Difference Between Religion and Spirituality

Many times, people use terms such as spirituality and religion interchangeably. Although there is not a huge difference still they are not the same.

A major difference between Religion and spirituality is that Religion is analogous to institutions formed by man for several reasons.

Religion vs Spirituality

The main difference between Religion and Spirituality is that Whereas spirituality develops and it is born in an individual which extends in all the perspectives of human’s life. Spirituality could be kick-started with revelation or religion. Religion is created or defined by man whereas spirituality is defined by god, displays manifestation of god’s nature.

Religion vs Spirituality

An individual can find spirituality deep inside themselves that defines the way an individual loves, accepts and relates things to the world and people who are around. It cannot be found anywhere one needs to believe.


Comparison Table Between Religion and Spirituality (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonReligionSpirituality
OriginAre based on lives, beliefs, teachings, archetypal or historical figures.Based on practical application of significant teachings.
Objective and experienceFocuses more on books of scriptures, eternal rituals, observances, worship places.Focuses more of internalization and awareness to soul and self referral.
TraditionalityIs rooted in doctrine, ritual, creed and religion.Focuses more on evolutionary mentality.
ExclusiveIs based more on rigid interpretations of various teachings.It favours a more inclusive approach.
BeliefIt is more about faith, belief and unconditional acceptance.It leans more towards direct experience with divinity and soul


What is Religion?

According to the formal definition, religion is a well-defined collection of several cultural systems, worldwide views which can be related to the existence of humanity.

All different religions have sacred histories, symbols, narratives that explain meaningful life or origin of life.

In the world, there are thousands of religions and all of them have scriptures, holy places, adherence. All religions contain mythologies. Several times it happens religion is interchanged with a belief system, faith or set of duties.

People derive, lifestyle preferred, religions laws, morality, and ethics based on beliefs in human nature and cosmos.

A religious practice includes sermons, commemoration, deities, sacrifices, dance, art, music, public service mediation or various aspects of culture followed by humans.


What is Spirituality?

For many individuals, spirituality is a very vast concept from different perspectives. It is a sense of connection with something significantly bigger than ourselves.

It focuses more on searching for a meaning for life. It is a universal experience, which every human experience that touches everyone.

It is more kind of seeking meaning through connectives with art and nature.

It lets an individual sense the purpose and for every individual spirituality have different definitions which might change all through life while adapting to all new relationships and experiences.

Spirituality incorporates several elements of religions such as belief, comfort, ethics, awe, and reflection. Spirituality improves emotional health since both of them influence each other and focus on all wellbeing aspects.


Main Differences Between Religion and Spirituality

  1. Religions do have various lists of right and wrong for mola code. Whereas spirituality is about the laws of the universe. Spirituality is not in love and moral codes, right or wrong, neither worshipping any deity but it does represent various facts and laws in the inner self.
  2. Spirituality is about studying the inner self of yours, and how different universities law affects an individual. Whereas religion is all about worshipping to god. Both of them are neither wrong nor right but different.
  3. In religion, an individual believes in outside power known as god whereas spirituality is the belief in inner power.
  4. Spirituality is a very personalized approach followed privately. an individual explores and practices spirituality on his own. Whereas religion is a more kind of group activity where like-minded people socialize with each other and practice religion.
  5. A belief in some others’ experience is a religion whereas belief in their own experience is spirituality. It is a very true and significant statement. When an individual is solely spiritual, one learns from their experiences, trial, and error.
  6. When an individual is a member of a religion, one learns from different experiences of different people.
  7. It is possible that an individual can be spiritual but not religious since one needs to practice what is there in spirituality. But one cannot be religious by not being spiritual, an individual needs to follow all the principles of spirituality to become religious.
  8. Religion helps in spirituality development since it provides a framework, from which one can conclude and look for knowledge. For several people, religion and spirituality are intertwined but it is very difficult to make them apart which results in a holistic approach to spirituality and religion.
  9. Spirituality is more about finding truths, fulfillment, connections, truths and many more. Spirituality would encourage all humans to follow their ways and make stories. It would help humans to set a journey of self-discovery and enlightenment which can be only limited to the inner self.
Difference Between Religion and Spirituality



Religion and spirituality do differ from each other but at the same time, they are words and terms. At various times, people use religion and spirituality interchangeably. A fluid is a boundary between religion and spirituality.

Instead of a debate between spirituality and religion, one can find differences between them. It depends on humans how they practice a religion which makes it good or bad.

Spirituality does remind people that they are not separable and no border, races or cultural divides are there.

Religion or spirituality is not always about what are your beliefs, well it is more about attitude, and way of living. The majority of the population follows religion whereas very few communities follow spirituality.

Well, both of them have their functions in the world. hence it is important to understand the difference since it helps to define the practices and serve well our inner-selves.

Key Differences Between Religion and Spirituality (PDF Format)

Download the key differences in .PDF format, to read or print them later:

Difference Between Religion and Spirituality



  1. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/2e8a/8711be23fdcc16cf3c6db98fbd23877f6037.pdf
  2. https://psycnet.apa.org/journals/amp/58/1/36/
  3. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1207/s15327582ijpr0901_2
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Having read the difference between religion and spirituality, I think both are important in a person’s life.

Keep up the good work!

Piyush Yadav
Piyush Yadav
Reply to  Benjamin

Definitely Benjamin, you cannot skip one thing in your life

Kylie Dickens
Kylie Dickens

Good Morning,

I follow the teachings by a lot of religions in my life and all of them have made me a good person. The best thing I like about religions is that they make us so peaceful soul from inside.

Thank you
Kylie Dickens

Piyush Yadav
Piyush Yadav
Reply to  Kylie Dickens

wow Kylie, its so good to meet a person who follows a lot of religions. This thing is very rare to find in these times. So you also visit the religious temples of all these religions in your spare time?

Joan Forsyth
Joan Forsyth


I think they both go hand in hand. As and when I read my prayers from the Bible, I feel myself at peace which is a form of spirtuality.

Thank you,

Joan Forsyth

Piyush Yadav
Piyush Yadav
Reply to  Joan Forsyth

Hi Joan,

You are right. Consider the religion as a means to connect with God and in the process relieve yourself from this material word.
That should be the target of our prayers.


Hi Piyush,
My question to you is:
Is it possible to feel spiritual without being religious?

Piyush Yadav
Piyush Yadav
Reply to  Bosh

Hi Bosh,
Yes it is possible to be spiritual without going to temples etc. I have seen people following Swami Vivekananda for their journey to spirtuality.

Wells Williams
Wells Williams


Whenever I go to Church, I come back and do meditation for an hour.
That way, I am being religious as well as spiritual at the same time.


Very well explained. Thanks for the bullet point list.

Wells Williams
Wells Williams

Religion takes us on the path of spirtuality and I am also following that these days.

Piyush Yadav
Piyush Yadav
Reply to  Wells Williams

Hi Wells,

Very well said and good luck to you.

Tracy Edmunds
Tracy Edmunds


I have been a follower of Swami Vivekananda’s teachings and it has really helped me with getting more spiritual.

Tracy Edmunds