Religion is a collection of belief systems, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to explain the origin of life or the Universe. They tend to derive morality, ethics, religious laws or a preferred lifestyle from their ideas about the cosmos and human nature. According to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world.
Many religions may have organized behaviors, clergy, a definition of what constitutes adherence or membership, holy places, and scriptures. The practice of a religion may also include rituals, sermons, commemoration or veneration of a god, gods or goddesses, sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trance, initiations, funerary services, matrimonial services, meditation, prayer, music, art, dance, public service or other aspects of human culture. Religions may also contain mythology.
The word religion is sometimes used interchangeably with faith or belief system; however, in the words of Émile Durkheim, religion differs from private belief in that it is "something eminently social". A global 2012 poll reports that 59% of the world's population is religious, 23% are not religious, and 13% are atheists.
Other articles related to "religion, religions":
... Main article Criticism of religion Religious criticism has a long history, going back at least as far as the 5th century BCE ... During the Middle Ages, potential critics of religion were persecuted and largely forced to remain silent ... like David Hume and Voltaire criticized religion ...
... Religion in Saarland - 2007 religion percent Roman Catholics 64.1% Protestants 19.5% Other or none 22.0% The Saarlanders are the most religious population amongst all Germans ...
... aware of their existence as a distinct group, and it was their attitude to religion that distinguished the left and right from then onwards (August Cieszkowski is a possible exception to this rule) ... of his relatively enlightened minister of religion, health and education Altenstein, allowed pretty much anything to be said about religion so long as there was practical obedience ... Young Hegelians at first found it easier to direct their critical energies towards religion than politics ...
... Main article Religion in the Middle East The Middle East is very diverse when it comes to religions, many of which originated there ... Islam in its many forms is by far the largest religion in the Middle East, but other faiths that originated there, such as Judaism and Christianity ... There are also important minority religions like Bahá'í, Yazdânism, Zoroastrianism, Mandeanism, Druze, Yarsan, Yazidism and Shabakism, and in ancient times the region was home to Mesopotamian Religion ...
Famous quotes containing the word religion:
“This is one of the paradoxes of the democratic movementthat it loves a crowd and fears the individuals who compose itthat the religion of humanity should have no faith in human beings.”
—Walter Lippmann (18891974)
“Religion is this. They act as in religion that is to say they neither wait nor stay away. Religion is best as it is. If they like it at all they like it all, not only more than once but often.”
—Gertrude Stein (18741946)
“If therefore my work is negative, irreligious, atheistic, let it be remembered that atheismat least in the sense of this workis the secret of religion itself; that religion itself, not indeed on the surface, but fundamentally, not in intention or according to its own supposition, but in its heart, in its essence, believes in nothing else than the truth and divinity of human nature.”
—Ludwig Feuerbach (18041872)