A universal religion that ensures the whole of humanity subscribes to a common value system and/ or worships a common God can be little more than a pipe dream, at least as of now.
But, setting aside our fear of the unknown, reservations about being considered a heretic or non-conformist at best, delusion about the dangers of questioning tradition, illusion about the superior knowledge contained in the compilations that have come down to us as scriptures, setting aside all these misconceived notions, if we would only begin to look at Religion as fallible, and take courage to question the questionable and seek changes where necessary, we would be taking a giant step towards making Religion look inwards and reform itself before looking outwards, seeking to reform the hapless society, which, in a way, it both helps create and is created by.
Not that such exercises to ‘reform’ religion are not ongoing or have never been done. It is the earnestness of these endeavours that does not always stand scrutiny.
Throughout the history of mankind, when an individual or groups of people have attempted to change an existing order out of a genuine concern for its impact on humankind, an indelible impression has been made. Jesus Christ and Gautama Buddha are but two examples of such individuals whose attempts to reform the religious order of their day resulted in a remarkable upheaval.
Each of us, in our own way, can and, I think, must, stop being passive practitioners and ardent followers of our respective Religions.
Where it oppresses rather than comforts, where it demands rather than gives, where it postulates rather than consults, where it is coercive rather than compassionate, we can and must rise up to point out, question and seek to remedy the Religion. For, this is the only way Religion, which is such a powerful force, can unite rather than divide humanity.