It’s no secret that a large percentage of the world’s population is strongly religious in one way or another. A large majority of people across the globe say they are religious while only a mere 13% claim to be Atheists. So why do these people choose to follow a religion and how did religion even begin? It’s difficult to determine how each religion in its own came to be but through many studies and trends that have been noted over time, we have a good guess as to why such a large percentage of our population follows a religion today.
Drive to the Divine
In a world filled with pain, instability and crisis, it’s easy to see why anybody would want to believe there is something more after this world. The constant questions in the back of your head, “Why am I here?” or “Why are such horrific tragedies occurring in my life?” can seem impossible to answer. Well they are impossible to answer without religion and belief. One of the largest appeals of any religion is that it answers those questions for you. You are on this world to serve your God or gods and after your body is dead, your soul will continue to live on.
Without religion, those questions can never be answered. You simply live to get through your day and then eventually it’s just over and there is nothing else; there is no true meaning to life. More so in primitive geographical locations throughout the world where struggle is real and technology is less advanced, religion ever thrives. People in less fortunate situations need that extra drive to keep on living every day. They don’t have any economic or political stability to simplify their lives and give them other reasons to live.
For these very reasons, the wealthier countries in the world tend to have the highest overall percentage of Atheism. These people have educational and economic stability which leaves religion with a lower appeal. France, Canada, Japan and Canada were all countries where only 100 or so years ago, religion was stronger than ever. Now almost a quarter way into the 21st century, they are reported to have some of the lowest rates of religious believers in the world. This is most likely due to the strong security they have within their societies coupled with low poverty rates.
The Future of Religion
Although there has been an overall rise in Atheism in developed countries, experts do not see religion disappearing any time soon, or ever for that matter. Even if your life seems perfect: you have the perfect family, a lovely home and a stable job, everything can still change in the blink of an eye. Your house could burn down, you could be diagnosed with an incurable illness or a loved one passes away. There will always be tragedy in life and under circumstances like these, people tend to steer towards religion. People want to release themselves from the pain and struggling, they need a meaning for the suffering and a way to escape it.
One trend commonly seen across the globe is an overall rise in religion throughout certain areas after a disaster. Whether it’s a disastrous earthquake or an event such as 9/11, society as a whole tends to join together as a group and find their reason to live: religion.