Crusader Kings II Wiki
Moral authority and religious head

Moral authority is an abstraction of a religion's strength, unity, and respect. Moral authority levels are visible in the Ledger or by hovering the religion icon on any character sheet. Your own religion's moral authority is also visible in the Religion tab, along with its causes.


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. Below is a a full list of factors that affect moral authority:

Effect Moral Authority Duration
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. Note that negative piety reduces moral authority, with no lower limit. +0.02%*point Permanent
Religious head controls holy site +5% Permanent (does not stack)
Antipope exists (Catholic only) -30%*antipope Permanent
Dogmatic nature ( Holy Fury) +15% Permanent
Cosmopolitan nature ( Holy Fury) -15% 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
Ruler achieved "Paragon of Enlightenment" ambition +1% 20 years
Ruler achieved "Strengthen Religion" ambition +2% 50 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   (from a successful Antiking faction or Depose Antipope war; prevents installing new antipopes) +5% 50 years
Papacy instituted +10% 20 years
Patriarchy instituted +10% 20 years
Irminsul Destroyed ( CM invasion of Saxony) -10% 10 years
We sacrificed the Head of a false Religion! +3% 20 years
Our Religious Head was sacrificed to Heathen Gods. -3% 20 years
Hold Great Tribal Festival decision +2% 3 years
Build Great Pillar +5% 50 years
Temple desecrated (by  demon worshippers) -1% 30 years
Decadent clergy (demon worshipper event) -1% 5 years


  • The easiest ways for pagans to increase their moral authority are to raid infidel temples and conquer infidel counties.
  • Unreformed pagans may find it helpful to have multiple independent tribal duke+ rulers, who can each use the "Build Great Pillar" and "Hold Great Tribal Festival" decisions.
  • Ensure that your religion controls as many holy sites as possible.
    • Give a holy site to the religious head (or hold it yourself if you're the Caliph or  your reformed pagan religion has Temporal leadership). Catholics and Orthodox normally have the religious head controlling a holy site from the start, but other religions don't. Note that non-Iqta and non-Monastic-Feudal characters incur penalties to the temple's tax and levies.
    •  When reforming a pagan faith, do not choose Autonomous for Leadership, especially if you already have a holy site temple ready to be granted.
    • Take care if your holy site is another religion's canary province (e.g. Jerusalem for Muslim Jihads, Christian Braunschweig for Christian Crusades).