Definition of Religion
Definition of Religion
Did you know that there are around ten thousand religions across the globe? About 85% of the population is affiliated with major religions like Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. One of the basic fundamental rights of a human being is freedom of religion. This right allows us to trust, think, express, and act on our belief system. Being a significant part of our daily life, religion helps us to define our lives. It helps us to deal with stressful moments in our lives and hope for a brighter future. In this blog, we are discussing the idea of a religion and how it’s defined.
What is the definition of religion?
How can you define something that has been there on earth since humans started walking and which has more than ten thousand variations? The word is derived from the Latin word Religio, which combines Re (meaning again) and Lego( meaning go over, choose, or to consider very carefully). The word religion comes from Old French and Anglo-Norman, translating to conscientiousness, sense of right, moral obligation, or duty.
Mahatma Gandhi once said that God has no , but to contradict, almost all religions revolve around the concept of God. In a modern sense, religion can be defined as the belief in and worship of superhuman controlling power, especially a personal god or gods.
How do religions evolve?
Evolution teaches us that humans have evolved from apes. But no one has seen any ape worshipping anything. Then from where, this concept of religion begin? For this, we have to go back to when humans started hunting in groups.
The earliest evidence of religion can be found in the form of ceremonial burials of the dead. About two hundred thousand years ago, humans started burying their dead, which significantly changed human behavior. No other animal buries their dead as humans do. It has been found that even before a hundred thousand years ago, humans carried out rituals while burying their loved ones. They use different symbols on the burial grounds, which can be considered sacred symbols to help the dead.
What thing was responsible for organized religion? Crops. When humans gave up the hunter-gatherer lifestyle and settled by accepting a sedentary lifestyle supported by farming, organized religion began about eleven hundred years ago. After the invention of writing, it gave a specific structure to organized religion.
What is the Importance of Religion in Human Life?
Mental Peace: There lies a massive degree of uncertainty when it comes to human life. Every day, we face such incidents where we feel helpless, hopeless, and out of control. This causes insecurity in our subconscious, where we seek some fixed support, and religion provides that support. Religion supports consoles and encourages us during the time of crisis. It gives us emotional and mental support to take on life problems.
Social Virtue: Almost all the religions on earth promote honesty, truth, service, love, discipline, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, and faith. It gives an operational framework to the society, which helps in the stability of the society and family systems. Religions encourage the feeling of brotherhood. It teaches us to do good for fellow human beings, and it teaches us to trust others.
Health: Most religions include some prayer and meditation. When we chant hymns or Mantras and meditate, it rewires our brain, promoting more clarity, calmness, and critical thinking. Chanting and memorizing verses helps us to improve our memory as well. Meditation helps fight depression, anxiety, and many more mental disorders.
Purpose: Religion helps to structure and define our lives. In other words, religion helps us to find our life purpose. By promoting self-confidence and confidence in a superior being, we can deal with the most challenging problems in life as religion gives us hope for better things to come.
Behavioral change: Many religious institutions help repair mental damage caused by alcoholism, substance abuse, or marital breakdown. Religion gives strength to recovering patients. It provides a positive attitude to look at life when one establishes faith in the Divine being.
What will be the Future of religion?
Newspapers, social media, and everything happening around us might show that many of us are faded up with organized religion. Many Churches in Europe are being converted into watering holes, and European countries’ secularization is at exponential rise. However, research says something else. Reports say that the religious population will grow 23 times greater than the nonreligious population till 2050.
Even though a considerable amount of reduction can be seen in Europeans attending the mass regularly, it’s seen that many people from Africa have been following Christianity. The same shift can be seen for other religions as well.
While many believe that religion and spirituality are the same, more and more beings prefer to be spiritual, that is, practicing spirituality, but without restrictions of any religion. In today’s scenario, many have started labeling themselves spiritual but not religious, which has been a rising phenomenon since the last decade.
We hope this blog helped you to understand the definition of religion.
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Originally published at https://www.chamundaswamiji.com.