Moral authority is an abstraction of a religion's strength, unity, and respect. Your religion's moral authority and its causes are visible in the Religion tab, while other religions' moral authority scores are visible in the Ledger.
High moral authority increases the speed and success rate of most types of religious conversion, including the likelihood of Pagans accepting foreign preachers. It also increases the size of holy orders. Low moral authority makes the rise and spread of heresy more likely.
Some religious actions require a minimum moral authority:
- 5% to call Great holy wars
- 40% to issue excommunications
- 50% to sanction invasions
- 50% to reform a pagan religion without control of all holy sites
Moral authority is primarily affected by control of holy sites and success or failure in religious wars. The personal qualities of the religious head (if there is one) also matter. A full list of factors that affect moral authority follows:
|Base for organized religion (i.e. not unreformed pagan)||20%||Permanent|
|Full control of holy site||+10%||Permanent|
|Partial control of holy site (bishop has religion but liege does not, or vice versa)||+5%||Permanent|
|Full control of unsettled holy site (no temple holding in province)||+5%||Permanent|
|Partial control of unsettled holy site (no temple holding, top liege's religion and county holder's religion differ)||+2.5%||Permanent|
|Diplomacy of religious head||+0.5%/point||Permanent|
|Piety of religious head. Max 25%, which is reached at 1250 piety.||+0.02%/point||Permanent|
|Religious head controls holy site||+5%||Permanent (does not stack)|
|Antipope exists (Catholic only)||-30%/antipope||Permanent|
|Immoral religious head||-10%||Permanent|
|Looted infidel temple while raiding||+1%||20 years|
|Temple looted||-1%||20 years|
|Built temple||+1%||20 years|
|Neglectful head of religion||-1%||10 years|
|Won/lost holy war||+3%/-3%||20 years|
|Won/lost county conquest||+1%/-1%||20 years|
|Won/lost crusade, jihad or great holy war||+10%/-10%||30 years|
|Won/lost prepared invasion||+5%/-5%||20 years|
|Won/lost religious/heretic revolt||+1%/-5%||20 years|
|Successful/failed inquisition||+2%/-2%||20 years|
|Successful/failed heretic dialogue||+1%/-1%||20 years|
|Ruler converted to/from religion (only for conversion by decision or event, not "Demand Conversion" interaction)||+3%/-3%||20 years|
|Ruler achieved "Paragon of Virtue" ambition||+1%||20 years|
|Yielded to/defied Pope||+2%/-2%||10 years|
|Yielded to/defied Patriarch||+1%/-1%||10 years|
|'Rise of the Shia Caliphate' event||+30%||50 years|
|Holy Order formed||+5%||10 years|
|Holy Order expelled||-5%||20 years|
|Deposed antipope||+5%||10 years|
|Papacy instituted||+10%||20 years|
|Patriarchy instituted||+10%||20 years|
|We sacrificed the Head of a false Religion!||+3%||20 years|
|Our Religious Head was sacrificed to Heathen Gods.||-3%||20 years|
- The easiest way for pagans to increase their moral authority is to raid infidel temples and conquer infidel counties.
- Give a holy site to the religious head (or hold it yourself if you're the Caliph or Fylkir). Catholics and Orthodox normally have the religious head controlling a holy site from the start, but other religions don't.
- Ensure that your religion controls as many holy sites as possible. However, Jerusalem is a holy site to many Christian and Muslim sects; you will run the risk of triggering crusades and jihads early.
- Getting moral authority high for the Indian religions is often not a priority (as they do not have heresies) and not an easy task (due to the absence of a religious head and great holy wars). Do note that Hindu rulers should aim to boost moral authority by securing Hindu holy sites, as their holy order (Followers of Arjuna) is notably large and can be used against non-Hindus. They can also sack non-Hindu temples as an alternative.
- Encourage the Become Paragon of Virtue ambition among your realm's rulers. Each success gives +1% moral authority.
- Hand out conquered temples/cities to characters who can select the ambition (less than 100 piety, not cruel or impaler), are likely to select it (zealous, learning education education), and are likely to achieve it (young and healthy, zealous, humble, content, chaste).
- Avoid letting them select the "become councilor" ambition, or help them achieve it if they do. Let each ruler serve as your Steward/Spiritual until they switch. Alternatively, grant counties piecemeal, so each count is forced to employ all 2-5 of their baron-level vassals.
- Consider spamming the "create priest" decision if you have excess piety. Each new character will have learning education and some will be zealous.