Since the advent of civilized life in the world, mankind began worshipping God, and over the passage of time it took the form of organized religions.
The western countries were primarily influenced by the teachings of Christ, while the eastern countries, which includes almost most parts of Asia came under the great influence of Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam over different time periods.
Religion has a deep underlying influence on the Asian society’s psyche and attitude towards life.
The followers of Hinduism, primarily in India, believe in life after death, and in the theory of “Karma” (which means, your destiny in next life is a product of your actions in this life.) Due to this theory, the true followers of religion are not very aggressive in their approach towards life because they believe whatever is happening in this life has been already pre-ordained due to their actions of the past life. Particularly, the vast rural and backward masses in India are deeply faithful and superstitious about life.
Casteism and deep divisions in the human society in India are a by-product of Hindu religion, and its ancient belief systems which are prescribed in its various scriptures.
The second major religion which is followed in the Middle East, Central Asia, and in various parts of the Indian sub-continent is Islam. Islam is a relatively recent religion, but it became deeply influential and widespread within a short span of time. Islam professes a highly structured and rigid way of life, and inculcates a regimentation in terms of hours of worship, ways of worship, and the basic principles and tenets of life which must be adopted by its every follower in his everyday living.
Islam prohibits the use of artificial methods of birth control, and as a direct fallout of this rule, the population in Muslim-dominated regions tends to be higher than other regions.
Also, in the Islamic societies, women are expected to play a highly conservative and puritanical role. As a result, in most Asian Islamic regions, the women do not go out to work, and do aspire for economic and political status for themselves, and are highly dependent upon the male members of the society.
The third major religious influence in Asia is Buddhism, which became a religion of peace and non-violence. Many progressive Asian societies like China, Japan, Korea, Thailand etc. found the teachings of this religion very appealing, and quickly adapted themselves to the basic principles of life propagated by the followers of Lord Buddha.
Traditionally, the socio-political fabric of the society in Asia has been severely divided across the lines of religion. Islam and Hinduism have historically been used to achieve political ends, and resulted in numerous wars and destruction over the centuries. Even though Hinduism is more tolerant religion by nature, but in recent times, the fanatical wings of Hinduism have been spreading. This is leading to an increasing number of clashes between the two communities in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc. where both the religions co-exist.
Even politically, in most Asian countries, people elect their political leaders based on religious lines. Unlike the west, the economic and global factors do not influence the Asian mind so much as the deep-seated faith and belief in God, which pervades through every walk of life in the Asian society.