Religion and Spirituality
The major religions share a common set of beliefs and practices. These beliefs and practices are the backbone of the religions and are used to govern behaviors. Some religions also use their own laws and codes to guide the lives of their followers. These codes are often rigidly followed by the members of a particular religion.
Historically, religions have developed from the lives and teachings of historical figures and archetypal figures. Their teachings have been passed down through oral tradition and written scriptures. Worship of these figures forms the foundation for religious practices in a society or community. However, not everyone considers themselves spiritual or religious.
Spirituality is an ongoing process that focuses on discovering connections between experiences and events. The goal is to find the overall meaning of life. The center of value exists beyond the realm of rational human knowing and experience. This process allows for a deeper understanding of the world and one’s place in it. Religious practices are also a way to find meaning in life.
Interestingly, attitudes toward religion vary widely in various countries. In Portugal, for example, a majority of adults expressed positive views towards religion, while only 17% voiced negative attitudes. However, in Ireland, Austria, and Italy, attitudes toward religion are more positive than in Portugal. In Denmark and Sweden, however, attitudes toward religion are generally negative.