Difference Between Religion and Faith

Religion vs Faith

Once we clearly understand the meaning of each of the words religion and faith, understanding the difference between religion and faith is not that hard. You must have seen that religion and faith are two words that are often confused because people think there is a similarity in their meanings. Strictly speaking, both the words are different in terms of their concepts and connotations. They may not have some similarity in their meaning, but religion and faith are very much interrelated in the field of religion. In the world of religion, without faith, you cannot be a follower of any religion. Even to be an atheist, you need to have faith in not believing in God.

What is Faith?

Faith, when we use it normally, is used with a sense of trust. That means faith shows how much we trust someone or something. When it comes to the religious sphere, faith consists of the belief in one or more gods or deities. However, this always does not have to be the belief in deities and gods as all religions do not believe in the god concept. This can simply be the trust someone has in the teachings of their religion. Faith is usually accompanied by hope too. This is because when we use the word faith to show that we trust someone, we are hoping that our trust is placed correctly. If we study how faith is built, we can see that faith is built on the belief. When faith becomes strong and unshakeable, then it culminates in religion.

Science is one branch of knowledge that questions faith. This is because science also has its faith in logical explanations where there is proof to back every saying. The faith science doubts is the blind religious faith that makes people believe that people can walk on water and such. This kind of blind religious faith is opposed to the questions raised by science. Faith thus, can culminate in the acceptance of superstitions and false notions. In religions such as Christianity, faith amounts to the loyalty to God. It is the absolute belief in God that he will save you in your utter distress.

Difference Between Religion and Faith

What is Religion?

Religion, on the other hand, is the means by which people universally exhibit their faith. Religion is based on culture of a land too. At the same time, religion influences the culture too. Religion builds character and morality.

Religious leaders impart primary knowledge about the respective dogmas and tenets. They try to inculcate faith in the corresponding religion in the minds of the people. Thus, religion and faith are related to each other although they are different from each other. Religion teaches us moral laws. Moreover, we can describe religion as the organizational institute for practicing your faith.

When it comes to religions, there can exist different types of religions. Some religions can be completely non-violent while some religions can be violent as they demand sacrifices. Some religions such as Christianity and Hinduism can believe in God. At the same time, religions such as Buddhism can be a religion that does not believe in a God. Buddhism believes that everything happens as the result of the decisions we make.

 Religion vs Faith

What is the difference between Religion and Faith?

• Definition of Faith and Religion:

• Faith in the normal usage gives a sense of trust. Faith in the religious sphere means that we trust the teaching of a religion: these teachings can include a god concept or not.

• Religion is the means by which people universally exhibit their faith.

• Connection between faith and religion:

• Faith begins with belief. When we start trusting someone or something faith begins.

• Religion comes into being as a result of faith. Religion survives also because of this faith. If everyone lost faith in a religion, that religion would cease to exist.

• Impact on society:

• Faith helps us to hold on to something that we believe in. It may be irrational to others.

• Religion helps communities by teaching morality, nurturing its culture, and making people compassionate towards one another, as well as the environment around them.

These are the important differences between religion and faith. As you can see, faith paves way for religion and keeps the religion together too. However, this does not mean science and atheist do not have faith. They have their faith in logic and reasons rather than on gods.


Images Courtesy:

  1. Faith via Pixabay (Public Domain)
  2. Religious symbols via Wikicommons (Public Domain)
  • http://www.surya.org/ask-the-lama-2/ Lama Surya Das

    Faith is the internal emotion. Religion is the external expression , observance, especially if it follows a specific structure. A very large number of people have both faith and religion. A person may have faith, but not be religious. This might be someone who believes but chooses not to attend worship services or have much external expression of their faith, preferring to treat it as an internal matter. A person may be religious but not have faith. This is someone who follows the ritual and observances of their religion but doesn’t deeply believe. (These people sometimes come in for criticism, but I think this is a valid option. The external forms of religion can be grounding and comforting, whatever your state of belief.)

    • Carlos Parter

      I can partly agree with your statement but I do not agree you can have a religion without faith. If you base your life on a religious system you have to have faith that this is so at some point. When that faith becomes shaken the religion becomes invalid. For instance, for those who have not taken the time to become better informed about Christ will see the church of Christ as an unforgiving/unbending entity because of the deceptive cultural practices that have formed their young minds. When they come of age they make a choice and when that choice began to follow the practices of the world system the religion dies along with the faith. So now they are like nomads with no direction to sustain them beyond tomorrow. Hope is gone and life becomes a repetitive task.

  • Carlos Parter

    I agree. This is the basis of both on the surface. I
    don’t believe in the religion system/denominations. I believe in God as a
    follower of Christ and Keeper of the Way. I identify with the Protestant
    religion but I am more of Judeo Christian in that my faith is based on God being
    the one and only God and that He created the heavens and the earth. Religions
    within itself is of man. Faith is eternal and covers many things as the author
    stated. However, the faith in God requires substance that goes well beyond mere
    belief but it goes with the attitude/actions that we demonstrate

    • http://www.surya.org/ask-the-lama-2/ Lama Surya Das

      Religious spirituality is usually associated with a long tradition and certain stories. Of course, you can have spirituality within a religion. You can have religion with spirituality, and you can have religion without spirituality – which also happens quite often.

  • Davell logan

    Faith is truly believing is something from you heart and soul that you have no control over.