Religion -The ultimate utopia, that which unites you, gives you the strength to survive, takes you beyond the realm of normal existense, liberates you, energizes you.
Religion - ultimate weapon of the state, can remove choice, will suppress your free will through a set of dogmas and a social acceptability and mechanism for control, straight from divinity itself.
The rise of nations till the advent of technology marked the rise of religions, atleast history looks at them through that lens. The Mongol khans, christian Brit & Spaniards, the Bushist Middle Kingdom and so on. Religion as has often been said is the uniting factor that is brandished by the state to brainwash the common populace into converging to 'single' way of thinking. A state tool cannot be ambiguous, hence you have competition among religions.
That era is possibly coming to the end because the fundamental premise for the success of religion is exceptional uncertainity which breeds strong faith. But in a distorted sort of the life, the hectic pace of the present has left us pursuing a unambiguous dream, of mobility and acceptability. This is the new religion.