Culture Vs Religion


Many people mistake culture and religion as being the same thing. In truth yes they provide similar roles in society however with many countries being without a national religion, the differences between culture and religion are easier to determine. Both religion and culture have determined the rules and regulations by which a society lives and still continue to determine these roles but they do this in very different ways.


Religion in a society, determines what the people believe in. Some religions place emphasis on one God while other place emphasis in many different Gods. Different societies will have some religious points that are similar to one another and some will have opposing points of view. Every society believes their religion is the only one that people should follow whether people are from the same community or another.

Religious wars occur when one community tries to force their religion onto another society. Some of the religious wars that have occurred throughout history include:

  • The Holy Crusades (Christians looking to convert Muslims)
  • The Holocaust of WW2 (Hitler trying to exterminate the Jewish religion)
  • The European Reformation (Protestants trying to convert Catholics)

Some religious wars are still being carried out across the word today. One example of this is the uneasy truce between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland. Religious violence is often seen when the Catholics attempt their annual parades in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Religious wars also include the more recent attacks on the Western World Muslim groups such as Isis.

Religion often depicts the behaviour that a community should live by. In most religions, the rules set by religion include being nice to other people and the environment. It is these rules that are often mistaken for culture.


Culture is far harder to define than religion. Culture determines the way a community lives and the rules they must live by. Some of these rules are determined by the religion that a community is told to believe in. It is for this reason that culture and religion are often entwined with one another.

Culture is not all about rules and regulation. Culture is also ways that a community is brought together and often through the arts. These cultural arts include activities such as:

  • Acting
  • Music
  • Dancing

Culture is all about identity and the feeling of belonging. Location is often a key point as people identify belonging to a specific race or country.


Religion and culture are very similar in many ways and yet different in others. Religion is more about belief and spirituality. Culture however is more about community and a sense of identity.

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