Religion is a range of social-cultural systems, including designated behaviors and practices, morals, beliefs, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or organizations, that generally relate humanity to supernatural, transcendental, and spiritual elements—although there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitutes a religion. Different religions may or may not contain various elements ranging from the divine, sacredness, faith, and a supernatural being or beings.
Religious practices may include rituals, sermons, commemoration or veneration (of deities or saints), sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trances, initiations, matrimonial and funerary services, meditation, prayer, music, art, dance or public service. Religions have sacred histories and narratives, which may be preserved in sacred texts, symbols and holy places, that primarily aim to give life meaning. Religions may contain symbolic tales that may attempt to explain the origin of life, the universe, and other phenomena; some followers believe these to be true stories. Traditionally, both faith and reason have been considered sources of religious beliefs.
There are an estimated 10,000 distinct religions worldwide, though nearly all of them have regionally based, relatively small followings. Four religions—Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism—account for over 77% of the world's population, and 92% of the world either follows one of those four religions or identifies as nonreligious, meaning that the remaining 9,000+ faiths account for only 8% of the population combined. The religiously unaffiliated demographic includes those who do not identify with any particular religion, atheists, and agnostics, although many in the demographic still have various religious beliefs. A portion of the population, mostly located in Africa and Asia, are members of new religious movements. Scholars have indicated that global religiosity may be increasing due to religious countries having generally higher birth rates.
The study of religion comprises a wide variety of academic disciplines, including theology, philosophy of religion, comparative religion, and social scientific studies. Theories of religion offer various explanations for its origins and workings, including the ontological foundations of religious being and belief.
2. The universal need for reassurance in the pace of poverty, misery and the exactions of the tyrannical State breeds the hunger for miracles and seems to make them happen. Of course, a hunger for the supernatural may tune in to the wrong wavelength. If there is divine good it has to be balanced by satanic evil. The revival of spiritism, the cravings of the so-called counter-culture and New Age for the irrational, messiah cults, the feminist reinterpretations of witchcraft and the glamour or the coven, rituals in which drugs and sexual perversion are elevated into the sacred, belief in nature spirits, devas, and communications with other non-humans - these are examples of the milieu of popular mysticism which have been thrown into questionable light.
2. Miracles are gifts of faith rather than promoters of it, except among the superstitious.
3. Do not believe in miracles -- rely on them.