Religion is indeed a pacifying agent as it helps to resolve the inner conflicts and fills the life with hope. However, it also acts as a diversifying force.
Following are some of the functions of religion :
Religion explains all the human sufferings :
Religion acts as a pacifying agent in times of sufferings as it soothes the emotions during the disappointments and helps in integration of the personality of a person. It sustains interest in life and helps in making it bearable.
It helps in enhancing self importance : It helps the person to believe in his capabilities and encourages him to play a significant role in the society.
It is a valuable source of social cohesion: Religion is the foundation upon which all the social values rest; which plays role in controlling individual’s actions. Hence, it helps in binding the society by giving common values.
Following are some of the dysfunctions of religion :
A Detrimental force :
Religion has often proved to be a catastrophic force as many times wars are fought in the name of religion. Many times it stands in the way of national integration. For example, Mandir-Masjid issue in Ayodhya has brought a disastrous effect on the national integration.
Religion promotes fanaticism : People . following a particular religion often have a fanatic approach to the religion to which they belong and it can often promote a sense of superiority whereby people then tend to consider religion of all others as inferior. This can create a sense of discontent often leading to outbreak of communal violence amongst the people.