What are faith and religion

Faith can be thought of as confidence or trust in a person, thing, or concept. In the context of religion, one can define faith as "belief in a god or in the doctrines or teachings of religion.

There are many different religions and faiths across the world and in Birmingham. The Office for National Statistics has a standardised categorisation of the major faith groups in the following major groups:

  • No religion
  • Christian
  • Buddhist
  • Hindu
  • Jewish
  • Muslim
  • Sikh
  • Any other religion

The interaction between faith, religion and health is complex reflecting the role that faith plays in our health beliefs and behaviours as well as the impact of religious rules on aspects of our life such as food and physical activity. Many of these impacts can be beneficial such as promoting a more plant-based diet or supporting mindfulness practice, sometimes they can create barriers when services haven’t thought about religious beliefs for example around gender separation.

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