The Social Impact Of Religion Essay

758 Words Nov 3rd, 2015 4 Pages
Religions, whatever their form, may have a major social impact on some societies - for evil or good. Naturally, in certain religions any social impact that they have may be incidental or secondary to their main declared purpose of relating people to God. The social impact of religions are generally less to do with the belief or religion itself than the church or its institutional form.

The social impact of any religion in any society is affected by whether it is sustained/supported by the minority of the population or by the majority (Swatos, 1998: 12-25). A majority religion does not only impact more people directly, but is also likely to have a significant impact on society values. In general, it is the poorest societies that hold the biggest proportion of the population that supports religion, (that may refer to several religions rather than one religion). However, for religion 's social impact, the key difference will often be between medium class societies and lower class societies (Swatos, 1998: 12-25).

Religions usually have greater social impact in the underprivileged societies. Frequently one religion will predominate and will have a significant effect on the government – either through the government using the religion in governing the majority-poverty society or religion controlling the government (Swatos, 1998: 12-25). It is this kind of situation that Marx referred to when he said that "Religion is the opium of the masses" (Swatos, 1998: 12-25). Any type of…

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