Religion refers to a social-cultural system that involves the use of a specific set of beliefs and practices. It includes the sacred texts and practices of a particular religion, as well as morals, ethics, and sanctified places.
The main goals of religion are to facilitate spirituality and to unite people. These goals are supported by the belief that God exists and is present within every person. There are many different types of religions.
Some religions are more thought-based than others. Those who have an intrinsic orientation to religion dedicate their lives to the search for a higher power. Those who have an extrinsic orientation usually use religion for external purposes.
Typically, religion focuses on the future. In addition to learning about a belief system, a person can participate in religious institutions such as churches or synagogues. Such participation may include rituals, worship, and group prayer.
Often, criticism of religion centers on hypocrisy, abuse, and extremism. However, it is important to remember that religion also serves other functions. Research has shown that people who participate in a religious community experience tangible benefits.
In addition to participating in a religious institution, those who have an intrinsic orientation to religion often experience less physiological reactivity towards stress. Having the opportunity to move closer to the truth of who you are can lead to increased physical health.
People who practice Christianity are much more likely to be polytheistic than monotheistic. Practicing Christians differ from evangelicals in their views about God’s existence.