Do We Really Know Religions Around the World?

In the world of today, there are many things people have an opinion about, regardless of whether they know a lot about it. Religion is, without a doubt, one of those things. Religion is an extremely complex term, that requires a lot of thinking, and unfortunately, many people tend to generalize it.

What is it that we call ‘religion’?

People tend to use the term ‘religion’ as if it were a universal thing around the world, one belief system that other people more or less believe in. However, that view could not be more wrong. First of all, we need to understand and remember that ‘religion’ is only an umbrella term for the thousands upon thousands of beliefs that people across the globe have. Each of them is different and somewhat unique. There are also some similarities, but no similarity is so great that we may group all of these beliefs and form generalized opinions about them.

What is the biggest misconception about religion?

Especially in the Western world, people tend to view religion as a deistic system, where there are one or more gods or godlike figures in its core. However, that belief is completely false. There are several religions that refute this –the most prominent example being Buddhism. This religion solely relies on the mind and will of its members and makes no notion of any deity whatsoever. Coincidentally, Buddhism also dismisses another big misconception about religion, that all religions are causes of war and division in people.

Educated people cannot be religious

Popular opinion these days is also that educated people simply cannot be religious, as the two are polar opposites. Actually, this could not be more wrong. Science does not necessarily have to oppose religion, or to contradict it; although this may be an unpopular opinion, indeed, claiming that a person cannot trust science and be religious is baseless. Nothing is stopping a scientist from being religious, and numerous examples throughout history show us that this is true. Einstein, Tesla, and Darwin are probably some of the most notable examples of religious scientists that I will note in this text.

Religion is a cause of intolerance in people

Whenever there is a movement for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, on the other side, we see religious people holding signs that urge people to repent and change their ways, or they will receive divine punishment. However, this is not caused by religion. At their core, most religions preach of love, tolerance, and acceptance among the people; most conflicts and incidents that turned out to be religious in nature were caused by people interpreting their religious teachings wrongly.