Religion is one of the most influential factors that structure people’s point of view in the modern world.
The term “religion” refers to a set of practices, beliefs, and rituals that people engage in. These activities, which have ancient and contemporary histories, affect a variety of aspects of life, from dietary habits to social behavior and morality.
Among the most important contributions of religion to individuals, families, states, and nations are the promotion of health and learning, economic well-being, self-control and empathy, as well as the inoculation against such social pathologies as out-of-wedlock births, crime, drug abuse, alcoholism, and divorce.
Religious belief and practice are also central to the formation of personal moral criteria and sound moral judgment. Regular church attendance is a major predictor of family and marital stability and happiness.
A strong and devoted religious life helps people to escape poverty, overcome addictions, learn to live together, develop good moral character, and build social networks. It also helps to inoculate individuals against the development of mental disorders such as depression (a modern epidemic) and improves their ability to cope with stress.
The concept of religion has evolved to accommodate a number of different meanings over the course of history. It has shifted from an expression of scrupulous devotion to a taxon for sets of social practices, a category-concept whose paradigmatic examples are Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism.