Religion is a system of beliefs, worldviews, and ethics that guide the behavior of its members. Its features include sanctified places, organizations, and designated practices. The religious experience can be personal or collective.
Religions are often rooted in doctrine, rituals, and creed. They teach people to believe in a divine power and surrender to it. These teachings are usually documented in scriptures.
Religions can create exclusive worldviews based on rigid interpretations of key teachings. These beliefs can justify discrimination, especially on the basis of gender or ethnicity. Such discrimination can lead to harmful traditional practices, such as female genital mutilation, son-preference abortion, and arranged marriage.
Those who practice religion are usually afraid of the consequences of their actions after death. A religion may also promise rewards or punishments for those who keep its rules.
Historically, religion has played a crucial role in limiting human action. For instance, many European countries have been engrossed in religious wars. During the Thirty Years’ War, one-third of the continent’s population was slaughtered.
Religions are often built on the stories of historical figures. Often, the historical figure’s life, teachings, and actions are part of the foundation of a religious tradition. In addition, details of these historical figures have been transmitted through oral traditions and written scriptures.
As a result, a person’s spirituality can have a profound effect on the way he or she deals with serious medical conditions. Studies have shown that high levels of spirituality can reduce mental health problems and help patients cope with illness.