Religion plays a very important role in people’s life. There are 3 main religions in the world: Buddhism, Christianity and Islam. Each of them has its own particular traits and its own believers.
But almost all religions have a lot in common. Most religions deal with one or more of the following: meditation, morality, and wisdom; sacred texts and sacred practices; a connection to the sacred; a community. If we observe different religions usually they have some sort of discipline in which the follower will find time in the flow of everyday life to reflect.
Much of religion is also concerned with how we should behave toward each other or what thoughts and feelings we should have about each other. They provide moral guidance or set out moral rules and laws. Many of the innovations in moral practice have come from religion, or at least religions have formalized and given special emphasis to these moral innovations. Another common area is advice and guidance on how to live a good life, how to think about life and things that happen to us.
Most religions also have some concept of the sacred, that which is set aside as being somehow central and most valuable in life. This might be an experience of inner freedom, an experience of awe, visions, a harmonious relationship with nature, or mystical experiences of some being beyond the human. One of the functions of religion is to provide a connection to the sacred for the follower. Another function is to help people to find the sense of life. Also it gives answers about life and death. It suggests that there is something beyond the death. There are a lot of cases of NDEs when people meet their dead relatives, they feel comfortable and happy. After that they start to believe in God much stronger and their attitude toward death changes. They know that there is life after death and this hope becomes of great importance in many religions. And so death, as well as birth, becomes a sacred passage.
Religions also provide us with a community of people who are approaching the sacred in a similar way. We can give each other mutual support and pass along these valuable insights to our children. Our religious community can become so important to us that it embodies our whole society.
Of course, religions vary quite a lot in details, what elements are emphasized, how they understand their relationship to other religions, how flexible they can be, or how important it is to defend their religion from innovations or changes. For example, to preserve a religion from fracturing apart, it may be necessary to have some authority that will preserve its integrity. This is the authority to define the religion, to say what a part of the religion is and what is not. Without this clear authority many religions have split apart into sects. Different religions may attach greater or lesser importance to avoiding this.
Religions differ, but all religions seem to have enough in common so that they can at least have mutual respect. For example, most religions have many common moral standards. Most have rules against killing, stealing, and lying. The Golden Rule shows up in many religions (Don’t do to others what you don’t want for yourself). Concepts of justice and kindness are common. Religions give us contact with some sacred aspect of life and ethics teaches us how to live together.