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Religion is a historical social institution based on human beliefs and faith. It can be defined as a set of beliefs shared within a community or a niche responsible for basic cultural practices to the concerned individuals. Religion is a divine relationship between human and super powers. The word “Religion” has its roots in Latin terminology where ‘Rel’ means ‘together or observe’ and ‘igio’ means ‘to bind’. Thus, Religion refers to faith binding mankind to their transcendental foundations. Religion is known to have physiological and psychological prospectives and also include belief, salvation method and rituals as basic elements.

Being a major part of social ties, human life is interwoven with personal and professional relationships by religion. Prior to the emergence of scientific era of reasoning, religion has played a crucial deciding factor of moral values and beliefs. It has inclined the concept of life, more towards spirituality than reasoning. Even, nowadays where world has shrunken into a global village through scientific advancements, people are divided into religions. Statistics show that about 80% of world’s population belong to either of four major religions. Religion plays an important role in societal survival as seen in case of India, Middle America, China etc, where religious sentiments acts as a support in struggle for independence. During the times of survival struggle, religion was also found to be an important factor promoting social integration. Moreover, as religion provide people with common faith a common platform to perform rituals, a sense of unity is developed within a community. Therefore, religion can be considered as a regulator of social values and a promoter of social welfare. Among the various advantageous features, development of sense of self importance and condolence in most adverse situations is important. Wounds of disappointment and failure are often soothed by religious practices, which act as a source of inspiration and encouragement.

Apart from various advantages, there are several associated disadvantages of religion pointed out by philosophers like Karl Marx, Benjamin Kidd and others. Religious hinderance in the path of societal changes according to changing need of time is one of the major dysfunction. An example of hinderence is cited in history of medivial Europe and Catholic world. Progress retardation, scientific distrust and religious divisions are few other dysfunctions of religion.

In conclusion, based on the modern approaches towards religious ideologies, secularism is need of an hour.

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