Religion is a social-cultural system that shapes beliefs and practices, as well as designated behaviors and ethics. It can be defined as a set of worldviews, texts, and sanctified places.
Religion often refers to a belief in a supernatural being, and is associated with rituals, morals, and worldviews. Usually, religious teachings are written in scriptures.
Religious institutions have played a crucial role in imposing limitations on human behavior. They have also contributed to the development of human rights. In sub-Saharan Africa, religious beliefs are a central force in the daily lives of individuals and in the political sphere. However, it is not clear that any single society is monoreligious.
Historically, religion and spirituality have been foundational routes for individuals to find the meaning of their lives. While many people make a stark contrast between the two, they are not mutually exclusive. Rather, they complement each other.
Those who practice religion often believe that their actions will have consequences in the future. For example, a person who practices religion may fear the potential loss of their life if they commit suicide.
Some scholars have argued that religion is a form of worship. That is, religion aims to develop character and strengthen faith. This is done by fostering a relationship with a higher power, while encouraging members to adhere to specific rules.
Religions, then, are based on the beliefs of their founders. Their teachings, however, are often rigid. These traditions can justify exclusion of certain groups, such as minorities. Also, they can justify outright physical harm.