Attitudes toward religion are varied and mixed in Western European countries. While many people believe religion is an effective tool to help them make sense of their life, others are skeptical of religious institutions.
Religion is usually described as a social and cultural system. It includes beliefs, texts, ethics, world views, organizations, and practices.
There are three main groups: secular, religious, and spiritual. People who are not religious are defined as “spiritual but not religious”. Spirituality is more personal, while religion tends to focus on public rituals.
Most adults in the U.S. and Ireland have positive views of religion. On the other hand, attitudes are more negative in countries like Sweden, Portugal, and Denmark.
In Europe, there are many people who consider themselves religious but not spiritual. This group is just as likely to be polytheistic as it is monotheistic. Yet, they disagree on whether or not religion does more harm than good.
The best thing about religion is that it provides a solid foundation for action. For example, the Bible is a well-known source of moral guidance. And organized religions have been known to encourage individuals to explore God for themselves.
Religious participation involves rituals like prayer, meditating on the holy scriptures, and participating in religious organizations. But it can also include routine activities, such as attending worship services.
Those who are religious are most likely to say that religion gives them purpose. They are also most likely to agree that it gives them moral guidance.