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RELIGION IS A SOURCE OF HOPE; NOT A THREAT TO PEOPLE AND SOCIETY

23 June 2012 41 Comments

RELIGION IS A SOURCE OF HOPE; NOT A THREAT TO PEOPLE AND SOCIETY

By Imam Dr. ZijadDelic

In 2010, with the world population estimated at 7 billion, more than 80 percent are members of a religion.  Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism have the largest number of adherents. Christianity and Islam each exceed 1.5 billion; Hinduism 950 million and Buddhism 350 million. The Abrahamic religionsreachmore than 3.7 billion.

Religion is an integral part of many peoples’ lives and offers hope for them but also for the societies in which they are living. Hope brings people closer to each other in times of crisis and allows them to believe in something greater. Without hopepeople would simply give up.

Religious belief is considered as “spiritual capital.” Faith gives me a sense of who I am, makes me aware of my responsibilities toward those around me and the world.As I understand it, faith is all about hope, not fear; about help, not burdens; about healing, not punishment; about comfort, not trouble.

Faith offers pathways to self-improvement, self-assessment, self-discipline and self-awareness, from which a sense of social responsibility grows.

Faith is a call to live in community and to become aware of the global village where regular interactions teach us how to behave or heal our relationships.

We are also in need of a great renewal of faith, not just theoretically,but in practice.We will not survive the 21st century with the ethics of the 20th century.

Faith is acquired in a process of self-consciousness, and it is maintained by being continually reinforced and fortified.Faith is the seed that develops on a day-to-day basis. It is not static! It has its ups and downs and this can be seen when our faith is put into action.

However, religion is a threat to the well-being of society when religion is turned into the politics of power and control, when it is used as a cover or pretext, and especially when it is used for personal gain and for political purposes.

Religion is often accused of being the cause of conflicts, but it is not religion that starts conflicts; it is people, who use their interpretation of religion to create conflict.

Authentic religion provides hope and consolation; it inspires love, care and kindness, with a great touch of generosity to all God’s creation. It provides for human development and offers the most precious thing of all: a voice for the deepest of human experience.

Religion conveys hope when people find themselves in situations where there are social, economic, political and cultural inequalities. When religion is faithful to its faith is not a threat to society. If it remains true to an authentic interpretation of faith.  Religion is an amazing asset for all human beings.

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