The core belief system of a religion is an important part of the culture, but how does this belief system influence people’s daily lives? Religious leaders often conduct rituals that lay the foundation for how a person should live. Religions also serve as a social network, influencing everyday behaviors and enforcing moral codes. Often, members of a religion follow a distinctive dress code and adhere to a code of conduct dictated by a supernatural being.
A spiritual path involves listening to your inner voice and living a life that honors others. This path is not linear, and spirituality encourages you to break free of obedience and pursue your own life’s purpose. Often, people practicing spirituality will change their beliefs throughout their lives. They believe that there is no single correct path to happiness and that no one path is the same as another.
Many spiritual paths begin as a spiritual process, which may be internal or external. For example, a spiritual person may feel drawn to a particular religion if he or she experiences the same experiences. Then, in their journey to develop their spirituality, the spiritual path is a journey from self-transcendence to connectedness to others and an encounter with what is beyond the known world.
Religious practice differs by country. In Portugal, for example, the majority of adults express positive views of religion, whereas only a small proportion express negative views. Similarly, in Italy, Austria, and Ireland, attitudes towards religion are more positive. However, in Scandinavia, public opinion is more negative toward religion.