By Serge Kreutz
Karl Marx famously noted that religion is opium for the masses.  Religion makes people complacent. Because they expect the good life after death, they don’t expect much as long as they are actually alive. They can easily be ruled because priests tell them that if they protest against the miserable conditions they are kept in, or against the powers that be, they will endanger the privileges of paradise. 
Religions are worse than drugs. At least, drugs feel good, here and now. Of course, they are not healthy in the long term. And the happiness they provide is no match for the happiness available through sexual activity. They also are highly illegal in many countries.
But the gratifications of drugs are in the real world. They can make happy.
On the contrary, the redemption of the rewards of religions is promised for when we have died already. But this is a debt that is never paid. Unfortunately, only when they are dead, people could realize that there is no paradise, and that they were subjected to trickery.
Even though one should assume that the progress made worldwide in science and technology undermines the credibility of religions, religions have, after the demise of Communism, resurrected. Not only do Muslimcountries Islamize their societies back into the Middles Ages. Even in the technologically most advanced nation, the US, religion is now stronger than it was any time since World War II.