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RELIGION IS A universal and varied phenomenon. While there have been those who have rejected all religion and espouse atheism, they have been for practical purposes a very small minority until recently. The attempts since the Enlightenment in Western Europe in the 1700s to foster a belief in atheism has met with little success, except among educated elites in the more advanced industrialized countries. During the time of Communist domination in the Soviet Union or in Communist China, as well as other Communist countries, the attempts to suppress religion have almost completely failed.

Ancient Religions

For much of humanity, especially among tribal peoples, spirits are viewed as the animating part of nature. There are believed to be spirits in rocks, trees, plants, animals, or the forces of ...

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