Religion is a word of Latin origin ( religion ) and can mean rigidity, rereading, re-electing, and/or reconnecting.
Thus, religion would be what connects us to the sacred.
Since the most primitive times, the first human beings felt the need to explain natural phenomena such as rain, wind, eclipses, etc.
Likewise, they wanted to understand events such as birth and death.
Thus, as a phenomenon inherent to human culture, religions are configured as a set of cultural systems and beliefs.
They have Metaphysical content, which seeks to relate humanity to the spiritual world.
Anyway, this is a Western definition.
During the Middle Ages, Scholastic Philosophy prevailed when Theocentrism will be valued.
It is also worth noting that the advent of European expansion across continents led to Western religion around the world.
However, he also came into contact with cultures and religions very different from those known until then.
Currently, in the countries of Europe, there is a certain decline in religion, especially Christian.
On the other hand, Christianity is growing in the United States, Latin America, and Africa.
Islam spreads across Southeast Asia and Europe; and Hinduism, Buddhism, and Shinto are still the majority in the Far East.
It is also important to highlight Protestantism, in its Pentecostal strand, which has been growing in Latin America.
Finally, as a fundamental component of human culture, Religion was the reason for countless wars.
Furthermore, it structured societies and defined scientific, philosophical, and artistic knowledge for many centuries.
See also: What is Philosophical Knowledge?
Religions have some aspects in common such as:
establishing boundaries between the sacred and profane,
sacred scriptures or oral tradition,
sacrifices, parties, funeral and matrimonial services,
meditation, art, religious calendars and
a belief system in the supernatural, usually explaining the afterlife or the origin of the Universe.
The word “sect” designates the minority segment in religions, while “heresy” is any content contrary to the theoretical structure of the dominant religion.
See also: Types of Knowledge
Types of Religion
Pantheists: the most primitive religious manifestations do not have sacred books, they deify natural elements such as wind, water, fire, animals, among others.
Atheists: deny the existence of a central and supreme being (which, for them, would be the Void or a Non-Being). They do not believe in personified gods but believe in invisible forces, such as the inexplicable phenomena of nature. In this way, the harmonic interdependence of the Universe is preached, balanced through the Tao, or found in Nirvana. Examples are Buddhism, in India and China, Taoism and Confucianism.
Monotheists: they are the most recent and popular religions (about 50% of the world population), they have a Sacred Book in which the truth of Divine Revelation is present, where the sovereign divinity is established and independent worships are eliminated. The paucity of representations of the supreme God is curious, while lesser entities (such as angels) are often portrayed. Another detail is that the one God (Hebrew, Christian and Islamic) is masculine and has absorbed the feminine elements such as goodness.
In Brazil, most people practice some religion.
The predominant religion is Christianity with 86.8%. Of these 64.6% declare themselves Catholic and 22% Evangelical.
Spiritists account for 2% of the Brazilian population.
Despite being very popular, African-based religions such as Candomblé and Umbanda always appear with very low percentages in the censuses.
This is due to the historical persecution to which these beliefs were subjected, causing their practitioners to have to hide their identity.
Likewise, people who claim to be spiritualists reached the figure of 4.4%. They are people who do not have a specific religion, but believe in different metaphysical manifestations.
Another religion that has been growing in Brazil is Islam, whether due to the arrival of immigrants or the Brazilians themselves who are discovering this doctrine.
Usually, people who don’t have a specific religion are called “atheists”.
This would be an imprecise definition because the word designates those who do not believe in God. Thus: Theos – god and “the” would be the negation.
Likewise, there are those who claim to be “agnostics”. Gnosis – knowledge. Whether God exists is unknown and indifferent.
Another aspect emerged with Scientism, socialism, and anarchism. Marx claims that religion is the “opium of the people”, in the sense that it left them numb and without the initiative to fight against social injustices.