Religion is a major and ancient culture among humans that entails glorifying a supernatural force, called God. Religion is about believing in a deity or deities – the belief being exhibited through an organized setup of ceremonies, traditions, rituals and rules. According to religions, practicing the rules and rituals are supposed to get an individual closer to god, earn a favor with god, and/or identify his/her relationship with god.

Generally, religion and idolatry (idol worship) go hand-in-hand. But there are some faiths that don’t indulge in such practices – Islam, for instance. Also, there are religions that don’t recognize sacred beings. For example, Theravada, a branch of Buddhism, doesn’t consider Buddha as the incarnation of God. It’s a branch of faith that is more like a program or technique for human self-fulfillment or self-purification.   

Typically, most religions talk about good and bad, afterlife (heaven and hell), behavior when on Earth, how to treat people belonging to one’s own religion or different religions, etc. Religions are supposed to enlighten people on their purpose of existence on earth and deliver them an assurance that there’s some omnipresent, omnipotent force shielding them and providing them strength to withstand troubling periods and sorrows.

Defining Religion

There are different religions, and the various ceremonies, scriptures and worshipping rules vary between religions. And since there are multiple such faiths, coming up with an exact definition of religion is difficult. Generally, people equate religion to a faith they practice. As a result, their definition of religion turns out quite narrow and biased. However, if religion had to be defined in the most unbiased way, then it’s a human’s public display of his/her faith in god.    

Various Faiths

Religions have been around for centuries. The most prominently practiced faiths are Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, and Sikhism. The more one delves into these different religions, the more they learn about their similarities and differences. At root level, almost all religions preach the same thing. Their objectives are same, but the means to attain them are different. In other words, faith in god is like a tree, and the various religions are the tree’s different branches.

As aforementioned, most religions have their own rules, rituals, etc. Adhering to these aspects is critical for an individual to be truly considered a part of a particular religion. Some religions such as Judaism and Islam focus more on specific rules to follow, such as praying every day, consuming specific food items, refraining from alcohol and other forms of intoxication, etc. Other religions such as Christianity also have their rules but those are less stringent. Irrespective of these differentiating factors, no religion is superior or inferior than the other.