Using Religion to Help Young People Grow and Become More Vibrant

Religion is a system of defined behaviors and rituals, moral codes, beliefs, texts, moral rules, sanctified spaces, prophesies, ethics, or groups, which defines humanity to its relationship to divinity or god. A religion is “the sum total of human knowledge developed over time about God as a personal relationship” (ibid., p. 5). The history of religion is the history of mankind trying to understand the divine. There has been much progress in the field of religion in the past few centuries. The growth in knowledge about religion and humankind as a whole has increased the number of religions from a few to hundreds, from a handful to over one million, from a handful to over two billion, and now with Internet it is possible to become a religious leader and spread the word of your religion on the Internet.

Religion provides an umbrella term for a vast array of philosophies, but all have one inherent foundation–the recognition of a supreme power or deity and the submission of humans to this power through ritual. In essence, religion is the set of beliefs and practices associated with a particular faith or church. Although some may have a complicated history, all religions share similarities in their beliefs and practices. They share practices of social worship, rites of passage, revelation, fear of evil, and fear of sin.

Youth should take advantage of this emerging connection between religion and spirituality because it can provide a solid foundation for understanding religious literature, history, and theory. Through their faith and devotion, young people will be able to translate the abstract concepts of religion into concrete ideas and can then use this new understanding to help them in their daily lives. This is particularly important for those who are experimenting with new forms of religion, such as Wicca, Paganism, or other similar belief systems. Through their zeal and commitment to a particular belief system, they can learn how to incorporate these principles in their daily lives.