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I eliminated a computer player that had a strong religion (Buddhism). My religion was weak, whereas this other one was taking over the continent quickly. Now that I have him overrun, I want, well wanted, to work on converting cities to mine, but I see now that all of the cities period have his religion! I tried making an Inquisitor just to test, but he is ineffectual at removing Buddhism, being that I can only buy him in Buddhist cities. (Because all of my cities are Buddhist and my religion, Shinto, has been wiped out.

Is there no way to recover your religion in such a situation?

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Take a look at this related question - in essence, if you don't have even one city of your old religion, then it appears you have no chance to recover it. –  Oak Dec 26 '12 at 11:52
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3 Answers

Yes, you can, but only if it's your religion!

While Missionaries and Inquisitors always correspond to the majority religion in the city they are produced, Great Prophets will always spread the religion founded by your Civilization, rather than the dominant religion of the city they appear in.

Once you have a Great Prophet, you can convert 4 cities back to Shinto (which will also remove the Buudhism) immediately, which should give your holy city some breathing room. Unless you're in a position to immediately contest your (defeated) opponent's religious pressure, however, you will start to lose ground again.

What you may want to do is to save the Great Prophet until have purchased another missionary or too, lest your religion be dominated before you can start cranking out missionaries.

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Generally, no, it is impossible to bring a religion back from that level of elimination. However, if you still have control of your religion's Holy City, and you managed to completely isolate it from other religions so that there is no pressure from them, then your religion would restore itself in that city. From there, you would be able to hire the usual missionaries and inquisitors to expand the religion. However, in the end, it would probably not be worth it to do all of this, as you would, at the very least, have to raze some of your cities.

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In order to produce a religious unit (ie, prophet, missionary, or inquisitor) of a given religion, you must produce it at a city that follows that particular religion.

If you've gotten to the point where you no longer have control of any city that follows a particular religion, then you're out of luck.

There are a couple of ways I've used in the past to save a religion though:

  • If you still control the Holy City for your religion, it gives off some pressure. However, the pressure from your own nearby cities following an enemy religion are likely overwhelming this pressure.
  • Did you manage to convert any nearby city states or other civ cities? It might be worth it to declare war and take control of a city that follows your religion so you can begin to rebuild.

Finally, you may want to just write your religion off - even if you're not the founder, you can still get bonuses from a religion from the Follower Beliefs. If the founder is gone, they're not getting any benefits, so there's less incentive to wipe it out. Likely the time and faith you'd invest in trying to recover your religion would not be worth the effort, if there's a considerable amount of "bad" religion in the world.

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