In the contemporary society, the place of religion has become a contentious issue. Along time ago, societies shared a single religion, but many religions emerged as a result of competing interests. In the society, there have been numerous competing factions that have caused divisions in the society on a religious basis (Darrow). These differences and conflicts have been persistent in the greatest world’s religions for some centuries. Moreover, there has been constant religious proselytizing amid religions for along time. This has been due to the clash of traditions and culture, as well as populations’ expansion or political influence. However, religion plays an extremely crucial role in the society in all sectors of human life, as well as people’s way of life.
In the contemporary society, there have been numerous factors that have made religion vital in the society. One of the main causes is speedy expansion of international transport and communication. This has lead to speedy spread of religious information across the globe, and it has made believers from different parts of the globe to practice and share common religious beliefs, values and principles. Another factor is mounting cases of persecution and increasing amount of refugees due to economical or political influence. Religion has played an extremely critical role in address issues of persecution and increased number of refugees. This has been achieved by the attempts by various religions in discouraging poor governance and poor leadership in the society.
Religion can be regarded as one of the most deeply felt, powerful and influential forces in the contemporary society (Hare). It play a highly critical role in shaping the relationships among people in the society because, through religion, people from different backgrounds are able to interact, share experiences and corporate in diverse life matters. Additionally, religion has a considerable influence on community, family, political and economic life (M. Wilson). Religious values and beliefs induce human action; various religious groups usually manage their shared religious expressions.
Religion is an essential element in social life because it provides direction on the expected set of behaviors in the society. This implies that, through religion, people in the society are able to realize the most appropriate behaviors to practice and the set of behaviors that they should shun. This ensures development of a society that is guided by principles and that maintain high morals.
Religion plays a highly critical role in the socialization process. This is because, through religion, the people’s way of life is transmitted from one generation to another. For instance, religious leaders serve as role models, and as a result, people emulate their behaviors since they consider them as point of reference. Eventually, this lead to the development of a society that is responsible, guided by principles and strong morals. Therefore, religion play a highly critical role in the elimination of immorality in the society by informing people about the proper behaviors to practice and those behaviors that they must avoid as much as possible. Therefore, it is worth noting that religion has substantial influence on people’s behaviors in the society; this implies that, in most cases, people’s behaviors conform to the religion teaching from their denomination.
There are two main reasons that make sociologists interested in the study of religion. The main reason is the fact that religion is extremely vital to many people. This implies that many religious practices play a highly significant role people's way of life in the society. This is because religious values and principles have significant influence on the actions of many people in the society, and religious meanings enable people to interpret their daily life experiences (Wilson). This leads to the development of expected code of behaviors in the society, and all members are able to determine whether their actions conform to religious teachings. Therefore, religion has consistently been one of the significant aspects that have eradicated social immorality in the contemporary society.
The second reason as to why sociologists are interested in studying religion is the fact that religion is a vital item for sociological study because of influence it has on society and society’s effects on religion. Through this study, sociologists are able to understand how human behaviors are affected by religion, and how religious practices change people’s way of life in the society.
Religion plays a highly critical role in the promotion of peace and unity in the society. This is because religious members come from diverse ethnic backgrounds and they are taught about the importance of maintaining peace, respecting others and maintaining the spirit of togetherness. Religious leaders encourage people to live together as brothers and sisters with reference to the religious teachings found in their holy books. Through religion people in the society learn how to appreciate and respect the cultural differences which eventually promote harmony and unity among people and promote the stability of a nation as a whole.
Moreover, religion acts as a remarkably vital tool in creating awareness in the society on different matters of interest in the society. For instance, various religions have been in the frontline in creating awareness about HIV/Aids. Religion has enabled many people in the society to learn many things concerning the causes of HIV/Aids and how it is spread. Religions also provide moral support to those people who suffer from the disease and encourage them to live positively and responsibly to avoid further spread of the disease. This has played a crucial role in reducing the spread of HIV/Aids in the society. Different religions achieve this by instilling knowledge on believers on how to live responsibly and maintain honesty as demanded by the religious teachings. Therefore, religion has played a crucial role in ensuring that all people in the society develop a strong identity and maintains morality in their daily activities.
In addition, religion plays a vital role in helping the poor and needy people in the society. People who are affected by poverty and famine get help from religion; this can be inform donation of food, medicines, clothing, money, shelter and other tangible items. In addition, some religions support or sponsor various development projects that are aimed at improving the standards of living of people living in a certain society. For instance, some religions have established hospitals and medical centers so as to help people in the society access quality medication. This leads to the improvement of peoples living standards in the society. Additionally, provision of health care lead to increased productivity in the society since healthy people is more productive more than unhealthy people.