The world is a melting pot of diversity in all aspects, and one outstanding aspect is religion. Religion comes in different forms and stems from other traditions. But these should not hinder a beneficial partnership between religion and society.
Individuals stand a lot to gain from their religion. Having a belief, a faith to believe in provides structure and direction to their lives. If this is what an individual can benefit from their religion, think of what this can do to a whole society.
Michael Hattwick’s The ABBA Tradition explores the spiritual and mystical traditions of western religions and modern cultures. It points out the significance of identifying spiritual realities and recognizing the meaning and importance of God’s word and its impact on a person’s true nature.
Society is made up of men. Once religion steps in, a domino effect begins that spreads among all corners of the community, and not one person is spared from its influence. Love it or hate it, religion has a tremendous impact on a society’s social stability.
How Religion Affects Society
It’s hard to pinpoint the exact day when religion began in civilization, but most historians believe that religious movements started coexisting when writing was invented around 3200 BC. The act of writing became an outlet for recording beliefs, superstitions, and spirituality which spun religious movements.
From then on, it became a matter of whose and what religion was the biggest and the most dominant.
Conquerors and colonizers alike occupy lands under the guise of spreading the faith. In the Western world, there was a time when Christianity became the dominating religion. The Asian continent saw the rise of Buddhism and Islam. And from the most prominent religions such as Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism came offshoots of other forms of religions such as Protestants, Buddhism, Sunnism, etc.
Religion’s powerful impact on society cannot be downplayed. Or rather, faith’s influence on society cannot be underestimated. One person’s strong belief can move mountains, topple leaders from their position, and even can hold sway over other peoples’ beliefs. If one person can do this, think of what a collective group, such as a society, can achieve.
Religion can change the way people think. Faith can change how people live, which can change a whole nation.
The Importance of a Religion-Society Partnership
Religion is essential to a democracy.
This is the first thing that people should understand why religion should even be incorporated into any community. Faith is more than just a simple belief; it is the foundation of all the characters, values, and principles that makes up a person. The way a democracy works is that it represents and gives way for people to freely express their beliefs, principles, thoughts, and ideas.
But why should religion be incorporated into a society in the first place?
Contribution to the Economy
Religion has a profound impact on a country’s economy, especially when it comes to infrastructure. In the U.S., religion contributes approximately $1.2 trillion in socioeconomic value to the economy. This contribution is categorized into the following: religious congregations, religious institutions and academia, health systems, and faith-based or faith-related businesses.
Faith-based services also cater to those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, marriage counseling, domestic violence, youth welfare, mental disabilities, homeless, senior citizens, immigrants, and fund disaster efforts.
Impact on Education
Religion is all about teaching and learning. Before formal education was even thought of and heard of, the primary educators were usually the head of the family. The instructions passed down back then were almost always linked with the family-based faith and belief. Children were first taught how to read and write religious texts, forming their principles and opinions from religious leaders.
Over the years, education has taken a significant turn. Despite the existence of non-faith-based academic institutions, religion remains a strong influence over the academe, intentionally or not. This is evident in a person’s strong principles when they argue in school papers and debates or advocacy-led programs.
There is also the existence of faith-led academic institutions, which incidentally are also significant contributors to the economy.
Mental Health Well-Being
One of the good things religion brings to a person or a society is that it gives people a structure, a sense of security, or something to believe in. This idea is essential if a person or a community wants to aim for a healthier state of mental health.
Religion helps a community come together. Religious institutions usually provide an avenue where members can socially connect with others. Social engagement inspires trust and motivation, encouraging others to work and cooperate towards the goal of the community as a whole.
As religion encourage a person to grow and become self-empowered, think of what it can do for the whole community. Ultimately, a religion’s presence in a society stimulates mindfulness and unity with the surroundings.
For the Greater Good
Traditions are closely linked with religion. Learning is closely associated with faith. Yes, religion plays a significant role in any society. How they deal with and relate with their community’s existing diverse beliefs will determine their society’s success. In the end, both religious and non-religious, the believers and the non-believers, should and must always work together towards a common goal – a goal created for the greater good.