Religion is a feature reintroduced in the Civilization V: Gods & Kings expansion pack. Just as in the real world, Religion consists of a series of Beliefs, defining the religion's ideas and goals. In the game environment this is represented through a system of bonuses, which have a diverse set of possible effects. A well-crafted Religion may considerably enhance your civilization's abilities, although it doesn't lead to a separate victory. Unlike other aspects of the game, it is definitely possible to win a game without even creating a Pantheon. However, considering the power of Religion, it is highly advisable you attempt to create one.
There are eleven religions to choose from (thirteen in Brave New World). These religions, however, are little more than the icons that represent them - it doesn't matter which one you pick because you can customize it at your own will. You can even change the name, if you'd like.
Religion doesn't exist at the start of a game (unlike Culture and Science, which start developing immediately after settling the Capital). It has to be created, first, and the path to this depends on the new stat - Faith.
Faith is a resource similar to Culture. It can normally be accumulated via buildings within cities (e.g. Shrine), but after some development, Faith may also be earned by various other means, including terrain features and Religious City-States. Furthermore, some natural wonders and tile improvements allow for Faith accumulation. Faith is initially used to found pantheons and acquire Great Prophets, but after you've founded a Religion (or at least after some of your cities have converted to another religion), you can expend Faith to purchase certain units (such as Missionaries and Inquisitors) or buildings (such as the Cathedral). You may even be able to purchase common units with Faith, if you adopt certain Beliefs.
Beliefs are the practical effects of religions and pantheons, selected when they are founded. Each belief is unique and may only be selected by one religion/pantheon in the game - thus each religion/pantheon is distinct from all others and has no overlapping effects.
The Path to ReligionEdit
Founding a PantheonEdit
Pantheons are simple, proto-religious Beliefs, centered on Gods which are related to many natural phenomena. When enough Faith has been accumulated, it may be spent to found a pantheon. A pantheon allows for one pantheon belief to be chosen. Each successive pantheon founded in the world costs more Faith (+5 per Pantheon) to found. Also, once a certain Pantheon has been chosen, it isn't available to choose by other civilizations anymore.
Pantheons may not be founded once a religion has enhanced and there are as many pantheons in the world as the number of foundable religions.
Founding a ReligionEdit
After you have founded a pantheon, a Great Prophet will eventually appear (through further Faith accumulation, or from completing Wonders). He has the special ability to "Found a Religion". Use it to create your own!
The founding of a religion consists of selecting an icon and a name for your religion (you may choose among the contemporary religious symbols and the real-world name related to it, or you can type a new name at your own); and then selecting one Founder belief and one Follower belief. They are then added to your Pantheon belief for the formation of your Religion. The city where the Prophet was used for founding a Religion turns into the Holy City for that Religion, and is immediately converted to it (most of its citizens start following it, though not all - some remain pagans).
Enhancing a ReligionEdit
Finally, a second Great Prophet can be used to enhance the religion, allowing you to choose a second Follower belief and an Enhancer belief. You can also choose a Bonus belief when founding a religion if you are playing as Byzantium.
In Brave New World's Piety tree, if you adopt the Reformation policy, you can choose one additional Reformation belief, for a total of 6 Beliefs per Religion (seven if you play as Byzantium).
Last but not least, the selected Beliefs will be unique to your Religion, so other Religions won't be able to choose them when founding or enhancing. Remember the sayings, "First come, first serve".
Only a limited number of religions can be founded in the world, determined by map size; e.g. there cannot be more than 5 World Religions in a Standard map with 8 civilizations.
Spreading a ReligionEdit
If a city has a majority religion (at least half of its population are its followers), the city starts exerting religious pressure to all other cities within 10 tiles, regardless of their civilization affiliation. This pressure results in conversion of citizens in those cities. Note that if the target city already has a majority religion, it needs at least two cities from another religion to start the conversion process. By default, the amount of religious pressure each city exerts is 6. Pressure from various cities adds together for increased effect. The greater the pressure, the faster citizens in that city convert to the new religion.
If there are more than one religion competing for influence in a given city, the one with greater pressure gains the upper hand, and will eventually convert the city. However, there will always be some followers of the competing religion in that city.
In Brave New World, trade routes also spread the Religion of their source city to the target city, regardless of the distance! The effect lasts as long as the Trade Route is active. Use this as a way to reach cities out of the normal reach of automatic spread.
The second way of spreading a religion is by using a special civilian unit, the Missionary. Great Prophets also have an ability to spread religion, which appears to be much stronger (although its quantitative value seems the same), but be aware that once they start spreading a religion, they can't use their other abilities! Both Missionaries and Prophets have a maximum number of times they can "Spread Religion" (2 for Missionaries, 4 for Prophets), and they will disappear after that.
You may move these units to target cities, and when they're in, or right next to them, they may use their special ability "Spread Religion" to immediately convert some citizens to their religion. Generally, it's easier to convert Pagan cities (those that have no majority religion yet). Note that the presence of an Inquisitor in the city greatly diminishes the effect of this type of conversion.
Both Missionaries and Prophets can move through territory you have no access to (without Open Borders treaty), but if so, your Missionaries will lose 25% of their conversion power every turn they end their turn on this territory. If their power drops to 0, they disappear (this effect is called 'attrition'). Prophets aren't affected by this problem - their faith is apparently too strong.
You may purchase Missionaries and Inquisitors from cities with Faith, once you've created a religion. Also, if you chose the necessary beliefs, you would even be able to purchase certain Buildings, such as a Cathedral or a Monastery in cities following your religion! Those buildings aren't constructable by any other means, they're only purchasable with Faith.
Initially, Great Prophets only appear automatically once a certain minimum amount of Faith has been accumulated (the amount increases for each Great Prophet), but once you enter the Industrial Era, Great Prophets become available to purchase from cities.
Another interesting fact - once you've completed certain Social Policy trees, you may also purchase other types of Great People with Faith starting in the Industrial Era! Needless to say, this is a great incentive to develop your Faith, even if you didn't manage to found a Religion.
Other gameplay effects of ReligionEdit
Other than receiving all these nice bonuses from Beliefs, Religion has some other gameplay effects:
- When a City-State shares your Religion, your Influence with it diminishes 25% slower.
- Sharing Religion with another nation nets you a 25% bonus to Tourism.
- You can designate a Religion to be the official World Religion via the World Congress, by successfully passing the respective resolution. Once enacted, this religion spreads 25% faster than others (conversion is 25% faster, but still in the same distance), its Holy City receives a 50% Tourism bonus, and all nations following this religion will receive two additional congress delegates.
You have to be aware that other nations are pretty jealous of their religions. If they have founded one, and you try to convert their cities using Missionaries and Prophets, they will object diplomatically. Disregarding this objection may cause a diplomatic incident. You can also ask another player to stop preaching on your cities, if you want.
There are thirteen religions to choose from, and they are:
- Christianity (Catholicism )
- Eastern Orthodoxy
In the original version of Religion included with Gods & Kings, there were eleven religions, including Christianity. Due to the amount of Christian civilizations, however, it has now been split into three religions based on the three major contemporary sects of Christianity as in Brave New World. The three sects of Christianity in Brave New World are Catholicism, a reused version of the original Christian religion, and Eastern Orthodoxy and Protestantism, two Christian sects which originally appeared in the Gods & Kings scenario Into the Renaissance.
Religious Beliefs are split into four categories: Pantheons, Founder Beliefs, Follower Beliefs, and Enhancer Beliefs. In Brave New World, a new category, Reformation Beliefs, is added.
You can have up to five beliefs in the Religion you found once it has enhanced. Please note that there is also an additional Bonus Belief, exclusive to Byzantium, increasing the number of beliefs to six. These beliefs do not include the Reformation Belief.
Also note that once a belief is chosen, it's impossible to change it, and it also becomes unique to that Religion. You can only choose any of the beliefs that no other civs have.
Pantheons provide basic bonuses for cities, usually based on terrain or resources. You may found a Pantheon when you accumulate enough Faith.
|Ancestor Worship||+1 Culture from Shrines|
|Dance of the Aurora||+1 Faith from Tundra tiles without Forest|
|Desert Folklore||+1 Faith from Desert tiles|
|Earth Mother||+1 Faith for each Copper, Iron, and Salt resource|
|Faith Healers||+30 HP healed per turn if adjacent to a friendly city|
|Fertility Rites||10% faster Growth rates|
|God of Craftsmen||+1 Production in cities with Population of 3+|
|God of the Open Sky||+1 Culture from Pastures|
|God of the Sea||+1 Production from Fishing Boats|
|God of War||Gain Faith if you win a battle within 4 tiles of your city|
|Goddess of Festivals||+1 Culture and +1 Faith for each Wine and Incense|
|Goddess of Love||+1 Happiness from cities with Population of 6+|
|Goddess of Protection||+30% increase in city Ranged Combat Strength|
|Goddess of the Hunt||+1 Food from Camps|
|God-King||Palace provides +1 Culture, Faith, Gold, Production, and Science|
|Messenger of the Gods||+2 Science in cities with a City Connection|
|Monument to the Gods||+15% Production of Ancient/Classical Wonders|
|One with Nature||+4 Faith from Natural Wonders|
|Oral Tradition||+1 Culture from Plantations|
|Religious Idols||+1 Culture and +1 Faith for each Gold and Silver|
|Religious Settlements||+15% faster border growth|
|Sacred Path||+1 Culture from Jungle tiles|
|Sacred Waters||+1 Happiness from cities on rivers|
|Stone Circles||+2 Faith from Quarries|
|Sun God||+1 Food for each Bananas, Citrus, and Wheat resource|
|Tear of the Gods||+2 Faith for each Gems or Pearls resource|
These beliefs provide basic bonuses for the founding empire of the Religion. You may choose one of these beliefs when founding a Religion.
|Ceremonial Burial|| +1 Happiness for every City following this religion|
+1 Happiness for every 2 Cities following this religion
|Church Property||+2 Gold for each City following this religion|
|Initiation Rites||+100 Gold when each City first converts to this religion|
|Interfaith Dialogue||Gain Science when a Missionary spreads this religion to cities of other religions|
|Papal Primacy||+15 to Influence resting point with City-States following this religion|
|Peace Loving||+1 Happiness for every 5 followers of this religion in non-enemy foreign cities|
|Pilgrimage||+2 Faith for each foreign City following this religion|
|Tithe||+1 Gold for every 4 followers of this religion|
|World Church||+1 Culture for every 5 followers of this religion in other civilizations|
These beliefs provide bonuses for cities following this Religion. You can choose one of these beliefs when founding a Religion, but when the Religion enhances, you may choose another.
|Asceticism||Shrines provide +1 Happiness in cities with 3 followers|
|Cathedrals||Use Faith to purchase Cathedrals|
|Choral Music||Temples provide +2 Culture in cities with 5 followers|
|Divine Inspiration||Each World Wonder provides +2 Faith in city|
|Feed the World||Shrines and Temples provide +1 Food each in city|
|Guruship||+2 Production if city has a Specialist|
|Holy Warriors||Use Faith to purchase pre-Industrial land units|
|Liturgical Drama||Amphitheaters provide +1 Faith in cities with 3 followers|
|Monasteries||Use Faith to purchase Monasteries|
|Mosques||Use Faith to purchase Mosques|
|Pagodas||Use Faith to purchase Pagodas|
|Peace Gardens||Gardens provide +2 Happiness in city|
|Religious Art||Hermitage provides +8 Culture in city|
Hermitage provides +5 Culture and +5 Tourism
|Religious Center||Temples provide +2 Happiness in cities with 5 followers|
|Religious Community||+1% Production for each follower (max +15%)|
|15% faster Growth rate for city if not at war|
These beliefs provide additional bonuses that may help you in spreading your Religion. You may choose one of these beliefs only when the Religion enhances.
|Defender of the Faith||+20% Combat Strength near friendly cities that follow this religion|
|Holy Order||Missionaries and Inquisitors cost 30% less Faith|
|Itinerant Preachers||Religion spreads to cities 30% further away|
|Just War||+20% Combat Strength near enemy cities that follow this religion|
|Messiah||Prophets 25% stronger and earned with 25% less Faith|
|Missionary Zeal||Missionary conversion strength +25%|
|Religious Texts||Religion spreads 34% faster (68% with Printing Press)|
Religion spreads 25% faster (50% with Printing Press)
|Religious Unity||Religion spreads to friendly City-States at double rate|
|Reliquary||Gain 50 Faith each time a Great Person is expended|
Introduced in Brave New World, these beliefs provide powerful, game-changing bonuses. You can choose one of these beliefs after adopting the Reformation policy in the Piety tree.
|Charitable Missions||Influence boosts from Gold gifts to City-States are increased by 30%|
|Evangelism||Missionaries' Spread Religion action erodes existing pressure from other religions|
|Heathen Conversion||Missionaries convert adjacent Barbarian units to this civilization|
|Jesuit Education||May build Universities, Public Schools, and Research Labs with Faith|
|Religious Fervor||Use Faith to purchase Industrial (and later) land units|
|Sacred Sites||All buildings purchased with Faith provide 2 Tourism each|
|To the Glory of God||Use Faith to purchase any type of Great Person starting in Industrial Era|
|Underground Sect||Your spies exert religious pressure on the cities they occupy|
|Unity of the Prophets||Inquisitors and Prophets reduce this religion's presence by half (instead of eliminating it)|
It is very advisable, although not essential, to make your own religion and spread it as quickly as possible. Religion can serve as great booster to your chosen Victory path, if you tailor it well.
There's a limited number of Religions that can be founded. If you delay too long in the beginning of the game, you will never be able to found a Religion. To prevent this, research Pottery and build a Shrine in your capital. This should be one of the very first buildings you build in your capital, maybe right after the Monument. Also, you may probably want to build the Stonehenge for massive Faith boost. This will allow you to at least found a Pantheon, although that won't do you much good when other religions convert your cities. So, try to build couple of more Shrines in your first cities to ensure that you'll produce enough Faith to get a Great Prophet in time. Once you found a religion, you could take your time to enhance it.
Successful Religion depends on the combination of Beliefs you choose. There are plenty to choose from, and they're calculated well to help any imaginable game strategy. You can make a strong Culture-boosting Religion, or you can earn Gold through Religion, or you can even improve your military! You can help defend your civilization from invaders, if you're playing defensively, or you can spread your Religion to neighbor enemy cities, and then gain a Combat bonus when you go to conquer them! Think VERY well before choosing Beliefs and try to combine their effects to suit your playstyle, chosen civilization and victory path. Of course, the earlier you found and enhance your Religion, the more Beliefs you'll be able to choose from. So, if you plan to use a Religion, think about it from the very beginning.
Adopting the Piety social policy tree is mandatory if you decide to rely heavily on Religion. In Brave New World, Piety is available right from the start (Ancient Era), both helping you to create a Religion faster, and to improve its effects, including by choosing a special Reformation Belief.
You can choose whether to purchase a Missionary right after the first Prophet, or to gather more Faith for a second one and enhance the Religion. In the first case, you'll jump-start the spreading of your religion, in the second - you'll get a little more choice for Enhancement Beliefs. Also, you could try building the Hagia Sophia for a free Prophet, and spend Faith on Missionaries to spread your religion faster. The Great Mosque of Djenne is also a great idea, because it gives you missionaries with ability to spread religion three times instead of two! Make sure you train most, if not all, your missionaries in this city, though.
Valid only in the Brave New World expansion pack.