The Benefits of Religion

In this religious article, I consider some of the benefits of religion.

When I was considering going back to church, I was put off by the bad reputation of religion. I had become prejudiced.

To make the journey to return to church I felt I had to justify the decision.

Whilst I try to avoid religious arguments where possible, I feel I need an answer - for myself at least - to people I encounter, both spiritual and atheist, who are clearly against religion.

The benefits of religion for the secular community

religion positive points
  • Many people find in religion a place from which they can serve their community.
  • Churches in the UK organise meals and trips for those who live alone, for the elderly and for the homeless.
  • Statistically the religious are healthier and live longer.
  • Church services play a huge role in marking significant life events - births, marriages and deaths. Many people - on both an individual and national level - find these ceremonies to be of huge comfort.
  • The church in the UK, and many other countries, takes care of the maintenance of buildings of astoundingly rich historical interest.
  • A vast number of voluntary organisations in the UK and globally are manned by people of faith. Faith emphasises the importance of service to others.
  • The Christian churches feed and educate huge swathes of the developing countries. I heard an estimate that 50% are catered for by the Catholic Church alone. Who else would take on that work?

More controversially, religion also contributes to peace in many ways. Since most religions teach that we are all made in the image of God - beliefs that can help to break down prejudice between nations. Unfortunately as we know this is not always the case and religions do also cause war.

The above benefits of religion are easy to relate to for those who are not on a spiritual path.

None of these points touch on the main intent and benefits of religion, which is the role they serve for people of faith.

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The benefits of religion for people of faith

advantages of religion
  • Religions organise locations where we meet affordably and reliably in praise and worship of our God, to allow Him/Her/It to work in us and in the lives of those around us.

    As a student of A Course In Miracles - a spiritual path, but not a religion, I may or may not find a local group to join with.

    As a Christian, one of the benefits of religion is that I can travel almost anywhere in the world and join with the local community in prayer.

    I have always found it wonderful to belong to a group that crosses all national boundaries. When I had more severe CFS and was dependent on care, most of my carers were immigrant to the UK. Yet, since many were Christians, we could share our knowledge of the Bible stories that inspire us.
  • As a Christian, I am part of a world wide network of people who read the same stories and take them in on a deeper level as they go through life.

    The book of the Bible becomes so rich for us that for someone to quote a scripture or a parable can be enough for us to draw on all the wisdom of that story.

    I speak here about how the line "The Lord is my Shepherd" came to comfort me in dark times. 
  • A personal benefit of religion for me is that the church is the place where I meet with the broadest cross section of society. In my church I have three friends over 90 years old. It's the only group I belong to where I meet young children and get to watch to them grow up. It's the only group I belong to in which disabled people take part as a matter of course.

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© Katherine T Owen

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Be Loved

15 Spiritual Love Poems
God Love Self Love

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For 14 years, Katherine T Owen was severely disabled with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, unable to walk, with little speech, and with inadequate care.

Katherine's small beautiful collection of poems take the reader with her as she journeys to know both self love and
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