Religion and Spirituality
Religion is a system of belief that relates various events and experiences to a single central truth. This belief helps a person make sense of the “big picture” of life. Religion also provides guidance and spiritual meaning. Some religions even have a set of ethical standards that adherents must follow. A person may become religious for various reasons.
Attitudes towards religion vary considerably across countries. In Portugal, for example, most adults have positive attitudes toward religion, while only 17% have negative attitudes. Likewise, attitudes towards religion are more positive in Italy, Austria, and Ireland, compared to Sweden and Denmark. In other countries, religion is viewed more negatively.
Some critics focus on the negative aspects of religion, such as hypocrisy, abuse, and extremism. While these factors do occur, religious practices have contributed to the development of human rights. The concept of right belief and moral conduct are essential to religion. Religious behavior involves collective prayers, individual meditation, and participation in religious institutions. In addition, religious practices often involve dress codes, rituals, and sacred texts.