"For as long as history has been with us, religion has been a feature of human life. There is no known culture for which we have an ethnographic or an archaeological record that does not have some form of religion. Even in the secular societies that have become more common in the past few centuries, there are people who consider themselves religious and aspire to practise the rituals of their religion. These religions vary in form, style and size from small cults numbering a few hundred people centred around a charismatic leader to worldwide organizations numbering tens, or even hundreds, of millions of adherents with representations in every country. Some, like Buddhism, take an individualistic stance (your salvation is entirely in your own hands), some like the older Abrahamic religions view salvation as more of a collective activity through the performance of appropriate rituals, and a few (Judaism is one) have no formal concept of an afterlife. Some like Christianity and Islam believe in a single all- powerful God,…"