tribal Tolerance
  • Circassian idea 7: Religious Flexibility
  • Frisian idea 6: Difference of Opinion
  • Garhwali idea 7: Crossroads of Faith
  • Kikuchi idea 5: Religious Coexistence
  • Ouchi idea 6: Welcome the Westerners
  • Prussian idea 7: Religious Toleration
  • Sligonian idea 7: Pragmatism Over All
  • Tibetan idea 4: The Way of Virtue
  • Urbinate idea 4: A Humanist Court
  • Vijayanagar idea 4: Tolerance
  • Westphalian idea 6: Religious Toleration

Additional modifiers:

  • +1 for ruler with Tolerance heretic.png ‘Tolerant’ personality

Heretic conversion events[edit]

Tolerance of heretics of ≥ 2 will allow provinces to randomly convert to those heretic religions. The mean time to happen is 5000 months, lowered by Innovative Ideas and having a neighboring province with the new religion while increased by having the theocracy government type. Provinces with the "Religious Zeal" modifier will not receive these events at all.

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
  • Buddhist, Shinto → Confucian

In addition, only Japanese-culture provinces can convert to Shinto as the result of an event.

Tolerance heathen.pngTolerance of heathens[edit]

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:

Tolerance heathen.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Ottoman traditions
  • Semien traditions
  • Andalusian idea 3: Alh Ulh Dhimma
  • Granada idea 1: People of the Book
  • Rûmi idea 4: Sultan of Rûm
  • Siddi idea 1: Goma
  • Javan traditions
  • Kaffan traditions
  • Kazani traditions
  • Malian traditions
  • Pagarruyung traditions
  • Permian traditions
  • Humanist idea 7: Humanist Tolerance
  • Arakanese idea 2: Rohingya Immigrants
  • Carib idea 6: Religious Syncretism
  • French idea 7: Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité
  • Golden Horde idea 7: Religious Pragmatism
  • Guarani idea 4: Jesuit Conversions
  • Ito idea 6: Sympathy for New Faiths
  • Kutai idea 2: Muslim Trading Communities
  • Laotian idea 3: Satsana Phi
  • Luzon idea 4: Tagalog Syncretism
  • Malayan sultanate idea 2: Sufi Legacy
  • Mindanao idea 1: An Islamicized Barangay
  • Mysorean idea 3: Religious Tolerance
  • Omani idea 3: Association With Unbelievers
  • Sadiyan idea 2: Crossroad of Religions
  • Tripuran idea 3: Religious Syncretism
  • Samtskhe ambition
  • Albanian idea 6: Albanian Tolerance
  • Circassian idea 7: Religious Flexibility
  • Frisian idea 6: Difference of Opinion
  • Garhwali idea 7: Crossroads of Faith
  • Kikuchi idea 5: Religious Coexistence
  • Ouchi idea 6: Welcome the Westerners
  • Sligonian idea 7: Pragmatism Over All
  • Tibetan idea 4: The Way of Virtue
  • Vijayanagar idea 4: Tolerance
  • Westphalian idea 6: Religious Toleration

Additional modifiers:

  • +1 for ruler with Tolerance heretic.png ‘Tolerant’ personality

Become Defender of the Faith.png Defender of the Faith[edit]

Each Christian or Muslim denomination can have one Defender of the Faith. It costs Gold Icon.png 500 ducats for a country to claim the title. Countries with female rulers, regencies or which are subject nations cannot claim the title. Being Defender of the Faith gives the following modifiers (without Emperor):

Missionaries.png +1 Missionary
Morale of armies.png +5% Morale of armies
Morale of navies.png +5% Morale of navies
War exhaustion.png −0.03 Monthly war exhaustion
Prestige.png +1 Yearly prestige
Technology cost.png +5% Technology cost
Papal influence.png +1 Yearly papal influence
Devotion.png +0.5 Yearly devotion

Additionally, all other countries of the same religion get a +10 “Defender of Faith” relations boost with the title holder.

Countries automatically call the Defender of the Faith of their religion to arms if attacked by a nation of another religion. Since patch 1.8, it seems the Defender of the Faith gets a call to arms only for countries on the same continent or sharing their border. The Defender of the Faith doesn't get a call to arms if the country attacked is a co-belligerent (e.g., if France is the Catholic Defender of the Faith and Venice (Catholic) is allied with Serbia (Orthodox), then if Ottomans (Sunni) attack Serbia and make Venice co-belligerent, France doesn't get a call to arms).

Catholic countries that hold the Defender of the Faith title cannot be excommunicated by the Papacy, regardless of relations.

The Defender of the Faith loses the title, but no prestige, if they refuse or lose the war.

If Defender of the Faith refuses a call to war, it gets a 5-years truce with the country that was calling. Therefore, if your ally is Defender of the Faith and you have a common enemy of the "defended" religion, this ally will not be able to join you in an offensive war against this enemy, as AI wouldn't break a truce.

Note: If the title holder ends any war with a result other than a white peace or victory, the title will be lost.

Depending on the strength of the Faith (based on number of countries), multiple tiers of Defender of the Faith are available:[5]

Amount of countries Effects – Defender of the Faith Effects – All countries with the true faith
  • Missionaries.png +1 Missionary
  • Missionary maintenance cost.png −10% Missionary maintenance cost
  • Missionaries.png +1 Missionary
  • Missionary maintenance cost.png −10% Missionary maintenance cost
  • Prestige.png +0.5 Yearly prestige
  • War exhaustion.png −0.03 Monthly war exhaustion
  • Missionaries.png +1 Missionary
  • Missionary maintenance cost.png −20% Missionary maintenance cost
  • Morale of armies.png +5% Morale of armies
  • Morale of navies.png +5% Morale of navies
  • Prestige.png +1.0 Yearly prestige
  • Missionaries.png +1 Missionary
  • Missionary maintenance cost.png −20% Missionary maintenance cost
  • Morale of armies.png +5% Morale of armies
  • Morale of navies.png +5% Morale of navies
  • Prestige.png +1.0 Yearly prestige
  • War exhaustion.png −0.03 Monthly war exhaustion
  • Manpower in true faith provinces +20% Manpower in true faith provinces
  • Missionaries.png +1 Missionary
  • Missionary maintenance cost.png −20% Missionary maintenance cost
  • Morale of armies.png +5% Morale of armies
  • Morale of navies.png +5% Morale of navies
  • Prestige.png +1.0 Yearly prestige
  • War exhaustion.png −0.03 Monthly war exhaustion
  • Manpower in true faith provinces +20% Manpower in true faith provinces
  • Missionary maintenance cost.png −20% Missionary maintenance cost[6]


Defender of the Faith icon
Become Defender of the Faith.
God Tier icon
Become a Tier 5 Defender of the Faith as a nation that is neither Catholic nor Sunni.


Province conversion[edit]

The most common way to convert provinces is the use of missionaries, but there are also several other methods. If you have the Cradle of Civilization DLC Cradle of Civilization.png, you have the ability to directly convert your subjects' provinces to your subjects' State religion.[7]

Missionaries.png Missionaries[edit]

Missionaries are envoys that can convert a province to a nation's official religion. Missionaries slowly convert provinces over 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 (less than 0%), the province will never convert (although the missionary will not lose progress). An active missionary in a province will increase the unrest there by +6%. [8]

Each country has 1Missionaries.png missionary by default. More can be obtained through the following:

Missionaries.png Conditions
  • Become Defender of the Faith.png Defender of the faith.
  • Coptic.png Coptic holding Alexandria (358)
  • Hinduism Hindu holding Varanasi (2095)
  • Inti.png Inti (reformed) holding Lima (809)
  • Mahayana.png Mahayana holding Luoyang (1836)
  • Mayan.png Mayan (reformed) holding Sotuta (846)
  • Nahuatl.png Nahuatl (reformed) holding Cholula (2644)
  • Orthodoxy Orthodox holding Alexandria (358), Antioch (2313), Constantinople (151), Jerusalem (379) and Roma (118) (as long as all provinces are Orthodox)
  • Sikhism Sikh holding Doaba (2075) as long as the province is Sikh
  • Theravada.png Theravada holding Kandy (2099)
  • Vajrayana.png Vajrayana holding Lhasa (677)
  • Theravada.png Theravada, Vajrayana.png Vajrayana or Mahayana.png Mahayana holding Pataliputra (558)
  • Cult Buddhadharma.png Buddhist holding Patna (558)
  • Cult Christianity.png Christian holding Mecca (385)
  • Cult Islam.png Muslim holding Mecca (385) and Medina (384)
  • Cult Christianity.png Christian (non-Catholic) or Cult Islam.png Muslim holding Roma (118)
  • Cult Christianity.png Christian, Jewish.png Jewish or Cult Islam.png Muslim holding Jerusalem (379)
  • Parliament.png Propagation of State Religion as active issue.
  • as Shintoism Shinto with Isolationism(level 3 only)
  • as Gov feudal theocracy.png Feudal Theocracy

Ideas and policies:

Missionaries.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Asturian traditions
  • Bamberger traditions
  • Colognian traditions
  • Divine traditions
  • Sindhi traditions
  • Religious idea 1: Missionary Schools
  • Ajuuraan idea 3: Gareen Imams
  • Castilian idea 2: Spanish Inquisition
  • Circassian idea 4: Franciscan Missionaries
  • Ethiopian idea 5: The Ark of the Covenant
  • Fulani Jihad idea 1: Wandering Scholars
  • Herzegovinian idea 2: Saint Sava
  • Jerusalem idea 4: Land of the Heathen
  • Lotharingian idea 6: Land of Bishops
  • Münster idea 3: Founding of Monasteries
  • Mushasha idea 2: Messianic Legacy of Muhammad bin Falah
  • Najdi idea 2: Hanbali School
  • Otomo idea 5: Christian Converts
  • Perugian idea 5: Heartbeat of Christianity
  • Teutonic idea 6: Promote Prussian Bishops
  • Tyrconnell idea 4: St Patrick's Purgatory
  • Utrecht idea 5: City of Churches
  • Bremish ambition
  • Leinster ambition
  • Munster ambition
  • Najdi ambition
  • Northumbrian ambition

Decisions and events:

Missionaries.png Event modifier Trigger Duration
+2 Counter-Reformation Decision: “Embrace the Counter-Reformation until one of the four “The Counter-Reformation Ends” events.
+1 Melchior Klesl Austrian event: “Melchior Klesl
Option: ‘Such devotion! We have need of this man on the privy council.’
until ruler changes.
Missionary maintenance[edit]

The player can adjust the missionary maintenance cost by a slider on the economy interface between zero and full funding. Reducing the funding reduces missionary strength linearly, up to −5% missionary strength without funding. At full funding the costs of an active missionary per month is calculated based on the development and local autonomy of the province as follows[9]:

The following ideas reduce missionary maintenance cost:

Missionary maintenance cost.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Religious idea 6: Inquisition
  • Jerusalem traditions
Missionary strength.pngMissionary strength[edit]

Base missionary strength is 2%. Modifiers 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 inclined towards Mysticism
  • Patriarch Authority: Up to +2% for Orthodox states that have Patriarch Authority.
  • Coptic Blessing: +1.5% for Coptic states that have the Send Monks to Establish Monasteries blessing. (Rights of Man.png Rights of Man only)
  • Building: +3% for a Cathedral
  • 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.
  • Holy Roman Empire: +1% for being the dominant religion in the Holy Roman Empire
  • State Edict: +1% enacting Enforce Religious Unity (provinces within the stated area)
  • Converting religions through the Religion tab gives a +10% "Religious Zeal" bonus for ten years, but only to converting heretics, not heathens.
  • Several ideas also affect missionary strength:

Missionary strength.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Religious idea 3: Divine Supremacy
  • Byzantine idea 7: Restore the Ecumenical Patriarch
  • Bremish traditions
  • Jerusalem traditions
  • Najdi traditions
  • Armenian idea 1: Apostolic Church
  • Austrian idea 5: Edict of Restitution
  • Asturian idea 5: Millenarian Revival
  • Castilian idea 2: Spanish Inquisition
  • Divine idea 4: Let No Man Tolerate the Witch
  • Hindustani idea 6: Patronize Sufi Missionaries
  • Javan idea 3: Dharmasastra
  • Kanem Bornuan idea 4: House of Kanem
  • Moldavian idea 5: Metropolis of Moldavia
  • Nubian idea 5: Nubian Religious Unity
  • Nuremberger idea 5: Franconian Centre of Reformation
  • Pagarruyung idea 1: Tantric Legacy
  • Palatinate idea 5: Heidelberg Catechism
  • Rigan idea 4: Denounce Witchcraft
  • Savoyard idea 4: Crush the Vaudois
  • Sindhi idea 2: Bab ul Islam
  • Sumatran idea 2: Porch of Mecca
  • Teutonic idea 4: Assume Religious Authority
  • Trent idea 7: Trent Religious Unity
  • Utrecht idea 5: City of Churches
  • Tsutsui ambition
  • Ajuuraan traditions
  • Lan Xang traditions
  • Tibetan traditions
  • Air idea 7: Ineslemen Teachings
  • Arabian idea 4: Spreading the Prophet's Word
  • Athenian idea 6: Preserve Archbishop of Athens
  • Breton idea 4: Breton Catholicism
  • Fulani Jihad idea 3: Fulani Jihads
  • Genevan idea 5: Calvin's Laws
  • German idea 5: Cuius Regio, Eius Religio
  • Hejazi idea 6: Hajj
  • Icelandic idea 3: Christian Identity
  • Khivan idea 4: Djuma Mosque
  • Kievan idea 5: Center Of Orthodox Church
  • Leinster idea 1: Legacy of Palladius
  • Muscovite idea 3: Seat of Metropolitan Bishop
  • Novgorod idea 2: City of Churches
  • Québécois idea 7: Jesuit Missions
  • Saluzzo idea 6: Chiesa San Giovanni
  • Sukhothai idea 4: Wat Si Sawai
  • Sami ambition
  • Religious-Aristocratic: The Witchcraft Act
  • Religious-Diplomatic: Policy of Calculated Delay
  • Religious-Espionage: Enforce Religious Law
  • Religious-Trade: Religiously Sponsored Guilds

In addition, a few ideas specifically affect missionary strength when converting heretics, but have no effect when converting heathens.

Missionary strength vs heretics.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Bavarian idea 4: Establish the Geistlicher Rat
  • Colognian idea 5: Pivotal Ecclesiastic Territory
  • Rûmi idea 7: Protector of Dar al-Islam
  • Religious-Offensive: The Anti-Heresy Act
  • Aachen idea 5: Expel Heretical Officials
  • Anhalt idea 7: The Confessor
  • Ardabili idea 4: Conversion of the Masses
  • Bamberger idea 5: Witch Burner
  • Bulgarian idea 2: Root Out the Heresies
  • Flemish idea 3: Beeldenstorm
  • Irish idea 4: Loyal Catholics
  • Manx idea 6: Burn the Heretic
  • Mushasha idea 7: Sufis and Shias of the Middle East
  • Ulster idea 5: Catholic Ascendency
  • Finnish ambition
  • Münster ambition
  • Kievan traditions
  • Clevian idea 3: Avid Reformers
  • Herzegovinian idea 2: Saint Sava
  • Welsh idea 7: Welsh Church

Things that decrease this speed include:

  • Province's current religion: −2% in Coptic, Muslim and Shinto provinces.
  • Province's current religion: −1% in Orthodox and Sikh provinces.
  • Culture: −2% for non-accepted cultures.
  • Territories: provinces in territories get −2%. The penalty is only removed when the province is fully cored.
  • Trade company provinces get −100%
  • Provincial development: −0.1% for each point of a province development level.
  • Religious Centers: Rome, Mecca, the initial Sikh province and all Protestant and Reformed Centers of Reformation get −5%.
  • Recently converted provinces get −100%, called Religious Zeal for 30 years.

Center of reformation.pngCenters of reformation[edit]

The first three European nations to convert to Protestantism Protestant, the first three to convert to Reformed.png Reformed, and a British nation if it takes one of the appropriate choices to convert to Anglican.png Anglicanism, have a random European province designated as a Center of reformation.png Center of Reformation. These centers of reformation will automatically convert nearby provinces to their religion. Provinces converted by a center of reformation get the −100% religious zeal modifier to missionary strength in that province for 30 years. Missionaries can't work in the same province that is being converted by a center of reformation. Each center of reformation can only convert one province at a time. Players will receive a notification if all provinces within the center's range have been converted to its religion.

A center of reformation is destroyed if its province is converted to another religion. The primary method for a Catholicism Catholic nation to slow or stop the spread of the reformation is to conquer and convert a province with a center of reformation, thereby eliminating its missionary effect on neighboring provinces.

A center of reformation will cease to convert provinces after start of the Age of Absolutism.png Age of Absolutism.

Conversion using trade policy[edit]

Muslim nations can enable "Propagate religion" policy in trade nodes inside a trade company region, provided that they control at least 50% of trade power in this node. While this policy is active, it will work the same way as a Center of reformation.pngcenter of reformation, but it will only target provinces which have a non-abrahamic religion.

National conversion[edit]

There are several different ways a country may change religion.

By direct action[edit]

Some religions may convert among certain heresies/sects via the Religion panel, at a cost of 100 prestige. This is true for Catholic, Protestant and Reformed Christians, Hindus and Sikhs once Sikhism is unlocked, as well as all Buddhists. Conversion by this method will give a whopping 10% missionary strength against Heretics for ten years, making conversion of provinces of the old faith quite rapid, unless it is entirely blocked due to local Religious Zeal modifiers. Sikhs can also convert to Sunni or Shia Islam this way.

Conversion is also possible through decisions in some cases, which causes a -4 stability hit (except for Sikh or Sunni/Shia conversion, which only reduces it by 2). 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 province development follows the other denomination.

Without Mandate of Heaven.png Mandate of Heaven, Japanese daimyos, but not the Shogun or Japan itself, may convert to Catholicism by decision if the majority of their territories are Catholic, which can happen following certain events in the 16th century. With Mandate of Heaven, the Open outcome for the Ikko - Ikki, Neo-Confucianism, and Spread of Christianity Incidents will unlock a decision to convert to Mahayana, Confucianism, and Catholic respectively.

Pagan nations that are not Tengri may convert to any non-Pagan faith if they control a province of that faith; Tengri nations are limited to Vajrayana Buddhism. Muslims owning a Sikh province may decide to convert to Sikhism - this decision probably mostly exists to allow Punjab to easily follow its historical religion.

By event[edit]

Totemism Totemist and Animism Animist pagans get events to convert to Catholicism Catholic, Protestantism Protestant, or Reformed.png Reformed Christianity if they have neighbors of the appropriate denomination and a sufficient positive opinion with that neighbor. Tengri pagans with a dominant secondary faith may be prompted to change to it or face a -3 stability hit; they also have event chains that end in conversion to their secondary religion.

Flag of Kongo Kongo and Flag of Ming Ming have special event chains to convert to Catholicism Catholicism.

A nation in the British region, typically Flag of England England, can get an event, based on the wives of Henry VIII, to convert to Anglican.png Anglicanism with the Rule Britannia.pngRule Britannia DLC.

Some nations, for example Flag of Sweden Sweden, have unique events enabling them to change religion.

Countries that have the Indian Sultanate government by default, but are neither Muslim nor were forcefully converted to another religion, will quickly be forced to choose by event between conversion to the appropriate branch of Islam, or facing a large amount of rebels and a stability hit. This generally only is the case if they have been released as a vassal or in a peace deal, which will likely make them Hindu initially, because Indian sultanates rarely convert the local religion, and indeed have no need to due to their large bonus to heathen tolerance. AI will always choose to convert.

Forced conversion by other nations[edit]

A nation can force a heretic country to change their state religion as part of a peace deal. The revolutionary target may also do this to heathens. Without an appropriate casus belli such as "Cleansing of Heresy" or "Religious Conformance" (unique to the Holy Roman Emperor against HRE members), this will have the same war score cost as annexing the nation. When a country is converted this way, only the state religion and the capital province's religion change. Note that at 100 war score, you can make the defeated opponent force convert you this way even if he wouldn't want that as part of a peace deal.

Once the religion of the Holy Roman Empire has been locked, the emperor can also 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.

With the Common Sense.pngCommon Sense DLC, suzerains may force their subject nations to change religions if they follow a different faith. If heretic, this gives +50 liberty desire, and if heathen +100 liberty desire, both gradually ticking down.

Forced conversion by rebels[edit]

Nations can support religious zealots in other 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 unrest 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. This can be done by declaring war against the target nation using the "Support Rebels" casus belli.

A nation that is broken by religious rebels, or that accepts their demands, will convert to the rebels' religion provided that the rebels' religion is the plurality religion in terms of development. For most countries, giving in to religious rebels is the only way to change between religious groups.

However, only Animism Animist rebels, not other types, can convert a non-Pagan nation to a Pagan faith. Thus Animism must serve as a springboard to conversion to other pagan faiths.


  • Base missionary strength is very small compared to modifiers, both positive and negative. This means that conversion can be very fast or impossible. Religious ideas are sometimes essential to make any progressive conversion work.
  • Setting provinces as states is vitally important:
    • Provinces in territories and with an unaccepted population culture have a missionary strength modifier of -4% before other modifiers. In contrast, provinces in states can promote cultures to become acceptable and can enact "Enforce Religious Unity" for a modifier of +1%, a net difference of +5%.
  • Provinces that do not have the state religion generally suffer from low tolerance and also lower the nation's Religious Unity. With that, nations that are challenged with large numbers of wrong-religion provinces will have to choose between converting them or tolerating them, and with the 1.26 update the main way of tolerating them as a large nation is to use the Humanist idea group.
  • Several Triggers for Religions give bonuses or penalties. You should keep in mind these Triggers to optimize your religious conversion. See Triggered modifiers
  • For Catholic nations intending to convert to Protestant or Reformed, consider driving relations with the Pope down to enact Declare Statute in Restraint of Appeals and then build them back up to Revoke Restraint of Appeals for a +1% missionary strength that remains to the end of the game.


  1. See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/static_modifiers/00_static_modifiers.txt (Static modifiers#Religious unity).
  2. See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/static_modifiers/00_static_modifiers.txt (Static modifiers#Inverse religious unity).
  3. See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/static_modifiers/00_static_modifiers.txt (Static_modifiers#Tolerance).
  4. See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/static_modifiers/00_static_modifiers.txt (Static modifiers#Intolerance).
  5. See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/defender_of_faith/00_defender_of_faith.txt.
  6. This modifier is called “Powerful Defender of Faith”.
  8. See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/static_modifiers/00_static_modifiers.txt (Static_modifiers#Active missionary).
  9. See patch 1.28.

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