Religion is a social or cultural system in which people adhere to a set of beliefs, behaviors and worldviews. It is often deeply rooted in doctrine, rituals and texts. The religious practices in a community are based on the lives and teachings of historical figures. These texts are often transmitted through oral tradition.
Religious groups make up around eight percent of the population. There are a number of organized religions, including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and Taoism. Despite these tenets, people have different views of the positive and negative impact of religion.
Many critics of religion focus on hypocrisy, abuse and extremism. However, there are also a number of positive things people attribute to religion. Some of the most common include its ability to teach people how to become more tolerant and a source of hope in times of loss.
Religious behavior involves outward signs of reverence, such as wearing distinctive dress codes, or inward gestures of devotion, such as personal meditation. Religious institutions protect the behavior of their members by enforcing specific rules, such as those pertaining to healthcare and moral conduct.
Generally, most people consider themselves spiritual but not religious. However, some people may reject religion altogether. Others find that religion enhances their spirituality.
Many religions have a rich history. Several have profound spiritual texts, including the Bible, the Koran and A Course in Miracles. These texts provide a sense of self-worth and a moral authority. In addition, many have supernatural phenomena.