Most religions are characterized by a deity, certain code of ethics, and a way of living adherent to a specific philosophy. The comparative study of religions brings forth some interesting facts and revelations about the way society has evolved over the years.
There is a growing need in this world growing smaller every passing minute to get acquainted with a wider variety of people, their lifestyles, likes and dislikes, or the way of thinking. In fact, to sustain better relations and increase our own acceptability, it is important to develop a deeper understanding and respect for other kinds of people.
This knowledge developed as a result of curiosity and enthusiasm among many individuals about their counterparts on other parts of the globe. But today, it has become a necessity to understand fellow human beings, to avoid conflict or tensions, and improve the quality of human life.
A religion may influence sports, business or politics, that are a dominant aspect of human life, and the way these are practiced. The understanding of a religion depends on the understanding of these facets of life, as they are an integral part of every human community.
People pray for health, well-being, for protection against natural disasters, or simply for spiritual reasons like the praise of their deity. All these reasons and forms of prayer are different within the same religion, yet common for all religions.
Leo Tolstoy aptly reflects on religion in the following words, "The essence of any religion lies solely in the answer to the question: why do I exist, and what is my relationship to the infinite universe that surrounds me?
It is impossible for there to be a person with no religion, as it is for there to be a person without a heart. He may not know that he has a religion, just as a person may not know that he has a heart, but it is no more possible for a person to exist without a religion than without a heart."