Religion, as a word comes from the Latin re-ligare which means to re-link, or re-ligament. We get our English word ligament from the ligare part. And what is a ligament? It is that strong fibrous material that holds the muscles to the bones and allows our skeletal system to function and move. So religion is supposed to be a way for humankind to relink with its source, joining the soft muscles of our humanity with the skeleton of God. The idea of religion is to offer a way for humanity to rejoin a Divinity from which it has somehow been separated. This is so far from the truth it is abhorrent. It seems to me this idea of religion has been a terrible failure in itself. It has never completely succeeded in bringing humanity back to its root and in fact "Religion" has been the obvious cause of many if not all our personal and global conflicts. This is still occurring in the world as I write these words to you .
If we are speaking of a "re"-linking we are assuming that somehow, somewhere we have been told or led to believe that there is a divide between ourselves and the infinite itself. Many teachers, clerics, ministers and theological interpreters have told us that we must return, repent, follow a ritual or a rule, go to temple or a church, read a holy book, kneel, pray, give alms, beat our breast and follow whatever words a savior or holy person has said, either literally (Fundamentalism) or follow the interpretation of some teachers words as offered by other religious "leaders." (Theology and Dogma)
So that is where we are today. Most religions believe that they have the fullness of truth. Most religions have become political, cultural or economic systems themselves. Most religions have become dependent on the followers themselves for self-preservation. And all this is done in the name of truth, love and brother/sisterhood. This is the horror which has caused nearly every major war in our history. This is the horror which keeps people on their knees psychologically, filled with guilt, unfulfilled prayers, blind faith and the illusion of another and better life after this one. This is the horror which deludes the thinking of an individual, to fly an airliner filled with innocent people into a skyscraper, killing themselves and thousands. And this will be the horror that until we see through it, will destroy the earth.
Religion is like slow poison, and just as poison is killing your body, in the same way religion is killing your soul.
There is only one difference: religion is masquerading as medicine, and while you think that it’s there for your benefit, it is secretly killing you. And before you become aware of it, religion has turned you into a lifeless being.
The world's 20 largest religions and their number of believers are:
Christianity (2.1 billion)
Islam (1.3 billion)
Nonreligious (Secular/Agnostic/Atheist) (1.1 billion)
Hinduism (900 million)
Chinese traditional religion (394 million)
Buddhism 376 million
Primal-indigenous (300 million)
African traditional and Diasporic (100 million)
Sikhism (23 million)
Juche (19 million)
Spiritism (15 million)
Judaism (14 million)
Bahai (7 million)
Jainism (4.2 million)
Shinto (4 million)
Cao Dai (4 million)
Zoroastrianism (2.6 million)
Tenrikyo (2 million)
Neo-Paganism (1 million)