How to Choose a Religion

Three Methods:Studying Religious MaterialAttending Services and Asking QuestionsMaking a Decision

Have you always been fascinated by religion but never been able to decide what kind of religion would really suit you? Or, perhaps, you’re uncertain about whether or not you’d like to be religious at all? If you don’t really understand the differences, and would like more information before steering towards a decision, you’ll want to immerse yourself in religion to learn as much as possible.

Method 1
Studying Religious Material

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    Get various books on general religion. Before going in depth with any religion it would be a good idea to understand what religion is in general. Reading books about the nature of religions will improve your understanding of how and why people choose to be religious. Find a book that gives a good overview of the most popular religions in the world, and see which suits you most.
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    Read hallowed religious texts. If you are serious about choosing a religion, it would make sense to read from the primary information source for each religion. Each text provides the very basis for the religion, the guidelines for practicing the religion. The following covers some of the sacred books of the more prominent religions of the world:[1]
    • Christians believe in the Bible, which is made up of both the Old and New Testament.
    • Jews believe in the Torah, which also has the first five books of the Bible.
    • Hindus follow the Vedas, four ancient Indian texts over 3000 years old.
    • The Quran, which was written near 652, is the holy book of Muslims.
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    Determine how well the religion’s views align with your own. Religions have nearly infinite variations, interpretations, and followers. Each religion, however, has its own level of acceptance for specific acts. If you hold a personal stance near and dear to your heart that can’t be infringed upon, then look for the religion that most closely aligns with your internal beliefs. Think about a few of the hot-button topics related to religion.[2]
    • Sexual issues such as celibacy, abstinence, abortion, and birth control
    • War and peace towards fellow man
    • Treatment of those who believe in other religions

Method 2
Attending Services and Asking Questions

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    Go to different religious places. In order to get a feeling of how each religion practices rituals, prayers etc., you would have to visit places where practitioners gather. Visiting places like churches, mosques and temples will give you a good indication of what religion would suit your mentality. Remember to be respectful of rules and regulations and prayer times.
    • While making your choice, finding a service that fits your schedule may be beneficial. You wouldn’t want the inconvenience of scheduling influencing a philosophical decision.[3]
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    Embrace the rituals. Rituals are core elements in every known religion. They reinforce the basics and choice of the religion by connecting the practitioner to religiously significant events or beliefs. While visiting religious places you can study and perform the rituals in order to get an idea of what they require of you.[4]
    • Understanding why the procedures are practiced is just as important as performing the movements. Learn the importance and history of each movement.
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    Talk with practitioners of various religions. While outside of religious services, ask religious practitioners about the pros and cons of their religion. Get a feel of whether or not they would be welcoming of you, and if their belief structure aligns with what you have learned about the religion.
    • A few simple questions could provide a better feel for the environment. Ask things like: Why should a newcomer like me join this religion? How does this religion align with current events of the day?
    • If you at any time feel uncomfortable around a specific group of people, be sure to get a second set of worshippers to talk to about the religious details.
    • Judge whether those wishing you to join were evangelizing (telling you about the positive aspects) or proselytizing their religion (trying to get you to join).
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    Consult with religious leaders. While speaking with practitioners is a good first step, the deeper meaning and understanding of religion’s tougher questions must come from religious leaders (e.g. priests, rabbis, imams). They are the guides for religious understanding, sometimes believed to be a conduit of sorts to the deity. Before meeting with the leader, ensure you have a basic grasp of the religion and can ask more profound questions. Potential questions follow:
    • What happens when we die?
    • Why do you believe in your religion over others?
    • What do you want others to know about their religion?
    • How does the religion respond/reply to current social problems?[5]

Method 3
Making a Decision

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    Write pros and cons about your potential choices. When you have a greater understanding about various religions you would have to write pros and cons about each religion that has caught your interest. Making the list will simplify the choice of which religion to embrace. Remember, this is your list, not others'. Include only your opinions about the different religions. Religion is a very personal matter, so trust in what you believe yourself.
    • Truly think about which you believe to have the most merit, the most truth.
    • Think about which religion makes you feel the best, and the one you understand.[6]
    • Ask yourself which religions are to blame for the problems, hatred, and bloodshed of the era.
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    Consider the impact of your decision. The decision to choose a religion may not necessarily be personal. If your partner believes in a different religion, it could cause familial problems. If a new religion requires considerably more time than you are capable of devoting, it may be stressful to adopt.
    • If there is a preponderant religion in your country, culture, or family, you should seriously consider how it could negatively affect your life.
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    Determine your ultimate goal. What do you wish upon your death-bed for your future religion? Each religion handles the question of death differently. Some believe in reincarnation, others nirvana, Heaven, Hell, and every variation in between. If you live your life according the tenets of the religion, and believe wholeheartedly, what’s your preferred outcome?[7]
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    Commit fully to your new religion. Once you make the decision, religion requires commitment and faith. Make changes in your daily life that supplement beliefs and improves the trust you have in your religion. Consider a few of the following possible changes:
    • Pray more often. Prayer has been found to have a profound effect on people.
    • Increase your involvement. Go to more services, join choirs, study more regularly.[8]


  • If you have religious friends you can ask them for guidance.
  • You may not agree with one interpretation of the religion but another may seem just right, make sure you learn about different sects.
  • Ample research can be done on various religious websites. Gather as much information as necessary. There is no rush to decision.


  • Choosing religion can have various consequences for your social life. Check out your family and friends' opinions on your idea of becoming religious.
  • Practicing religion requires discipline. If you come from a life without any religious responsibilities, changing to a religious life can be a daunting task. Be sure that you have the will and patience to embrace a religious life.

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Categories: Religion