Religion is a form of human expression that involves a belief in a divine power, a higher power, or a broader reality. It is an attempt to make sense of life, and to find a general meaning. There are many types of religion, but the majority of them share common beliefs and practices.
Historically, religion has been a powerful force in human societies. While its tenets are true, it is also subject to abuse, hypocrisy, and extremism. Large-scale acts of violence, such as bombings, racist rallies, and other acts of terrorism have given religion a bad name. However, there is also a lot of small-scale terrorism that contributes to the religious community, such as spousal abuse and threats against non-compliant children. Furthermore, many professional and lay preachers have sordid lives behind closed doors.
Religion and spirituality can serve different purposes. They can help us develop spiritually, as well as help us connect to others. It can give us the language and context to discuss our personal journeys. For some people, religion can even help them develop as people. Spirituality, for instance, aims to connect us with the spirit world.
Religion is a source of happiness for many, and many people find meaning in it. It can help us make good choices. The majority of people agree that religion gives them meaning and purpose in their lives, but only half of adults say it causes them harm. Overall, though, people’s attitudes toward religion vary by country. In eight countries, attitudes toward religion are positive and neutral. In contrast, attitudes toward religion are negative in Norway and Denmark.