By accumulating Faith and Holy Site districts, a Civilization can found a Pantheon and eventually a full Religion. In turn, spreading a founded Religion can bring many benefits to a Civilization, and even win the game with a Religious Victory.
As a Pantheon/Religion progresses, it also acquires Beliefs---bonuses granted by that Religion. Note that:
- Once a Belief is chosen, it cannot be chosen again by any Religion.
- A Religion may only have up to one Belief of any category.
Founding a Pantheon
Accumulating 25 Faith (on Normal speed) allows a Civilization to found a Pantheon---a sort of proto-Religion. This allows the selection of a Pantheon Belief.
Pantheons are tied to Civilizations rather than Religions---all cities owned by a Civilization automatically have that Civilization's Pantheon.
Founding a Religion
Acquiring a Great Prophet allows a Civilization to found a Religion at a Holy Site district or the Stonehenge Wonder (which grants a Great Prophet for free). This allows the selection of a Follower Belief, plus one other Belief of another category.
Note that the number of Great Prophets is limited, so not every Civilization may be allowed to found a religion. The total number of Great Prophets is half the number of Civilizations, rounded up.
Arabia will automatically receive the last Great Prophet when the next-to-last-one is claimed, if they have not claimed one already.
Evangelizing a Belief
Up to two Apostles may be expended to add one additional Belief each; they must have at least three charges (the base starting number) left to do so.
Launching an Inquisition
An Apostle with at least three remaining charges may also be expended to unlock the purchase of Inquisitors with Faith. These defensive Religious units have a bonus to Religious Strength in friendly territory and can eliminate other religions from friendly cities.
Losing Your Religion
If another civilization's religion is the majority in one of your cities, you will not be able to purchase religious units of your own in that city. If you do not have a majority in any of your cities you will not be able to purchase ANY religious units.
So be careful to not let other religions take over all of your cities!
Since Dec.2019 the mechanic has been changed somewhat. It is possible to "reanimate a dead religion" via a Rock Band with a specific perk. If a city is converted to another religion you can hire religions units from the new majority. In very rare cases it is possible by losing religious fights with your religious units (but with the foreign belief) to lower the support of the foreign religion in adjacient cities and gain back the majority of your religion.
An easy way to remember which resources go with Goddess of Festivals or Oral Tradition: is it psychoactive?
- Yes: Goddess of Festivals. (Including Incense.)
- No: Oral Tradition. (Including Spices---they are not of the Dunean variety.)
Any City with a majority religion benefits from that religion's Follower Belief, regardless of whether its owner founded that religion.
Exactly one Follower Belief must be chosen when founding a religion, plus one other Belief.
|Divine Inspiration||All world Wonders provide +4 Faith.|
|Feed the World||Shrines and Temples provide Food equal to their intrinsic Faith output.|
|Jesuit Education||May purchase Campus and Theater Square District Buildings with Faith.|
|Religious Community||Shrines and Temples each provide +1 Housing.|
|Reliquaries||Relics have triple yield of both Faith and Tourism.|
|Work Ethic||+1% Production in cities for each follower of the Religion in that city.|
|Zen Meditation||+1 Amenity in cities with 2 specialty Districts.|
Unlike other Beliefs, the benefits of Founder Beliefs accrue solely to the Civilization that founded that Religion.
|Church Property||+2 Gold for each city following this Religion.|
|Lay Ministry||Each Holy Site or Theater Square District in a city following this Religion provides +1 Faith or +1 Culture respectively.|
|Papal Primacy||Type bonuses from City-States following your Religion are 50% more powerful.|
|Pilgrimage||+2 Faith for every city following this Religion in other Civilizations.|
|Stewardship||Each Campus or Commercial Hub District in a city following this Religion provides +1 Science or +1 Gold respectively.|
|Tithe||+1 Gold for every 4 followers of this Religion.|
|World Church||+1 Culture for every 5 followers of this Religion in other Civilizations.|
Enhancer Beliefs help a Religion spread... sometimes by force.
|Crusade||Combat Units (of the founder) gain +10 Combat Strength near foreign cities that follow this Religion.|
|Defender of the Faith||Combat Units (of the founder) gain +10 Combat Strength near friendly cities that follow this Religion.|
|Holy Order||Missionaries and Apostles are 30% cheaper to Purchase.|
|Itinerant Preachers||Religion spreads to cities 30% further away.|
|Missionary Zeal||Religious Units ignore Movement costs of Terrain and features.|
|Monastic Isolation||Your Religion's pressure never drops due to losses in Theological Combat.|
|Scripture||Religious spread from adjacent city pressure is 25% stronger. Boosted to 50% once Printing is researched.|
|Belief/Building||+3 Faith||Other effects|
|Cathedral||+3 Faith||+1 Faith (additional), 1 slot for Religious Art|
|Gurdwara||+3 Faith||+2 Food|
|Meeting House||+3 Faith||+2 Production|
|Mosque||+3 Faith||Missionaries and Apostles +1 Spread Religion charge|
|Pagoda||+3 Faith||+1 Housing|
|Synagogue||+3 Faith||+2 Faith (additional)|
|Wat||+3 Faith||+2 Science|
Conjecture: Each city also has an internal pressure that affects only that city, which is determined by how much Spread Religion power has been spent in that city.
If one religious unit destroys another in Theological Combat, all nearby cities get +250 power for the religion of the winning side and -250 power to the religion of the losing side.
- Unlike other units they heal only when on or adjacent to a Holy Site of their own Civilization (?).
- They can enter foreign territory without Open Borders, which can allow them to function as spies and scouts in peacetime.
- All religious units are tied to the religion their city had at the time they were purchased.
- The cost of religious units increases for each one of that unit purchased.
|Unit||Base Faith cost||Religious Strength||Notes|
|Missionary||75 Faith||100||Cannot initiate Theological Combat|
|Apostle||200 Faith||110||Starts with a choice of one of two random Promotions|
|Inquisitor||75 Faith||75||+35 Religious Strength in friendly territory|
Eliminates other Religions when spreading religion in a friendly city
Great Prophets are used solely to found a Religion. After this they play no further part in the game.
Missionaries are a cheap way to spread religion when unopposed. However, they may not initiate Theological Combat and have relatively low Religious Strength, and are therefore easily destroyed by Apostles.
The most important religious unit (other than the Great Prophet), Apostles serve a variety of functions:
- They are the only unit that can Evangelize Belief or Launch Inquisition.
- They are the only religious unit that can launch effective attacks into hostile religious territory.
- With a choice between two random promotions on purchase, they have the possibility of being able to perform additional functions.
Inquisitors may be purchased only after an Apostle is expended to Launch Inquisition and act as defensive units. They eliminate all other religions in friendly cities when spreading religion. While all but useless on the offensive due to their very low base Religious Strength, they gain a large bonus in friendly territory.
Religious units may attack other religious units (but not regular Combat units) even if the two civilizations are not at war. This works just like conventional combat. Religious units do not benefit from Strength bonuses that specifically apply to Combat units, but they do benefit from Strength bonuses that are not specific to Combat units.
Religious units are immediately destroyed if attacked by a Combat unit, including Barbarians. Combat units may not attack Religious units unless they are at war.
To win a Religious Victory a Civilization needs to found a Religion, then have a majority of cities in every Civilization following that religion.