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What Does Religion Do for People?

Updated April 17, 2017

Over the centuries, religion has played a significant part in countless lives. It's difficult to define the role religion takes for each individual since this varies tremendously. Religion can become the basis on which people live their lives, or it can exist in the background, only contributing to an individual's existence in times of confusion or need. Religion also plays a physical, as well as a spiritual part, literally bringing people together.

Community

Religion connects many people who may be quite different but share common ground when it comes to their faith. The community this creates is primarily spiritual in the sense that a person may feel close to another simply because they share a faith. This community is also physical since churches and other places of worship attract people who come together to worship on a regular basis. These gatherings may be especially valuable for individuals who have few friends or family nearby.

Purpose in Life

For some individuals, religion gives a meaning to the life they lead. When a religious person reflects on her life and thinks about the future, it may give her strength to know why she is on Earth and where she is heading. Religion provides people with a sense of purpose and identity. According to the Bahá'í Topics website, religion allows individuals to connect the seemingly random events in their lives to a cohesive whole.

Comfort

For some people, having a faith and believing in a higher power or God that watches over them is an immense comfort. It gives people the ability to pray and trust in their God to be able to provide answers. In times of sadness and indecision, an individual can find solace in his religion. It can literally give a person somewhere to go; for example, an individual who feels he has done wrong might seek the advice of a priest.

Gives Answers for the Unexplained

Religion can provide answers for many things. In the past, religious beliefs were used to explain mysteries that humanity now has a scientific answer for, but the teachings of a faith still give individuals spiritual answers. For example, religion answers the question of what happens after death, by presenting an afterlife or similar concept to believe in.

Framework for Life

The extent to which faith affects an individual's day-to-day life varies. In some cases, an individual's entire framework for life may be built around the teachings and outlook of her religion. She may base her appearance on the ways her religion suggests to look and dress, her perception of others and even her prejudices, stemming from what her religion tells her.

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About the Author

Simon Fuller has been a freelance writer since 2008. His work has appeared in "Record Collector," "OPEN" and the online publication, brand-e. Fuller has a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Reading and a postgraduate diploma from the London School of Journalism.