The criticism of religion often focuses on its extremes and its hypocrisy. Although religion still provides social support and incentives for good behavior, its spiritual content may be depleted over time. Large-scale acts of terrorism like bombings and racist rallies have cast religion in a negative light. However, religions may also be subject to small-scale, hidden terrorism such as spousal abuse or threats against non-compliant children. Furthermore, many professional and lay preachers may be leading a shady life behind closed doors.
Religion is a process that seeks to understand the world and make connections between experiences. It is a way to make sense of the “big picture” and the meaning of one’s life. It provides a common ground for action and aims to overcome the sources of unhappiness. It is an important part of the background of many Africans.
A person’s spiritual perception is a powerful source of strength during life transitions or crises. For instance, religion can give a person the language to express themselves, as well as a sense of community and purpose. It can also guide a person on their spiritual path. By developing a sense of faith, a person can develop their own sense of self.
Almost half of American adults describe themselves as “spiritual but not religious,” a term which refers to a range of beliefs. Many of these people do not believe in God or a higher power, but still practice spiritual practices and share beliefs about supernatural phenomena.