Religion is a set of beliefs and practices that people follow to give meaning to their lives. It involves a belief in supernatural power and beings and the practice of religious rites. It also involves a reverence for spiritual leaders, such as priests, prophets, and shamans. It teaches moral values and encourages good human traits such as love, kindness, and humanity. It offers an organized model of the universe that regulates sophisticated human behavior and provides a system of punishment and reward for their violations.
It relieves people of fear and anxiety about their source / origin and where they are destined to go after death. It also gives them a purpose in life and helps them in living their lives to the fullest. It promotes community spirit and is a source of happiness for many people. It is a powerful force that unites all nations and cultures of the world and contributes to global peace.
There is a great need for a more exact definition of religion than the one now widely used. This need is not confined to sociology, ethnology, or psychology, but is felt in all fields of human activity where religion plays a part, especially in the social sphere, where it has such widespread influence.
Some scholars have criticised the term ‘religion’ as a modern invention and have claimed that its semantic expansion went hand in hand with European colonialism. Others, however, have argued that it is a necessary and useful concept for the study of society because it allows us to distinguish between those societies that are religious and those that are not, and between those that have an official religion and those that do not.