Religion is a major part of the lives of believers. It governs almost all aspects of their lives. People turn to religion for various reasons such as to provide hope and comfort, give people morals and norms, and as a source of personal identity. Religion is a source of functional purpose in many ways. First, religion is a source of social cohesion. Different religious have social interactions, for example, Christians attend church services on Sundays, and there are other associated activities during different days of the week. A Christian can, therefore, find a social community within their religious belief. Another purpose of religion is that it gives believers comfort and helps them answer some of life’s questions. People want to believe that their lives have a purpose, and religion often offers them this comfort. Whenever a person is going through a tough time, they also rely on their faith.
Despite the different purposes that religion plays in the lives of individuals, it can also be a significant source of conflict. One of the sources of conflict within religion is an intrapersonal conflict when a person believes that their actions do not match their religious beliefs. Religion can also be a source of conflict between different groups which might have different beliefs. When members of one group believe that they are superior to the others, this creates problems. Religion can also create conflict when people try to impose their beliefs on others. For example, one may castigate their friend for loose morals, and if their friend does not share their religious beliefs, this will create conflict between the two. In religious matters, everyone must acknowledge differences in some areas, and respect other people’s entitlement to their own religious beliefs. Tolerance, respect and acceptance in religion is the only way to avoid conflict with others.