Religion

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Religion in 1066

Every character in the game follows a religion. A character's religion has a major impact on their gameplay mechanics.

Interaction between religious groups is mostly limited to warfare. Characters may convert to another religion in some cases.

Religion groups[edit]

Six religious groups are represented in Crusader Kings II. Within each group there are variants, heresies, or both.

Religion group DLC required1 Marriage2 Key mechanics and variants Common goals
Christian Monogamy

Variants of Christianity are uniquely peaceful toward each other, disallowing the use of religious revocation except against heretics.

Relations with religious head are important, as they can perform excommunication, enabling free imprisonment and a depose-ruler CB.

Variants:

  • Catholic: extra Papal favors, Papal succession by election among the College of Cardinals, antipopes, investiture. The Sanctioned Invasion CB is also mostly used by Catholics.
  • Orthodox: the largest religion with autocephaly
  • Miaphysite: a branch of Christianity in East Africa, led by Coptic Pope of Alexandria.
  • Nestorian: a really minor branch of Christianity, led by Patriarch of the East.

Heresies:

  • Fraticelli: can establish a papacy just like Catholicism
  • Cathar: full feminism (female temple holders, councilors, and commanders; no opinion penalty for female ruler or heir)
  • Messalian: full feminism like Cathar; close-relative marriage like Zoroastrian
Israelite
(Jewish)
Sons of Abraham Monogamy

Heresies

Completely control the Kingdom of Jerusalem in order to create the Kingdom of Israel and restore the high priesthood.
Islam
(Muslim)
Sword of Islam Polygyny

Powerful Muslim CBs allow fast expansion, but large realms often fail due to dynastic decadence. Most variants of Islam can have a caliph, a secular (and thus playable) religious head.

Iqta government replaces both Feudal and Theocracy governments, allowing rulers to hold both castles and mosques without penalty. Iqta rulers can freely revoke duchies, and use Open succession to effectively designate heirs.

Variants:

  • Sunni: schools of thought, Shia uprisings
  • Shia
  • Ibadi

Heresies:

  • Yazidi: excommunication

Usurp the Caliphate by claiming the existing caliph's primary title.

Or, create a new caliphate by conquering key locations and converting to a variant with no current Caliph.

Pagan The Old Gods Concubinage

Many unique mechanics make Pagans strong early on but weaker as time passes. Powerful Pagan CBs allow fast expansion, but unreformed Pagans have extreme stability problems. Can raid regardless of culture or government.

Variants:

  • Germanic: runestones, prepared invasions, river movement, viking trait, secular religious head
  • Tengri: horse warfare bonuses make them uniquely suitable for nomadism. Often associated with cultures that support the powerful Tribal Invasion CB.
  • Aztec: prisoner sacrifice
  • Defensive: four variants which are similar to each other.
  • Zunist: Can't raid, but don't suffer the stability penalty that other pagan religions have. Attrition, levy and heavy infantry bonus. Can intermarry with the Dharmic religions.

Control holy sites in order to boost moral authority and reform the religion.

Reformed religions combine the best features of paganism and existing organized religions. They consider those following the old ways to be heretics.

Tribal rulers must reform (or convert) in order to adopt feudalism or found a merchant republic.

Mazdan
(Zoroastrian)
The Old Gods Concubinage

The main religion, Zoroastrianism, allows and even encourages marriages between close relatives.

Heresies

Completely control the Empire of Persia in order to become Saoshyant and restore the priesthood.

Dharman (Indian) Rajas of India Concubinage

Characters can convert to another Dharmic religion if they control any province with the new religion. Provinces convert very slowly, but this is okay because there is no revolt risk. No religious heads.

Variants:

  • Hindu: A huge holy order and +30% morale. Hindus are the only Indians who can raid and wage duchy-level holy wars. They are hindered by strict adherence to the caste system, and by lack of heir designation.
  • Buddhist: ambition to reject negative trait. Buddhist county conquest CB against other religion groups, which can be extremely useful if used strategically.
  • Jain: stability bonuses include a large demesne, vassal opinion boost, and pacifist AI that further reduces factionalism.

Conquer the entire Indian subcontinent in order to unite India into a single de jure empire.

1Religion DLC is not required to play as a nomad; Horse Lords unlocks nomadic rulers of all religions. However, players must convert to a playable religion before they can settle down to a non-nomadic government type.

2All religions support concubinage when tribal or nomadic. For Muslims, this replaces polygamy for rulers[what about courtiers?]

Relations[edit]

If characters are of different religions, they'll get a large opinion penalty towards one another:

Name Criteria Opinion Example
Religious Differences Different religions of the same religious groups -10 Catholic vs Orthodox
Heretic Different religion within the same religious sub-group -35 Catholic vs a Catholic Heresy
Infidel Different religion group -30 Catholic vs Sunni
Zealous Anyone of different religion -50 Stacks with standard penalty

This penalty, apart from Zealous, is reduced by the Tolerance technology in the capital of each character, -6.25% per technology level. Additionally, a character who is sympathetic towards another religious group has no Infidel penalty towards or from characters following a religion of that group.

Application of Crown Laws and Offers of Vassalization[edit]

Religion affects how Crown laws are applied. This is particularly important in regions which see frequent religious conflict (Iberia, Eastern Europe and the Near East), or are simply religiously diverse (India). Independent dukes and counts are considered to have the No Crown Authority Law, if the king of the de jure kingdom which they belong to is of another religion.

AI rulers will also never accept diplomatic vassalization if they follow a different religion from the potential liege's.

Holy wars[edit]

Main article: Casus Belli#Religious CBs

Religion also provides various Casus Belli, most notably holy war and Crusades, though this varies from religion to religion - both are unavailable to unreformed pagans for example. Sword of Islam also introduced two new Casus Belli specifically for Muslims.

Religious head[edit]

Main article: Religious head

Religion also affects what powers the religious head has; unreformed Pagan religions for example have no Religious Head, while a Christian Religious head can excommunicate characters, which is impossible for Muslims and Pagans.

Pagan religions may gain a religious head and a Great Holy War (Crusade CB) if they reform. They then become the "Reformed" version. The version without a religious head and Great Holy War becomes a heresy and is called the "Old" version of the religion.

Moral Authority[edit]

Main article: Moral authority

Each religion has a moral authority, determined by the actions of its followers. It defines the power of the religion, and impacts the chances of heresies.

List of religions[edit]

Parent religions[edit]

Religion Group Head Holy Sites Holy Sites Maps Mechanics Special CBs Religion modifier.png Modifiers
Catholic.png Catholic Christian The Papacy

Rome
Santiago
Köln
Jerusalem
Kent

Hscatholic.png Excommunication, College of Cardinals, Investiture, Antipope, Pilgrimage Holy war, Crusades, Sanctioned Invasion
Orthodox.png Orthodox Christian The Ecumenical Patriarchate

Constantinople
Jerusalem
Antioch
Samos
Athens

Hsorthodox.png Autocephaly, Excommunication, Mending the Great Schism, Pilgrimage Holy war, Sanctioned Invasion
Miaphysite.png Miaphysite Christian The Coptic Papacy

Alexandria
Aksum
Antioch
Jerusalem
Napata

Hsmiaphysite.png Autocephaly, Excommunication, Pilgrimage Holy war, Sanctioned Invasion
Nestorian.png Nestorian Christian The Patriarchate in the East

Alexandria
Antioch
Baghdad
Jerusalem
Rayy

Hsnestorian.png Autocephaly, Excommunication, Pilgrimage Holy war, Sanctioned Invasion
Sunni.png Sunni Muslim The Sunni Caliphate

Mecca
Medina
Jerusalem
Baghdad
Cordoba

Hssunni.png Decadence, Polygamy, Hajj Holy war (also vs non-Sunni, non-heretic Muslims), Muslim Invasion, County Conquest, Jihads, Caliphal Subjugation
Shia.png Shia Muslim The Shia Caliphate

Mecca
Medina
Jerusalem
Al Nadjaf
Damascus

Hsshiite.png Decadence, Polygamy, Hajj Holy war (also vs non-Shia, non-heretic Muslims), Muslim Invasion, County Conquest, Jihads, Caliphal Subjugation
Ibadi.png Ibadi Muslim The Ibadi Caliphate

Mecca
Medina
Jerusalem
Atlas Mnt
Hajar

Hsibadi.png Decadence, Polygamy, Hajj Holy war (also vs non-Ibadi, non-heretic Muslims), Muslim Invasion, County Conquest, Jihads, Caliphal Subjugation
Judaism.png Judaism Israelite None (Kohen Gadol once the Kingdom of Israel is restored)

Jerusalem
Damascus
Sinai
Dhofar
Hamadan

Hsjuif.png Holy war, Great holy wars, Sanctioned Invasion
Zoroastrian.png Zoroastrian Mazdan None (Zoroastrian Church once the Persian Empire is retaken)

Nishapur
Sistan
Fars
Oromied
Balkh

Hszoroastrian.png Divine blood, Concubinage Holy war, Great holy wars, Sanctioned Invasion
Hindu.png Hinduism Indian (Dharmic) None Ujjayini

Dvaraka
Mathura
Ayodhya
Varanasi

Hshindu.png Raiding, Caste System, Patron Gods, Concubinage, Sects Holy war, Indian Subjugation Morale +30%
Buddhist.png Buddhism Indian (Dharmic) None Devagiri

Vidisa
Varadasi
Gaya
Udabhanda

Hsbuddhist.png Sects, Concubinage, can designate heir, no penalty for female rulers/heirs, no short reign penalty Holy war (targets single county), Indian Subjugation Learning +4
Jain.png Jainism Indian (Dharmic) None Bhumilka

Sarasvata Mandala
Godwad
Srirangapatna
Rajrappa

Hsjain.png Sects, vassal opinion bonus, can designate heir, Concubinage, no short reign penalty Indian Subjugation Demesne limit +3

Peace purity gain 1/month

Norse.png Germanic Pagan None

Zeeland
Braunschweig
Uppland
Sjaelland
Naumadal

Hsnorse.png

Raiding, river movement, Concubinage, Reformation, female temple holders, defensive attrition, 250% short reign penalty, prestige loss while at peace, no penalty from raised vassal levies County Conquest, Subjugation, Prepared Invasion Levy size +30%

Retinue size +50%

Reformed Norse.png Reformed Germanic Pagan The Fylkirate Raiding, river movement, Concubinage, female temple holders, 150% short reign penalty Holy war (costs 100 piety with 5 year truce), County Conquest, Prepared invasion, Great holy wars Levy size +30%
Slavic.png Slavic Pagan None

Novgorod
Kiev
Plock
Birlad
Rugen

Hsslav.png

Raiding, Concubinage, Reformation, female temple holders, defensive attrition, 200% short reign penalty County Conquest, Subjugation Levy size +10%

Garrison size +30%

Home territory:
All Units Defensive +80%
Garrison size +40%

Reformed Slavic.png Reformed Slavic Pagan The Slavic Church Raiding, Concubinage, Great holy wars, female temple holders Holy war (costs 100 piety with 5 year truce), County Conquest, Great holy wars Levy size +20%

Garrison size +20%

Home territory:
All Units Defensive +80%
Garrison size +40%

Tengri.png Tengri Pagan None

Itil
Tobol
Crimea
Syr Darya
Otuken

Hstengri.png

Raiding, Concubinage, Reformation, 150% short reign penalty, prestige loss while at peace, no penalty from raised vassal levies, ignores defensive attrition County Conquest, Subjugation, Tribal Invasion Levy size +30%

Light Cav Offensive +30%
Light Cav Defensive +30%

Reformed Tengri.png Reformed Tengri Pagan The Tengri Church Raiding, Concubinage, Great holy wars Holy war (costs 100 piety with 5 year truce), County Conquest, Tribal Invasion, Great holy wars
Romuva.png Romuva Pagan None

Rugen
Chelminskie
Podlasie
Zemigalians
Bryansk

Hsromuva.png

Raiding, Concubinage, Reformation, female temple holders, defensive attrition, 200% short reign penalty County Conquest, Subjugation Levy size +10%

Garrison size +30%

Home territory:
All Units Defensive +80%
Garrison size +40%

Reformed Romuva.png Reformed Romuva Pagan The Romuva Church Raiding, Concubinage, female temple holders Holy war (costs 100 piety with 5 year truce), County Conquest, Great holy wars Levy size +20%

Garrison size +20%

Home territory:
All Units Defensive +80%
Garrison size +40%

Suomenusko.png Suomenusko Pagan None

Perm
Ryazan
Novgorod
Osel
Kexholm

Hssuomenusko.png

Raiding, Concubinage, Reformation, female temple holders, defensive attrition, 200% short reign penalty County Conquest, Subjugation Garrison size +40%


Home territory:
All Units Defensive +80%
Garrison size +40%

Reformed Suomenusko.png Reformed Suomenusko Pagan The Suomenusko Church Raiding, Concubinage, female temple holders Holy war (costs 100 piety with 5 year truce), County Conquest, Great holy wars Levy size +10%

Garrison size +30%

Home territory:
All Units Defensive +80%
Garrison size +40%

West African.png West African Pagan None

Timbuktu
Mali
Marrakech
Atlas Mnt
Medjerda

Hswestafrican.png

Raiding, Concubinage, Reformation, female temple holders, defensive attrition County Conquest, Subjugation Garrison size +40%


Home territory:
All Units Defensive +80%
Garrison size +40%

Reformed West African.png Reformed West African Pagan The West African Church Raiding, Concubinage, Great holy wars, female temple holders Holy war (costs 100 piety with 5 year truce), County Conquest, Great holy wars
Aztec.png Aztec Pagan None

Rome
Valois
Cordoba
Marrakesh
Middlesex

Hsaztec.png

Concubinage, prestige loss while at peace, no penalty from raised vassal levies County Conquest, Tribal Invasion Levy size +30%
Reformed Aztec.png Reformed Aztec Pagan The Aztec Church Concubinage Holy war (costs 100 piety with 5 year truce), County Conquest, Tribal Invasion, Great holy wars
Pagan.png Pagan Pagan None

Rome
Västergötland
Mecca
Jerusalem
Ghana

Hspagan.png Concubinage, defensive attrition County Conquest, Subjugation
Zunist.png Zunist Pagan None

Baghdad
Bost
Cairo
Kabulistan
Multan

Hszunist.png

Concubinage, Reformation, defensive attrition County Conquest, Subjugation

Levy size +30%
Heavy infantry offensive: +20%
Heavy infantry defensive: +20%

Reformed Zunist.png Reformed Zunist Pagan The Church of Zun Concubinage County Conquest, Great holy wars
Hellenic.png Hellenic Pagan None

Abydos
Thessalonica
Athens
Rome (Latium)
Alexandria

Hshellenic.png Pre-reformed, Concubinage, female temple holders County Conquest, Subjugation

Notes:

  • Since 2.4.1 when a barony that holds a holy site is destroyed, the province holds it instead, but the value of the province for moral authority is reduced by half. But if you build a temple in the province, it will become the holy site. This was to prevent the game from crashing when hordes raze a holy site.
  • Because a majority of Tengri land belong to hordes, they have no temples in a majority of their holy sites, forcing the player to build them.
  • The Hellenic and (generic) Pagan religions appear for characters in the history files, representing (for Hellenism) the pre-Christian Roman emperors and (for Paganism) pre-Christian Irish and pre-Islamic Arabs, among others. The rare "Spawn of Satan" event can lead to the creation of 3 generic pagan witches, but otherwise they cannot normally appear in-game without the console.
  • Catholicism and all Catholic Heresies become Orthodox heresies if the great Schism is mended. This does not affect the Miaphysite or Nestorian denominations.

Heresies[edit]

All religions with a parent religion are heresies. With Sons of Abraham, if a heresy becomes more prevalent than the parent religion (5 provinces more), it will become the new orthodoxy, and the parent religion will become a heresy. All holy orders of the parent religion switch over to the former heresy when this happens. Note that the Indian religions do not have heresies.

Religion Parent Group Head Mechanics Special CBs
Catholic Heresy.png Cathar Catholicism Christianity None Absolute Cognatic succession; female temple holders, councillors and commanders, no penalty for female rulers/heirs
Catholic Heresy.png Fraticelli Catholicism Christianity Fraticelli Pope (once established) Excommunication, College of Cardinals, Investiture, Antipope, Crusades As Catholic
Catholic Heresy.png Waldensian Catholicism Christianity None
Catholic Heresy.png Lollard Catholicism Christianity None
Miaphysite Heresy.png Monophysite Miaphysite Christianity The Monophysite Papacy Autocephaly, Excommunication As Orthodox
Nestorian Heresy.png Messalian Nestorian Christianity None Absolute Cognatic succession; Divine blood, female temple holders, female councillors and commanders, no penalty for female rulers/heirs
Orthodox Heresy.png Bogomilist Orthodoxy Christianity None Female temple holders, no penalty for female rulers/heirs
Orthodox Heresy.png Monothelite Orthodoxy Christianity The Monothelite Partriarchate Autocephaly, Excommunication, Mending the Great Schism As Orthodox
Orthodox Heresy.png Iconoclast Orthodoxy Christianity The Iconoclast Patriachate (once established) Autocephaly, Excommunication, Mending the Great Schism As Orthodox
Orthodox Heresy.png Paulician Orthodoxy Christianity The Paulician Patriarchate (once established) Autocephaly, Excommunication, Mending the Great Schism As Orthodox
Sunni Heresy.png Zikri Sunni Islam None Decadence, Polygamy Muslim Invasion, County Conquest
Sunni Heresy.png Yazidi Sunni Islam The Yazidi Sheikhdom (once established) Decadence, Polygamy, Excommunication

Yazidi has its own holy sites. They are Nishapur, Fars, Mosul, Mecca, and Jerusalem.

Muslim Invasion, County Conquest
Ibadi Heresy.png Kharijite Ibadi Islam The Kharijite Caliphate (once established) Decadence, Polygamy As Ibadi
Shia Heresy.png Druze Shia Islam None Decadence, Polygamy Muslim Invasion, County Conquest
Shia Heresy.png Hurufi Shia Islam The Hurufi Skeikhdom [sic] (once established) Decadence, Polygamy Muslim Invasion, County Conquest
Zoroastrian Heresy.png Mazdaki Zoroastrian Mazdan None Can borrow money from Jewish Merchants
Zoroastrian Heresy.png Manichaean Zoroastrian Mazdan None
Judaism Heresy.png Samaritan Judaism Israelite None
Judaism Heresy.png Karaite Judaism Israelite None
Reformed Norse Heresy.png Old Germanic (Reformed) Germanic Pagan None Same as Germanic Same as Germanic
Reformed Slavic Heresy.png Old Slavic (Reformed) Slavic Pagan None Same as Slavic Same as Slavic
Reformed Tengri Heresy.png Old Tengri (Reformed) Tengri Pagan None Same as Tengri Same as Tengri
Reformed Romuva Heresy.png Old Romuva (Reformed) Romuva Pagan None Same as Romuva Same as Romuva
Reformed Suomenusko Heresy.png Old Suomenusko (Reformed) Suomenusko Pagan None Same as Suomenusko Same as Suomenusko
Reformed West African Heresy.png Old West African (Reformed) West African Pagan None Same as West African Same as West African
Reformed Aztec Heresy.png Old Aztec (Reformed) Aztec Pagan None Same as Aztec Same as Aztec
Reformed Zunist Heresy.png Old Zunist (Reformed) Zunist Pagan None Same as Zunist Same as Zunist

When a pagan religion is reformed, anyone following it gets an event to decide whether to accept the reformation. If they don't, they become the "Old" version, which is considered a heresy. The reformed version keeps the name of the pre-reformation religion.

Likewise, if an Orthodox ruler mends the Great Schism, Catholic rulers get an event to decide whether to convert to Orthodoxy (or the "heresy"). Either way, Catholicism is thereafter treated as an Orthodox heresy, and all the Catholic heresies become Orthodox heresies instead. Orthodox Heresies can also mend the Great Schism if they manage to replace Orthodoxy as the parent religion.

Religion ID tags[edit]

catholic; orthodox; sunni; shiite; miaphysite; jewish; cathar; bogomilist; zikri; bektashi; monophysite; mazdaki; fraticelli; nestorian; yazidi; druze; manichean; waldensian; monothelite; ibadi; hurufi; zoroastrian; lollard; iconoclast

pagan; hellenic_pagan; norse_pagan; norse_pagan_reformed; tengri_pagan; tengri_pagan_reformed; baltic_pagan; baltic_pagan_reformed; finnish_pagan; finnish_pagan_reformed; aztec; aztec_reformed; slavic_pagan; slavic_pagan_reformed; west_african_pagan; west_african_pagan_reformed; zun_pagan; zun_pagan_reformed

See also[edit]

Religion
Unique concepts
Religion groups