What is Religion?
Religion is a very important aspect of our livelihood. People from different parts of the world have different understandings of religion. One’s understanding of religion is majorly based on where and how they were raised. The Oxford Dictionary defines religion simply as “the belief in the existence of a supernatural ruling power, the creator and controller of the universe, who has given to man a spiritual nature which continues to exist after the death of the body”. The complexity of religion is profound, and it goes far beyond an individual’s affiliation and practice of worship. This, therefore, has made religion a subject of controversy for many years.
Across the globe, there are many religions practiced by different people. One common characteristic of almost all the religions is the belief in the existence of a supernatural being who controls everything on the face of the earth and who is revered. Some of the commonly practiced religions are Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Of all these religions, however, Christianity and Islam are more widespread than the rest. However, it should not be mistaken that all people in the world hold an affiliation to a particular religion. There exists a group of individuals who hold no stand whatsoever when it comes to religion. Instead, they believe in science and its wonders. Such people are often referred to as atheists.
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As stated earlier, religion has been a subject of controversy for very many years. There have been arguments on which is the perfect or rather preferred religion for humans. Two religions, however, seem to be taking the center-stage of this argument. Christianity and Islam being the commonly practiced religions of the world, they have been a source of conflict across various divides of human existence. In as much as these two seem to be related in some way, there has been a series of religious conflict for supremacy between Muslims and Christians. The difference in doctrines taught and practiced seems to be the source of this dispute.
Christians believe that God is the creator of the world and everything that is in it. It is only God and His Son Jesus Christ that should be worshiped and revered. There is no worship of gods and demigods. Within Christianity, there are two religious denominations: Roman Catholic Church and Protestants. On the other hand, however, the Islamic religion holds an unbound belief that Allah is the sole creator of the universe and it is Him alone that should be worshiped. They also ’believe in the Prophet Mohammed who is their liberator and savior.
When discussing on religion, however, it is of great importance to get into details of not only Christianity and Islam but also other faiths such as Hinduism and Buddhism. Hinduism is commonly practiced by people of Indian descent living in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and other scattered regions all over the world. The Indian religion is characterized by the reverence of many gods and demigods. They worship animal gods such as cows, elephants, and monkeys. In addition to this, they also worship various sculptured idols. Buddhism is a religion characterized by beliefs and traditions as well as spiritual practices that are generally attributed to the Buddha god. Buddhism is commonly practiced in Asian countries such as Japan, China, Thailand, and Korea. Buddhists (people practicing Buddhism) live a reserved life that generally entails serious worship of the Buddha god in shrines and temples.
There being diverse religions in the world, there is no clear justification of the perfect religion to be practiced by humans. Therefore, depending on where and how an individual was raised, his or her religious affiliation is solely dependent on themselves. One can choose to be a Christian or Muslim, Hindu or Buddha. One may even decide not to have an affiliation to any of the religions at all. Therefore, there is no perfect religion for the human race.