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Religion, system of belief to which a social group is committed, in which there is a supernatural object of awe, worship, and service. It generally provides a system of ethics and a worldview that supply a stable context within which each person can relate to others and to the world and can understand his or her own significance. Religions are found in all societies and are generally dominant (modern secularism being an exception).Some form of religion seems to fulfill a basic human need. Some features are common to most religions: the recognition of a sacred realm from which supernatural forces operate, a mediating priesthood, the use of ritual to establish a right relationship with the holy (though ritual used to manipulate the supernatural becomes magic), and a sense of group community. Some religions have no deity as such, but are natural philosophies (e.g., Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism).

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