Religion is either the most simple or the most complex term in the history of mankind, and this very notion has caused heated discussions in society for many years. In simple words, we can say that religion is a set of different cultural and belief systems that can successfully relate humanity with both spirituality and moral values. Sometimes the meaning of the word is usually mixed with faith or a certain set of beliefs. It is important to note that religion is somewhat different from any public domain. It is true that some religions do have some types of behavioral scenarios, but that cannot prevent the religion from spreading into the mind of a different person, who could belong to another religion.
The word ‘religion’ derived from the Latin word ‘religionem,’ which indicates the respect for everything that is sacred and the basic reverence for the gods. The ultimate origin of the word, however, is quite obscured. According to Max Muller, one of the most prominent philologists, the root of the word is of Latin origin (’religio’) that meant the reverence for the gods and careful pondering over divine things and piety. Other different ancient civilizations, like Greece and Egypt similarly, had a religious power structure at that point of time. There is a post modern debate on whether the term is good or bad. According to Smith (2009), “A balanced view of religion would include human sacrifice and scapegoating, fanaticism and persecution, the Christian Crusades and the Holy wars of Islam” (p. 4).
Religion is a concept basically, and hence, the concept is the most important aspect here. From this point of view, the word represents something good and positive. Religion is something that goes on to bond people and society together. In different cultures, religion is nothing but a ceremonial concept that blends well in the practical traditions. On the other hand, there have always been witnessed some crude forms of religion. Sometimes, the different formalities imposed on the common people by other individuals in the name of religion caused problems in society. We, however, have to remember that the aspects were created, not by the religion itself but the religious leaders, who for their own good always tried to control the people. As God has always been considered to be the supreme power in the Universe, they distorted the names of both God and religion, to satisfy their interests and needs. According to Smith (2009), “When religions are sifted for those truths, a different cleaner side appears” (p. 5).
On the other hand, we do have several religious figures, who had paved their names in history as they had tried to solve the problems of mankind. From Jesus to Mohammad, they created new religions only to help people, who were suffering from the social conditions. Today, they are the icons of religion, who have showed the healing power and positive influence on other people.
The history has witnessed some contradicting religious-based events, for example, crusades. Jesus is the founder of Christianity and Mohammad is the first prophet of Islam; therefore, one can try to cash in on the fact that the people, who belonged to these two religions, fought against each other in the crusades, probably the longest running war in the human history. It should be noted that crusades were not meant to promote the supremacy of any singular religion; it was the process of gaining supremacy over England. So we can say that religion was only an issue in the political process.
Religion is never a bad thing; the basic misuse of the term ‘religion’ is done by the leaders of humanity for their own good. In the Medieval Times, religion has been one of the most important weapons of the monarchial power in keeping the control over common people, and it still plays the same role. Therefore, we cannot claim the word ‘religion’ to be bad; however, the use of the word changes over time and it is the use that can be either good or bad.