There has always been a certain rivalry between many religions because in the end they all care about the same „clients". An increasing number of followers for a religion automatically increases its influence and power and in most cases also its financial resources.
Countless wars were fought in the name of religions, let's just mention the crusades of Christians or terror attacks from various religious extremists. The thinking behind this was - and sometimes still is, that followers of other religions are regarded as enemies, who either have to be converted into the "proper" religion or otherwise they „have to be" killed.
However, if you look at the different religions from a certain distance, all of them have a huge similarity in their essence:
The main goal is the education to become good human beings, who live in peace and happiness and who respect each other as well as the nature with all its creatures. The final result of this development will be some state of paradise.
Finally, most - if not all - religions are in their essence about the development of personality traits like unconditional love, happiness, humbleness, self honesty and modesty, respectively about respecting the „basic rights of existence". It is about the development of those traits, which will allow our souls to return back to their divine origin (see also our text about reincarnation and rebirth ).
The so-called holy scriptures of every religion shall make the way to this goal simpler and easier understandable for the average person. They shall be a layman's guide, a handbook or guidepost for the daily life. If we compare this with the situation in traffic, then the holy scriptures correspond with signposts, which should prevent everybody from endangering him- or herself or anyone else. These signposts furthermore should make sure that everybody safely arrives to his or her destination.
As there are different ways to travel into a certain town, there are different ways how souls can get back to their above mentioned divine state of origin. There is no objective „best way". If I am south of the above mentioned town, I will probably choose a different way compared to when I happen to be north of the same town. If I have decided to walk then I will probably choose a different way than if I have decided to take the train.
In this way, we can conclude that a religion is best if it currently fits our own needs. But for our neighbour, a different religion can be the right one.
The above statements apply to the essence of the religions. It gets however less unequivocally if we talk about the holy scriptures (e.g. Bible, Koran, Talmud, ..) respectively their prevalent interpretations. What we above have called handbooks or guideposts has been rewritten and newly interpreted several times in the course of time. This was necessary because our languages and way of thinking have changed considerably, since the holy scriptures were written for the first time. The earliest versions of the holy scriptures were written in a language, which extremely few people can still comprehend nowadays. Nonetheless during the process of rewriting, some mistakes were inserted in the scripts. We won't discuss here whether these misconceptions were introduced by accident or deliberately (a potential purpose could have been to get better control over the followers, increasing a religion's power).
One example of such a manipulation is the removal of the concept of reincarnation from the Bible, about 500 A.D. At some places, texts have been removed, others have been modified accordingly. As a result, you can in today's Bible find statements, which can be interpreted as hints for the existence of reincarnation as well as statements against it.
Such misconceptions or mistakes in the current versions of holy scriptures are highly problematic if they tempt people to act in a way which is harmful for the development of their souls. This is most obvious if people are encouraged to kill others or to go to war for something. However, it is also very deleterious if reincarnation is denied or if it is suggested that confessions to a priest or donating money to the religion could revert or heal past offence or injustice.
From this point of view, these religions carry a large responsibility - or liability - for the tardy, stopped or even reversed development of many human souls (see also our text about reincarnation and rebirth).
It doesn't help us, if we blame others (e.g. the religions) for a wrong development and then continue to live as before. It is rather time for everybody to make his or her own thought about the purpose and meaning of life. The big truths are within us waiting to be discovered again. And once rediscovered, to be followed.
In making our own thoughts, we ourselves get the awareness and capability to judge the interpretations of our religion critically and in particular to just accept what is right. We change ourselves from more or less blind followers to proactive and self determined believers or human beings.
Of course, self determination automatically leads to self responsibility . But this is just another important step on our way of life. It is about exactly doing what feels right according to our heart, according to our inner voice. This is in contrast to doing things just because others are telling us to do it or because others are also doing it.
Religions can be good and important tools on our way of life - but only if their holy scriptures are interpreted according to the essence of the respective religion. Otherwise they can easily effect the contrary of what they actually pretend to. However, we all have the ability to examine spiritual advice through our intuition or inner voice .
We just have to learn again how to use and put trust in our inner voice or intuition. It is most important to become critical, self determined human beings (instead of blind followers) - no matter which religion we believe in.