State religion

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The state religion is the official religion of the ruling class of a country. In the EU2 timeframe, the idea of religious tolerance was being invented, and the related idea of state religious neutrality was almost nonexistent.

To see the state religion for a country, click on its coat-of-arms on its capital. This takes you to the country screen; an icon depicting its state religion is on the upper right.


Tech Stab PE TE Tax Morale Col Dip Miss
Protestant 1 3 10 10 +1 +1 +0.5
Reformed 2 3 10 -10 +2 +1 +0.5
CrC -3 -6 -10 0.5 +2 +2 +2
Catholic -1 -6 +2 +2 +1
Orthodox -1 -8 +1 +1
Sunni -1 -6 +1
Shi'ite -3 -6 -20 0.5 +1
Pagan -25 5
Confucian -10 -10 -20
Buddhist -5 -5 -20 +1
Hindu -10 3 5 0.5

State religion affects many aspects of the game. It defines a number of modifications: to morale, economic factors and state agents produced. These are defined in the file religion.csv, and listed in the table.

The column headings, and their meanings, are as follows:

There are many other effects of religion, which are not from religion.csv but rather hardcoded into the game. Here is a partial listing:

  • State religion defines which religious tolerance sliders your country has.
  • As mentioned below, your state religion defines both which other countries you may force-convert, and which religion they get if you do.
  • Province taxes are reduced when a city's religion does not match the owning state's religion.
  • State religion defines which cities a country may send missionaries to, and what the city's religion becomes if the religious conversion succeeds.
  • State religion affects size of the badboy increase a country suffers for force annexation.
  • State religion determines which other countries a country can have royal marriages with.
  • Many casus belli are based on religion.
  • The pagan religion has many special rules applying to it; see the separate article.
  • The Treaty of Tordesillas affects Catholic countries.

Initial state religion

State religion is established for most countries by the scenario. While a country exists, its state religion usually cannot be changed, however, changing religion is possible in several circumstances.

When a new country appears in the game, via a revolt or by a vassal being freed, its state religion is usually taken from its capital city's religion. (See the article on new country creation.) However, for a handful of countries this is not true: their religion is fixed (in revolt.txt) and will always be the same regardless of where their capital is.

Changing state religion

There are several ways in which a country's state religion may change: via events, voluntarily (for a few varieties of Christianity), and via force, as a result of a peace treaty (although few religions are vulnerable to force conversion).


Scripted events may change a state's religion to any other religion, although there are few countries which get such events, and when they do the change is often one they could make voluntarily. However, there are also a few countries which can switch religion via event to a religion which they could not voluntarily switch to. In the vanilla 1.09 grand campaign, the switches possible are these:

Country Date Event Name Choice Resulting Religion
Bohemia Aug 16, 1419 The Death of King Vaclav IV (a) Protestant
Byzantium Jan 1, 1439 The Council of Florence (a) Catholic
Byzantium Jan 1, 1460 Revocation of the Union (a) Orthodox
Ottoman Empire 1512-1514 Turko-Persian Conflicts: Shiite rebels (c) Shi'ite
Nippon Apr 14, 1614 Tokugawa's Edict of Expulsion (c) Counterreform Catholic

There are also random events affecting all pagan countries, all Hindu countries, and a few specific others (Mali, Nubia) allowing them to switch religions. Typically these events are not enabled until a certain date; also, for most of them the choice to change religion is choice B, so even if it gets them, an AI will usually decline the choice. Nonetheless, Hinduism is ordinarily almost wiped out by the end of the game in part via these events.

Voluntary change of state religion

For Western Christians, voluntary change between the four varieties of Western Christianity is allowed after certain major religious events have occurred. These are as follows:

Note that after the Edict, you can still be CrC, you just can't switch to it.

To change your state religion, you must be at peace. If you are, first get to the religion screen. The other variants of Christianity which you can currently change to are listed at the top. You can change religion by clicking a new one, then clicking "Convert"; a final warning will be displayed; verify the conversion here and it will be done.

Changing religion between CrC and Catholic has no effects other than the change itself. However, all other religion changes have fairly drastic effects upon the country changing its religion:

  • It loses 5 points of stability.
  • It breaks any royal marriages which are no longer allowed, causing further stability losses. (This can only happen when the switch is from Catholic to Protestant or vice-versa, and the Edict of Tolerance has not yet happened.)
  • Relations are dropped by -100 with all countries of the old religion. However, relations increase by +50 with all countries of the new religion.
  • It leaves its alliance (as if it had dishonored an alliance call) if any its allies are of the old religion. (This causes another stability hit and also gives each old ally a 1 year CB.)

AIs will tend change their state religion to match the religion of the majority of their provinces, if there is a majority religion. In addition, certain AIs will switch to Counterreform Catholicism when that choice is available; this option is coded in their AI file. The exact condition for AIs deciding to change are not known, however it is known that they cannot change their religion after a force conversion until the resulting truce expires.

Force conversion

Forced conversion of state religion is possible in certain conditions when making peace in wars between pairs of countries with some state religions. There are just three cases:

  • All countries may force-convert pagans.
  • The two types of Islam (Shi'ite and Sunni) may each force-convert the other.
  • Western Christians may force-convert other Western Christians.

AIs very rarely demand force-conversion, but it can happen. AIs always annex single province countries if they can. Against multiple province countries, they will typically make peace long before they get to 50% warscore. However it can happen, particularly against two province countries. It is possible to manipulate an AI to convert your country by getting in a war with it, then intentionally losing many battles and letting it capture your capital; then you must wait for it to demand conversion.

Force-conversion is an option in peace treaty negotiations, but only under certain conditions:

  • The peace must be negotiated as a separate peace on the enemy's side. Note that even if the enemy is the only country in its war coalition, you still must click the 'coalition leader' icon to make it a "separate" peace negotiation, or else the force-conversion option will not appear.
  • You must control the enemy capital.
  • Your country must have at least 50% in warscore against the enemy, on its own account. Your country's individual warscore is the amount you'd get if you were making a separate peace.
  • If you force-convert as part of a coalition peace, your war coalition must also have a warscore of 50%. (Since your country is required to have 50% on its own, this is typically not hard to do, but it does mean that your coalition can't have lost a lot of battles or territory to the enemy.)

If the enemy country accepts a peace proposal with a force conversion, the effect is that its state religion is changed to your state religion, and it cannot voluntarily change back while the truce lasts. There are no other effects on it, as there is for voluntary change. It does not lose stability, break royal marriages, etc.

Note that when you force-convert Western Christians, they can voluntarily change back to their old religion after the truce expires (5 years). Thus, force conversion is often not that useful in the West. However, pagans and Muslims cannot change back, and so force-converting them "sticks" and can be very useful.