Religion is the collective belief system of a particular group of people. It provides structure and meaning to their lives. The beliefs are often based on scriptures and the life of a historical figure.
Religion is an organized system of rules, codes, and rituals that govern the behavior of its members. Religious institutions are conservatively guarded and the literal truths of their founders’ teachings are enforced. These beliefs can become rigid ideologies of oppression.
While religion is a social network that can provide support, many people view it as a source of harm. In Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Portugal, more than half of adults believe religion causes harm. Almost a third of Christians hold negative attitudes about their religion.
Religious beliefs and practices are sometimes influenced by individualistic culture. Some cultures “hollow out” the spiritual content of religion and replace it with “New Age” beliefs, which are often consumerist and individualistic.
Many people also fear the consequences of their actions after they die. They may be unwilling to listen to their instincts, which can result in unhappiness. However, religion can still offer incentives to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Religious participation includes collective prayer, moral conduct, and structured religious institutions. People who are religious tend to agree that they receive purpose, moral guidance, and a sense of right and wrong from their faith.
Religious participation can also involve a person’s personal meditation and spiritual development. Often, these activities are accompanied by good publicity.