The third Sunday of January each year is celebrated as World Religion Day. The word ‘religion’ relates to religious beliefs as they embrace worship of gods and living godly lives. Most people across the world encourage religious lifestyles, even if it is on Sunday only. However, the fact that people go to church does not necessarily reflect a comprehensive knowledge of religion, as this takes different forms and some worshippers do not even enter church houses.
Religion is very complex, but is made clearer by three different approaches to its study. They are the historical, the phenomenological (visible) and the behavioral aspects. The history deals with texts, whether doctrinal, devotional or ritual, while the phenomenological speaks to the discovery of the nature of religion, which are fundamental characteristics behind historical manifestations and the social-scientific aspect relating to behavioral practices in the different religions.
If examined closely, any of the three approaches of the religions taken in isolation from the others, will lead to distortion and bias.
On World Religion Day, Christian worshippers in particular, attend church services where special focus is directed towards how religion helps people to balance their lifestyle, by living godly lives that will enhance amicable relationships educationally, progressively, economically and health-wise is concerned.
They are also reminded that caring for one another is one aspect of being religious. Some people are more mindful of the type of religion they uphold rather than the effect religion has on the society. Be that as it may, all forms of religion represent either the worship of God Almighty or that of other gods. Religious services can range from an orthodox setting to a boisterous ritual. Either way, a religious service can evoke emotional behavior.
Whatever your form of religion may be, it should be recognised as being your choice and as long as it is being conducted in a manner that will provide correct guidelines for others, you should not be hindered.
Although different religions have different doctrines or rituals, may conduct their devotions differently and may have different ethical codes, they all relate to a form of worship. It has been conceived that having a form of religion is always acceptable and it forms the base on which many decent human beings build their lives.
May this year’s celebration reflect the changes that are needed for the betterment of Jamaica and the world.