Supernatural/religious belief systems are mechanisms of social control. How do they work?

Social mechanism refers to social control. It affects and tries to control certain individual or groups by either formal or informal rules or regulations. Religion is one of the strongest and widest social mechanisms in the world. Religion is a set of beliefs and practices that is usually accepted by certain groups of people. It is related to faith and the supernatural beings. Most religion practices are rituals, prayers and laws that are said to be from order from a higher being. Religion is such a strong aspect that controls the society for it doesn’t only involve beliefs in deity but it is also a way of life and philosophy.

The peoples concern for the afterlife and their fear for a highest being or God/gods is what religion uses to control them. It teaches the society that they should follow the rules and standard dictated by God/gods, if not then they have to face the consequences which most of the time relates to punishment and suffering whether physical or spiritual. By setting rituals and practices for the people to gain eternal happiness, religion dictates the way how the society should act. Because religion is known to be concerned and is connected to the spiritual life in which most people are interested, religion manipulates the society. It is respected and sometimes feared by most people. Sometimes it displays supernatural events that even science cannot explain. They say that these events are miracles and are done by their god/gods.

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Religious rituals and practices are different from witchcraft in such a way that the society associates witchcraft as something not from God but from the evil ones though in the early times trey are known as the guardians of the earth and are servants of the nature gods. They are connected with nature and everything about it whether plants, animals and even the climates and other natural phenomena but as time passes by, they are regarded as something satanic or evil. Just like witchcraft, the church does not recognize magic as something that is from god and therefore also teaches the people not to practice them. Because of this, priest, monks or other religious people are respected and are accepted by the people and society while sorcerers and witches are despise and hated. Though both practices different rituals and beliefs that are not honored by science, they viewed differently and the approach of the people towards them are different.